Ron May (Colorado legislator)
||This article's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. (April 2009)|
|Ronny J. "Ron" May|
|Member of the Colorado Senate
from the 10th district
January 10, 2001 – October 31, 2007
|Preceded by||Ray Powers|
|Succeeded by||Bill Cadman|
|Member of the Colorado House of Representatives
from the 15th district
January 1993 – January 10, 2001
|Succeeded by||Bill Cadman|
September 16, 1934 |
Ronny J. "Ron" May (born September 16, 1934) is a former Colorado legislator. An Air Force veteran, May was elected to the Colorado Springs city council, then to the Colorado House of Representatives as a Republican in 1992. Serving eight years in the state house, May was then elected to the Colorado Senate in 2000 and again in 2004. After serving for over two decades in elected office, May, noted for his work on technology issues, retired from government in 2007 to become a fellow with the Center for Digital Government and Government Technology magazine.
Born in Sherman, Texas, May attended Southeastern Oklahoma State University, where he played college baseball, and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska. After joining the United States Air Force in 1954, May was a pilot and navigator, logging over 3,800 hours of flying time, before being sent to receive training as a programmer analyst on early computer technology in the 1960s, beginning a lifelong interest in information technology, which has included service on Colorado's Information Management Commission, the Multi-Use Network, and as a charter member of the United States Internet Council.
May retired from the Air Force in 1974 and settled in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he served on the Colorado Springs city council from 1981 to 1985, then in the Colorado House of Representatives from 1993 to 2000.
In the legislature, May also established a reputation as a quiet but consistent social and fiscal conservative who focused on transportation and technology issues. Having worked on the expansion of Powers Boulevard in eastern Colorado Springs in the 1980s, May sponsored legislation that created the first ongoing budgetary set-aside for roadway funding in Colorado. After federal speed limits were revoked in 1995, May sponsored the Colorado legislation to raise speed limits on rural Interstate highways to 75 miles per hour. May was also noted for his opposition to labor unions, and repeatedly introduced legislation to strengthen Colorado's right-to-work legislation.
Most noted for his legislative work in the area of technology, May chaired the legislature's Joint Computer Management Committee and was a member of the Colorado legislature during the installation of Internet service in the Colorado State Capitol in the 1990s. He is credited setting up the buildings' first wireless internet network, eliminating the need to remove interior marble facades in order to install new wiring. As a member of the state's Information Management Commission, May also helped established the Colorado General Assembly's online legislative information system, and has called this his "biggest contribution" in technology issues. In 2006, May sponsored legislation which created the state position of chief information security officer and provided state funding to the Colorado cyber-security office. Outside the legislature, May also operated a firm specializing in computer consulting for small businesses.
In 2000, May ran for the Colorado State Senate, facing activist Douglas Bruce in the Republican primary; in the solidly Republican district, winning the primary virtually assured a general election victory. In an unusual move, the local Chamber of Commerce and state party leaders, including Governor Bill Owens, endorsed May in the party primary contest, which May won by only 112 votes.
May was elected to the Colorado State Senate in the 2000 general election — defeating Democrat Dan Tafoya and Libertarian Patricia Glidewell — and was unchallenged for re-election in 2004, representing Senate District 10, which includes eastern Colorado Springs, Colorado and rural El Paso County, Colorado. During Republican control of the legislature, he rose to become chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. After Democrats obtained control of the legislature, May became Minority Caucus Chair. During the 2007-2008 legislature session, May served on the Senate State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee and the Senate Transportation Committee.
Nearing the end of his second term, barred by term limits from running again, May announced his resignation from the legislature, effective October 31, 2007, to become a senior fellow at Government Technology Magazine and the Center for Digital Government; in 2005, the magazine had named him one of their top 25 "Doers, Dreamers and Drivers." State Representative Bill Cadman was appointed by a vacancy committee to fill May's seat.
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- Colorado Secretary of State
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