For its “Staff Snapshots” series, State Legislatures News is asking legislative staff about their role in the legislature. If you’d like to suggest a staffer for this series, please email Holly South at NCSL.
Title: Assistant secretary and journal clerk for the Colorado Senate
Years of legislative service: Five
Reading/watching: Currently reading “The Hobbit” to his son. Currently rewatching “Parks and Recreation” because, he says, “after a long day working in government, what better way is there to relax than to turn on the TV and watch other people pretend to work in government?”
Why did you choose to work at the legislature?
In 2016 I took a job as an assignable clerk in our Senate chamber. Being able to watch and assist the Senate in performing its work from a nonpartisan point of view was especially interesting to me. I enjoyed the idea of helping the state move forward with its business from a procedural standpoint without having to worry so much about the political issues that so often plague progress. When a full-time position opened up with the Senate front-desk staff, I jumped at the opportunity, and here I am today!
What skill or talent are you most proud of?
My ability to read aloud quickly (almost 350 words per minute, depending on what is being read) has proven to be an interesting topic of discussion and was very helpful in my time as the Senate reading clerk, being able to dispense with items being read at length quickly. Now, as the assistant secretary and journal clerk, it isn’t quite as helpful—but I can still read the heck out of stuff if needed.
What’s the best advice you were ever given?
“Worry about yourself before you worry about everything else. Once you have yourself taken care of, then don’t worry.” That little nugget of advice from my dad has helped me to focus on being the best me without getting overwhelmed by life’s day-to-day issues.
Who or what inspires you?
As a new father, my 7-month-old son, Anderson. He doesn’t say much—anything, really—but he inspires me every morning to work hard, even on those long, grueling days, to do the best I can so I can provide for and be an example to him when he gets older.
What’s one thing you love about your state?
The endless outdoor opportunities in Colorado are something I don’t think I will ever get enough of. Being able to take a day trip to go hiking, skiing, lounge by a lake, explore a cave, or any other number of things with friends and family has been a source of unlimited enjoyment and entertainment.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.