Spencer Swalm

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Spencer Swalm
Member of the Colorado House of Representatives
from the 37th district
In office
January 10, 2007 – January 7, 2015
Preceded by Lauri Clapp
Succeeded by Jack Tate
Personal details
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Marleen[1]
Profession insurance broker
Religion Non-Denominational Protestant[1]
Website http://www.spencerswalm.com/

Spencer Swalm is a former legislator in the U.S. state of Colorado. First elected to the Colorado House of Representatives as a Republican in 2006, Swalm represented House District 37, which encompasses the most of the city of Centennial, Colorado.[2] Term limited, he did not run for re-election in 2014, so his term ended in January, 2015.[3]

Early career[edit]

Born in Colorado,[1] Swalm attended Colorado College before transferring to the University of Colorado at Boulder, graduating with a bachelor's degree in history[4] in 1975.[5] He then earned a J.D. from the University of Denver in 1979.[5]

After practicing law for over a decade,[5] specializing in estate planning,[4] Swalm entered the employee benefits and health insurance business in 1990 as a partner in Redstone Benefit Systems. He has served as the chair of the legislative committee of the Colorado State Association of Health Underwriters.[5]

In the early 1980s, Swalm began writing op-ed pieces opposing government transportation subsidies and joined the Independence Institute, a Colorado free-market think tank, eventually becoming a senior fellow.[4] He opposed the 2004 tax measure funding the FasTracks light rail expansion.[6] He has also served on the board of the Colorado Council on Economic Education. Politically, Swalm has been a member of the Colorado Republican Business Coalition, the Centennial Republican Forum, the Arapahoe County Republican Men's Club, and was treasurer for the Sixth Congressional District Republican Committee.[4]

Swalm is married; he and his wife, Marleen, have three children:[1] Byron, Lauren, and Jocelyn.[7] Swalm has taught Sunday school and served on the missions committee of his church, Grace Chapel, and has taken several missionary trips to the Amazon Basin in Bolivia.[5]

Political career[edit]

2006 election[edit]

Swalm won election to Colorado's 37th House District in 2006. He faced Centennial Councilwoman Betty Ann Habig in the Republican primary, losing to her at the party assembly,[8] but defeating her in the party primary.[9] He then defeated Democrat Angela Engel with just over 51 percent of the vote.[2]

2007 legislative session[edit]

In the 2007 session of the Colorado General Assembly, Swalm sat on the House Health and Human Services Committee and the House Transportation and Energy Committee.[10] Swalm's father, Paul Swalm, had served on the Denver, Colorado city council and in the Colorado House of Representatives[4] in the 1970s, and Swalm was assigned the same seat in the house chamber as his father.[11]

That year, Swalm sponsored legislation that would require sex offenders to register their email addresses and other online identities with the state.[12] After being defeated in committee, the bill was resubmitted to apply only to sex offenders whose victims are children,[13] and was signed into law. He plans on submitting legislation to extend the program to all sex offenders in future sessions.[14]

Swalm also sponsored successful legislation designed to encourage Coloradans to purchase long term care insurance rather than relying on Medicaid, allowing Coloradans to participate in a federal long term care partnership program.[15]

Between legislative sessions, Swalm served on the interim Health Care Task Force[16] and on the Transportation Legislation Review Committee.[17]

2008 legislative session[edit]

For the 2008 legislative session, Swalm plans to sponsor a measure that would create a special pass to offset state park maintenance costs.[18][19] As part of a set of Republican health care proposals, Swalm will sponsor legislation to create a low-cost state health insurance plan and to encourage tax breaks for individual health insurance.[20] He has also, working with Democratic Rep. Morgan Carroll, introduced legislation to extend a fund to provide financial assistance to military families.[21][22] The bill was passed by the legislature and signed into the law by Gov. Bill Ritter.[23]

Swalm also introduced legislation to create the "Colorado Health Plan," a low-cost health insurance program to be run by the state,[24] but the proposal was killed in committee.[25] Democratic House Speaker Andrew Romanoff has expressed interest in reviving the bill.[26] Swalm also reintroduced his bill to require sex offenders to register their email addresses, which was again killed in committee.[27]

2008 election[edit]

