Colorado Secede Talk Grows: 10 Counties Want to Form 'North Colorado'

Friday, 12 Jul 2013 01:30 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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In northeastern Colorado, a group of 10 counties want to secede and create a 51st state, North Colorado. The counties say their interests are not being represented.

The mostly Republican, rural counties are petitioning for statehood to move away from a number of new laws passed by the Democratic-controlled legislature this year, including gun control measures and regulations on oil and gas production.

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Representatives from the counties interested in seceding met Monday in Washington County to discuss the growing urban-rural divide. Some say the urban, liberal counties are taking advantage of the economic success of the rural, conservative ones.

"I say 80 percent of the oil and gas revenue in the state of Colorado is coming out of northeastern Colorado — Weld, Yuma County, and some of other counties," Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway told CBS Denver. "Seventy percent of the K-12 funding is coming off the state lands in Weld County alone. I'm telling you we are economic drivers."

County commissioners also mapped out what steps they could take to change the way the state Senate works if secession is not possible.

"We need to figure out a way to re-enfranchise the people who feel politically disenfranchised now and ignored," Conway said.

But not everyone thinks a Colorado secession is a smart move.

"It's just going to be seen as a crackpot idea by a bunch of crackpot commissioners, some of whom are term limited," Steve Mazurana, a longtime Greeley resident and former political science professor at the University of Northern Colorado, told the Denver Post. "Some will just call it Crackpottopia."

This isn’t the only talk of secession lately. In January, more than 100,000 people signed a petition supporting the secession of Texas.

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