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Colorado counties want to secede, form North Colorado

Posted By Kristen Butler, UPI.com   |   June 8, 2013 at 7:27 AM  |  Updated June 8, 2013 at 8:46 AM   |   Comments

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June 8 (UPI) -- A handful of rural, predominately Republican counties in north and northeastern Colorado want to secede and form the 51st state of North Colorado.

"Our very way of life is under attack," Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway said on Thursday.

The Democrat-controlled legislature passed a number of laws this year, including gun control, addressing cruel treatment of livestock and expanded regulation of oil and gas production.

On Wednesday Governor John Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 252, which will require an increase in renewable energy standards in rural areas.

Opponents of that bill have called it a "war on rural Colorado."

“I have never seen a legislative session like this,” Conway said. "They ignore us. They don’t listen to us. It started with the gun control bills and came to a head this week with S.B. 252 being signed."

Conway leading the push for Weld, Morgan, Logan, Sedgwick, Phillips, Washington, Yuma and Kit Carson counties to secede -- a plan that was formed at a Colorado Counties Inc. conference earlier this week.

For the secession to be successful, voters in each county would have to approve. North Colorado statehood would then need approval from the state legislature, the governor and the U.S. Congress.

The last state to successfully form a new state was West Virginia in 1863, during the Civil War.

"It's just going to be seen as a crackpot idea by a bunch of crackpot commissioners some of whom are term limited," said Steve Mazurana. "Some will just call it Crackpottopia."

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