FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Republican Sen. Vicki Marble of Fort Collins is defending her call for part of Colorado to secede and her comment that she is “coming after” a 9NEWS journalist.
Marble suggested secession in Facebook comments, prompted by growing Republican anger over Democrats fast-tracking sweeping oil and gas regulations in the state legislature.
"My recourse is SECEDE," Marble wrote. "Boulder and Denver metro are so removed from the working man’s reality."
In response to another comment, Marble wrote "SECEDE !!!"
A similar secession push was attempted by conservatives in Northern Colorado after Democrats passed gun control legislation in 2013. The effort made the ballot in several counties but failed.
Marble is a prominent supporter of both gun rights and the oil and gas industry. Marble’s secession comments were reported on Next with Kyle Clark on Friday.
Senate GOP spokesman Sage Naumann said Marble was unavailable for comment Friday. He said he thought her son had just returned home from overseas. In a Saturday news release about Marble's Facebook posts, Naumann wrote that her son had just returned home from a deployment in Iraq.
Before that news release, Marble responded on her Facebook page Friday evening, posting, in part, "Let the ‘Ambush begin….you know what I mean…. Kyle.
"I’m coming after you," Marble wrote in a Friday night Facebook post against 9NEWS anchor Kyle Clark and in support of oil and gas workers.
As caucus chair, Marble is the fourth-ranking Republican in the Senate minority.
Senate Republican leadership has not responded to requests for comments on Marble’s threat. Marble issued an additional statement to 9NEWS Saturday morning.
“My statement was a response to your threat to ambush me with cameras next week,” Marble said.
Marble accused 9NEWS of “twisting my response to you as some sort of threat of violence.”
“That’s not only unfair, but untrue,” Marble said.
“The Communications Director for the Colorado Senate Republicans informed me on Friday that you wanted to speak with me regarding succession (sic) and I was unavailable for comment,” Marble said. “You then informed him that your team would ‘catch up with her next week for an unscheduled interview.’”
“If you’re offended at the characterization of an ‘unscheduled interview’ as an ambush, then I would encourage you to get over it,” Marble said in her statement.
Journalists routinely approach elected officials at the Capitol for interviews without prior approval.
"Coloradans are fed up with the politics and rhetoric of Washington. A free press is not the enemy of the people and it is unfortunate that this narrative has founds its way to Colorado. The people of Colorado expect and deserve better," said Senate President Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo), in a statement issued Saturday afternoon.
Marble has risen to the ranks of leadership in the Senate GOP despite a series of high-profile controversies, some of which have become national news.
In April, Marble was fined for violating Colorado’s ethics law for billing an event as her own community forum when it was actually hosted by an oil and gas company
Marble made national headlines in 2013 with her comments during a health policy hearing when she linked "problems in the black race" to fried chicken and suggested that Mexicans stop eating vegetables when they come to the United States.
In a 2017 visit to a Cub Scout den in Broomfield, Marble bristled when asked by the cub scouts about her comments on race and food, as well as her support for gun rights.
An 11-year-old scout who asked Marble pointed questions was kicked out of the den for his questions to Marble. That incident again put Marble in the national news spotlight.
Marble was elected to the State Senate in November 2012. She is term-limited when her term ends after the 2020 election.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS | Local stories from 9NEWS