05-02-17 CO Water Congress: In Memory of Ray Kogovsek: August 19, 1941 – April 30, 2017

Water Legends: Sam Maynes, Ray Kogovsek, and Christine Arbogast
Photo by: Richard MacRavey

CO Water Congress: In Memory of Ray Kogovsek: August 19, 1941 – April 30, 2017

Colorado has lost one of our great water leaders. After a three-year remission, Ray’s lymphoma came back with a vengeance.  He passed away peacefully late Sunday evening.

Ray was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 1968 at the age of 27. He was elected to the Colorado Senate in 1970 and was elected Senate Majority Leader in 1973. He remained in that position until 1978, at which time he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Congressman Kogovsek was re-elected twice, serving three terms in all. He returned to the sprawling 3rd Congressional District every weekend, and spent much of the weekends traveling throughout the district to listen to constituents. Although he reveled in the personal contacts he made, the travel and divisive Washington atmosphere led to his decision not to seek re-election in 1984.

The following year, Kogovsek & Associates, Inc. was established with key staff member Christine Arbogast in an ongoing commitment to the West and to Colorado – its natural resources, its human resources and its future.  In over 30 years of consulting, primarily at the federal level, Ray and Christine have worked on responsible water resource management and development, transportation, Native American issues, appropriation of federal funds for a wide range of programs and capital projects, and the use and protection of our public lands.

Ray was awarded the Wayne Aspinall Water Leader of the Year in 2003 by the Colorado Water Congress, our highest award.

Please keep Linda and Ray’s family in your thoughts and prayers.

“I told Ray not long ago that he would never know how important he had been to Southern Colorado, to the people in the 3rd Congressional District, to all the young people he had mentored over the years. He had such a great sense of humor. He was always willing to cross the aisle to work with anyone for the good of our state.”
Former U.S. Sen. Gary Hart, D-Colorado

“I’ve lost my good friend and so has Pueblo. He was a good legislator and good lobbyist for Colorado. It was impossible to know Ray and not consider him your friend.”
Fellow Democrat and lobbyist Wally Stealey

“Ray never took politics personally. He had such joy. He was the role model of a good legislator in my mind.  He was always a solid Democrat but understood that Democrats don’t have all the answers either, so he was willing to reach out and work with Republicans and anyone.”
Former Governor Dick Lamm

Special thanks to The Pueblo Chieftain for providing substantial content for this enews. For additional reading:

Former US Congressman and Proud Puebloan Ray Kogovsek Dies

Kogovsek’s Death Shocks Political World

Tribute to the Honorable Ray Kogovsek by Representative Scott Tipton

A celebration of Ray’s life will be announced soon.