Newell keeps the faith

Posted 12/24/08

When Colorado Community Newspapers last spoke with Linda Newell, little more than 100 votes separated her from opponent Sen. Lauri Clapp for the …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?

Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.


Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

If you made a voluntary contribution in 2022-2023 of $50 or more, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.

Our print publications are advertiser supported. For those wishing to access our content online, we have implemented a small charge so we may continue to provide our valued readers and community with unique, high quality local content. Thank you for supporting your local newspaper.

Newell keeps the faith


When Colorado Community Newspapers last spoke with Linda Newell, little more than 100 votes separated her from opponent Sen. Lauri Clapp for the state Senate District 26 seat.

Even as new-member orientation got under way at the capitol, Newell attended without the title of senator-elect.

Finally, Nov. 20, Clapp conceded the race and Senator-elect Newell stepped in.

The business consultant has been assigned to serve on the Health and Human Service, Judiciary and Local Governments, and Renewable Energy committees.

Recently, CCN spoke with Newell, and her 20-year-old daughter Kate, who will serve as her mom’s legislative aide, to see how the team is gearing up for January.

“It’s a dream come true,” Newell says of her newfound status. Her eyes are misty and she doesn’t finish her sentence.

“This is my chance to help on such a large scale.”

Kate’s eyes are misty, too.

“I knew she would win the whole time,” Kate said. “It’s kind of corny but my best friend has always been my mom, so I had total faith.”

Faith is something the Newells know a lot about.

When Newell, a single mother, had to take it upon herself to pay back a large sum of debt as a result of the Savings and Loan crisis in the 1990s, she had faith.

When she was down by 30 votes the day following the election, she and her two daughters had faith.

Even now, one month before the start of the 2009 legislative session, Newell has faith in her abilities to bring the two sides together for efficient legislation.

Colorado’s fiscal state, education, health care, transportation and renewable energy top Newell’s list of priorities for the session.

“We started out with a prayer and we’ll end with a prayer,” Kate said.

But Newell knows solving the state’s fiscal problem will take more than a prayer.

“There’s no long-term vision for financing services in the state,” she said. “It’s all short-term to get the project under way, but then you don’t have a long-term revenue stream. Two years later you’re in the exact same spot and that has to stop.”

Tackling the state’s fiscal situation must happen before any other topic can be addressed, Newell said.

“If we don’t address this, if you don’t have the money to do anything, what’s the point?” Newell said. “You’ll remain 48th in education, 47th in health care, and you’re going to have bridges fall apart.”

But the fiscal responsibility can’t fall on the legislators’ shoulders alone. Newell said fixing the problem will take the support of constituents — but it’s hard convincing them.

“I hear people complaining about the roads or their schools, but people aren’t very willing to give even $1 a day,” Newell said. “Something has got to give.”

“The way that I put it to people is if you’re going to complain about the roads, and you don’t want to raise your taxes, then you tell me where the money is going to come from.”

As for health care, the topic hits a little closer to home.

“We don’t have health insurance and haven’t for months,” Kate says about her family. “And we’re probably not going to get it for a while either.”

Newell said the state offers health insurance, but it’s too expensive.

“If your state senator doesn’t have health care, then who does?” Kate said.

Regardless, Newell said she’s eager to right what’s wrong.

“This is about more than our district. It’s about the state. And I want to make sure by the time I’m ready to commit to a bill that it’s something I can stand behind, too.”


Our Papers

Ad blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.