Michael Merrifield

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Michael Merrifield
Michael Merrifield.png
Colorado State Senate, District 11
In office
January 7, 2015 - Present
Term ends
January 8, 2019
Years in position 0
Base salary$30,000 per year
Per diem$45/day in Denver area, $183/day outside
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First electedNovember 4, 2014
Next generalNovember 6, 2018
Term limits2 terms (8 years)
Prior offices
Colorado House of Representatives
District 18
Manitou Springs City Council
1996 to 2000
ProfessionTeacher (Retired)
Campaign website
Michael Merrifield is a Democratic member of the Colorado State Senate, representing District 11. He was first elected to the chamber in 2014. He previously served in the Colorado House of Representatives, representing District 18 from 2003 to 2011 and on the Manitou Springs City Council from 1996 to 2000.


Merrifield's professional experience includes working as a teacher and Director of Choirs at Coronado High School.[1]

Committee assignments

2015 legislative session

At the beginning of the 2015 legislative session, Merrifield served on the following committees:

Colorado Committee Assignments, 2015


In the 2010-2011 legislative session, Merrifield served on the following committees:


Colorado Senate Bill 57

As a member of the Colorado House Education Committee, Merrifield voted against Colorado Senate Bill 57]], also known as the Public School Financial Transparency Act, a bill to create transparency in state education expenditures. Merrifield received substantial campaign contributions from the Colorado Education Association, which lobbied against the bill's passage.[2]

Merrifield's sponsored legislation includes:

  • HB 09-1107 - HOA Limits On Energy Efficiency Measures
  • HB 09-1312 - Renewable Energy Loans For Schools
  • HB 09-1326 - Integrity Of Citizen-Initiated Petitions

For details and a full listing of sponsored bills, see the House site.

Campaign themes


Merrifield's website highlighted the following campaign themes:[3]

Elections Reform Bill

  • Excerpt: "There is a difference between having the 'right' to vote and the 'ability' to vote. Many who have the right to vote find casting a ballot needlessly impeded. A law that allows voters to vote at any one of a number of vote centers will increase voter participation, a net good. Moreover, many folks are by necessity living transient lives. Regardless of the economic demands on them, they should still be able to vote. Opponents of open elections are, in fact, interfering with the rights of the individual."

Defending Public Education

  • Excerpt: "I will oppose any increase in high stakes testing. As a teacher, I believe in assessment of our students, but the reliance on standardized test scores and data as the sole measure of performance has gone much too far. I will also promote the mission of the newly formed State Advisory Council for Parent Involvement in Education to help districts devise plans to help parents become their child’s first and best teacher. I will sponsor legislation to require play time and structured recess breaks, and I will support fully funded, public pre-school and full-day kindergarten. Finally, I will vigorously, passionately fight the corporate, for-profit agenda that perverts the diverse goals of public education."

Creating Jobs and Growing the Economy

  • Excerpt: "As Senator, I intend to remain focused on creating opportunities for job growth and strengthening our local and state economy. I will push for tax and incentive programs to nurture and cultivate new small businesses and support existing small businesses. I will provide strong legislative support for the concept of Economic Gardening that has been brought forward by Rep. Pete Lee."

Oil and Gas Regulation

  • Excerpt: "Right now, regulations from the Oil and Gas Commission are poorly enforced and do not protect our communities. The industry has grown so rapidly that no one has been able to keep up with the issues and there just are not enough inspectors. The industry must be forced to be open and honest with the public about what chemicals they are using in the fracking and oil extraction process, about how much water is consumed and about how many workers are actually benefitting from employment in the industry, and how much the Oil and Gas businesses should pay in taxes."



See also: Colorado State Senate elections, 2014

Elections for the office of Colorado State Senate took place in 2014. A primary election took place on June 24, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was March 31, 2014. Michael Merrifield was unopposed in the Democratic primary, while incumbent Bernie Herpin was unopposed in the Republican primary. Merrifield defeated Herpin and Norman Dawson (L) in the general election.[4][5][6]

Colorado State Senate, District 11, General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMichael Merrifield 52.2% 18,815
     Republican Bernie Herpin Incumbent 41.5% 14,978
     Libertarian Norman Dawson 6.3% 2,282
Total Votes 36,075


See also: Colorado House of Representatives elections, 2010

Merrifield was ineligible to run for re-election to the 18th District seat due to the term limits of the Colorado House of Representatives.


On November 4, 2008, Merrifield won re-election to the 18th District seat in the Colorado House of Representatives, defeating opponent Katherine Szot (R).[7]

Merrifield raised $50,948 for his campaign, while Szot raised $429.[8]

Colorado State House, District 18 (2008)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Michael Merrifield (D) 17,231
Katherine Szot (R) 9,980

Campaign donors


Below are Merrifield's top five campaign contributors in the 2008 election:[9]

Contributor 2008 total
CO Education Assoc $4,250
CO Professional Fire Fighters $4,000
Food & Commercial Workers Local 7 $4,000
AFSCME $3,000
CO State Conference of Electrical Workers $2,000


See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Colorado

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Colorado scorecards, email suggestions to scorecards@ballotpedia.org.

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Bernie Herpin (R)
Colorado State Senate - District 11
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Colorado House District 18
Succeeded by
Pete Lee