UPDATE: On Jan. 9, 2018, Sen. Jahn addressed the audience at the Denver Press Club during the Unite Colorado Launch Event. Watch her full remarks here:
Denver, CO – The Colorado Centrist Project released the following statements:
Nick Troiano, Executive Director:
We applaud State Sen. Cheri Jahn’s decision to drop her party affiliation and serve out the remainder of her term as an independent.
Voters have seen hyper-partisanship and special interests defeat common sense in Denver for far too long under both Democrats and Republicans. Coloradans deserve independent legislators who can truly put the people first.
Having strong leaders like Senator Jahn break free from the broken two party duopoly will show how independents can bridge the growing partisan divide and pave a new way forward in our politics for many more independent legislators to come.
Kathleen Curry, former unaffiliated State Representative and current Centrist Project Steering Committee member:
I commend Senator Jahn for her courage and commitment in serving her constituents and the state of Colorado.
I know from personal experience that serving as an independent made me a more effective advocate of my entire constituency, gave me greater leverage to impact the legislative process, and provided me a unique opportunity to be a voice for the plurality of voters who are neither Democrats nor Republicans.
Al White, former Republican State Senator and current Centrist Project Steering Committee member:
It will require a new approach to break through the partisan dysfunction in Denver, and I congratulate Senator Jahn for leading it.
Senator Jahn is the tip of the spear for a new movement of independent leadership in Colorado that is united by the principle of putting people before party.
Today I am writing to let my constituents and friends know about an important decision I have made. Earlier this week I dropped my affiliation with the Democratic Party and have chosen to continue to serve my constituents as an Unaffiliated member of the State Senate.
To be sure, this was a very difficult decision. Ultimately, this was a very personal decision and one that will allow me to spend my final year in the General Assembly completely focused on important work at hand and representing residents of Senate District 20. Since first being elected to the House of Representatives in 2000, I have watched our state and national politics become more partisan and polarized. I have always brought an independent voice. I didn’t change, the system changed. This system is terribly broken. I have watched through the years and witnessed that there is more care about politics and those in power than serving people in the state.
I have prided myself on working with all of my colleagues regardless of party affiliation and I have a great respect for my friends in both parties. My decision to officially become and Independent will not change the way I represent my constituents. The Unaffiliated voters in my district and statewide deserve representation; they are a significant voting block and their voices are not heard or represented in the state senate.
This is not a decision I came to lightly or overnight. I have been bothered by the process and partisanship for several years. For all of my years raising my kids, I was always strong on teaching them that whatever situation they found themselves in it was imperative that they go deep inside of their hearts and always be true to themselves. I must follow my words of wisdom on something that has been troubling me for some time.
I have informed Democratic and Republican leadership in the State Senate of my decision and have communicated my continued commitment to working with all of my colleagues to get things done for our state. I am grateful for all of the support I have received and truly want to do what’s best for my district.
The Centrist Project strategically recruits and supports common sense, independent candidates for office. For more information, visit www.CentristProject.org/colorado.