Joseph Rogers

1964 - 2013


DENVER (AP) - Former Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Rogers, the last lawmaker independently elected to the position, has died at the age of 49.

Rogers died suddenly Monday of medical complications after going to the emergency room at Rose Medical Center, family spokeswoman Sylvia Morgan-Smith said Tuesday. He had been in good health until then, she said.

Rogers was elected in 1998 to serve a four-year term as lieutenant governor under then Republican Gov. Bill Owens. The fellow Republicans ran independently as candidates but he's credited with helping Owens win a slim victory to become the state's first GOP governor in 24 years.

Once in office, they clashed over issues including spending and funeral arrangements for Secretary of State Vikki Buckley, who died while in office. That prompted lawmakers to pass legislation allowing gubernatorial candidates to pick their own running mates and Owens allowed the bill to become law. Owens picked state health department chief Jane Norton as his running mate as he sought a second term and Rogers left office in 2002.

Rogers was a lawyer and worked in private practice before serving as staff counsel to U.S. Sen. Hank Brown from 1993 to 1995. He became the first black candidate to run for Congress in Colorado in 1996.

"Joe Rogers lived the American dream by emerging from poverty to become a lawyer and to being elected lieutenant governor of Colorado," Dick Wadhams, a veteran Republican operative and former chairman of the state Republican Party, told the newspaper.

Rogers is survived by his wife, Juanita Kay Rogers, three children and his mother.

He will lie in state in the state Capitol rotunda on Oct. 15. His funeral will be held the following day at Rising Star Baptist Church in Aurora. ___

Copyright © 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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I was so sorry to hear of Joe's passing. I remember him aa a very energetic 7th grader. I was always proud to say that I had taught him. May he rest with the Lord and may your family find peace.

Juanita and Kids the Rogers Family,
I'm so sorry to hear of Joe's passing, Joe was a wonderful humble person. May the Lord our God Confort you with your memories of his love and strength. Praying that God will comfort you and that memories will keep you close as a family.

Juanita, You and your family are in my prayers. I am so sorry for your loss.

My Condolences to the family of Joseph Rogers and may you all get comfort from God of comfort.

Condolences to the Rogers Family.

To Kaye and the Kids, You have my deepest condolences and sympathies. I have known Joe since my college days at Arizona State University. He was a great man and a better friend. He will be sorely missed Chris Dukes

sorry for your loss. May the God of comfort comfort you at this time (Jude

R.I.P., may you find comfort in knowing that he is in his final resting place with thy heavenly father.