Plains rancher chosen for state House seat

Richard Holtorf will represent huge District 64 following death of Kimmi Lewis

Tabatha Stewart
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 1/3/20

More than 100 Republican delegates from House District 64 — which encompasses nine counties, including Elbert — gathered Dec. 28 in Kiowa to interview five candidates to fill the House seat left …

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Plains rancher chosen for state House seat

Richard Holtorf will represent huge District 64 following death of Kimmi Lewis

Posted

More than 100 Republican delegates from House District 64 — which encompasses nine counties, including Elbert — gathered Dec. 28 in Kiowa to interview five candidates to fill the House seat left vacant by the death of Kimmi Lewis.

After nearly six hours of interviews and discussion, Richard Holtorf was appointed as the new state House representative for District 64. He will serve out the remainder of Lewis' term for the duration of the 2020 legislative year.

Holtorf is a third-generation rancher. His grandfather started the Buffalo Springs Ranch near Akron. He retired from the US Army after 29 years of service, including serving two tours in Afghanistan. He's been politically active within his community for several years, serving as a caucus chair person, the Colorado Stockman's Association, a 4-H Club leader, commander of the local Chapter 8060 of the VFW, member of the American Legion and the Colorado Farm Bureau.

“I've been active but never really thought about politics until Kimmi died,” said Holtorf. “I knew her personally, and every time she came to Washington County I usually met with her. She was a wonderful legislator, cattle rancher and leader. I had enormous respect for her.”

Holtorf said he began receiving requests from community members to step up and take Lewis' place, and after talking to his mother about it, he began seriously considering the idea.

“I talked to my mother, and she said `do it,'” said Holtorf. “Five or six people had asked me to get involved. All that kind of culminated in me sitting down one night and thinking `my goodness, why have all these things been said? My own mother has told me I need to step up.'”

Holtorf threw his hat in the ring, and said he never expected to be chosen. As he heads to the Capitol, Holtorf said he plans to continue fighting for rights of landowners and ranchers, as well as supporting small business owners and rural schools.

“I grew up in rural Colorado and I believe small towns have a lot to offer. I've watched economic opportunities shrinking, and we need to protect and preserve our small towns,” said Holtorf. “I've got some good ideas to take to the Capitol.”

Colorado House District 64 is the largest of the 65 House districts in the state, and includes Baca, Bent, Crowley, Elbert, Kiowa, Las Animas, Lincoln, Prowers and Washington counties.

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