Because of the closeness of Swalm's 2006 election in a traditionally Republican district, Democrats targeted Swalm's re-election bid in 2008. Swalm faces Diana Holland, a Democrat and Littleton School Board member,[28] and Constitution Party candidate Brian Olds in the November general election. Swalm's re-election bid was endorsed by the Denver Post.[29] He ultimately won with 51 percent of the popular vote, nearly 2000 votes ahead of Holland.[30]

2009 legislative session[edit]

For the 2009 legislative session, Swalm was named to seats on the House Finance Committee and the House Health and Human Services Committee.[31] Representative Swalm worked with centrist Democratic Representative Sara Gagliardi to promote a bipartisan measure lowering the age limit for blood donations to 16.[32]

2011 legislative session[edit]

Representative Swalm returned to the House Committee on Finance. He was also appointed as vice-chair of the newly renamed Economic & Business Development Committee.

2012 election[edit]

In the 2012 General Election, Representative Swalm faced Democratic challenger Jan Spooner. Swalm was elected by a margin of 53% to 44% with third party candidates garnering the remainder of the vote.[33][34]


  1. ^ a b c d "Representative Swalm". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  2. ^ a b "State House District 37". COMaps. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  3. ^ Ballotpedia. Spencer Swalm. Viewed: 2017-01-29.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Meet Spencer Swalm". Spencer Swalm for House District 37. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Spencer Swalm - Colorado - State House District 37 candidate". RockyMountainNews.com. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  6. ^ Flynn, Kevin (6 August 2008). "RTD to roll out revised cost on FasTracks lines". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  7. ^ Bartels, Lynn (13 February 2008). "Citizen legislator". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  8. ^ Staff report (5 April 2007). "Blake: A 'promise' that wasn't". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  9. ^ Staff report (11 November 2007). "Blake: Amendment 41 rains on Bill Ritter's inaugural parade". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  10. ^ "House Committees of Reference". Colorado General Assembly. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  11. ^ Staff report (11 January 2007). "Roll Call, January 11". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  12. ^ Johnson, Kimberly S. (6 February 2007). "Measure tracks offenders online". Denver Post. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  13. ^ Staff Report (12 March 2007). "Under the dome, 3/13". Denver Post. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  14. ^ Staff report (5 May 2007). "Legislation to brag about". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  15. ^ Gathright, Alan (30 January 2007). "Insurance bill would shield seniors' savings". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  16. ^ "Health Care Task Force". Colorado Legislative Council. Retrieved 2008-04-27. [dead link]
  17. ^ "Transportation Legislation Review Committee 2007". Colorado Legislative Council. Retrieved 2008-04-27. [dead link]
  18. ^ Associated Press (28 November 2007). "GOP lawmakers offer environmental proposals for next Legislature". Denver Post. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  19. ^ Smith, Jerd (29 November 2007). "Pass would help fund state parks". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  20. ^ Barge, Chris (4 December 2007). "Republican legislators offer their own health insurance proposals". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  21. ^ Staff Reports (23 January 2008). "State's school board faces audit". Denver Post. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  22. ^ Arell, Emily (28 January 2008). "House passes re-up of Military Family Relief Fund". YourHub.com. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  23. ^ "Swalm's Military Family Relief Fund Bill Signed By Governor" (Press release). Colorado House Republicans. 18 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  24. ^ Andersen-Vie, Sean (21 February 2008). "Republican Busy Day at the Capitol". The Cherry Creek News. Retrieved 2008-02-23. [dead link]
  25. ^ Mook, Bob (29 February 2008). "Committee kills Republican health plan". Denver Business Journal. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  26. ^ Editorial Board (9 March 2008). "The coming debate over health care". Rocky Mountain News. 
  27. ^ Staff Reports (7 February 2008). "Under the Dome". Denver Post. Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  28. ^ Ingold, John (1 October 2008). "Parties try to nibble at other's standing". Denver Post. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  29. ^ Editorial Board (17 October 2008). "Post's picks in Colorado's House of Representatives". Denver Post. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  30. ^ "Colorado Statewide Cumulative Report - 2008 General Election". Colorado Secretary of State. Retrieved 2008-12-04. [permanent dead link]
  31. ^ "House Republican Committee Assignments Announced" (Press release). Colorado House Democrats. 18 November 2008. 
  32. ^ Sealover, Ed (9 January 2009). "Bills already proposed cover cats, slow drivers". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2010-03-22. 
  33. ^ "CO - Election Results - Colorado Secretary of State". 
  34. ^ "State House 2012 Election Results - Denver Post". 

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