A Loss of a Friend and Leader, by Colorado Lt. Governor Joe Rogers

I have lost a good friend and Colorado has lost a leader. Vikki Buckley, Colorado’s Secretary of State, died on July 14, 1999 at the very young age of 50 due to heart failure.

Vikki was a role model, mentor and friend to my entire family. She worked hard to be the best she could be and give the best of herself to the people.

A native of Denver, Vikki was the product of public schools and hard work. She proved the American Dream could still be achieved. Once a young, struggling mother who, for a time, received welfare assistance, Vikki fought to overcome obstacle after obstacle in her life to become the highest-ranking female African-American Republican to secure elective state office in United States history. This accomplishment cannot be understated.

Vikki was truly a pioneer, and has a place in Colorado history and the nation’s history. She never forgot where she came from. Vikki worked with the “Stand Up For Kids” organization where she walked the streets of Denver providing food, saftey and counseling for at-risk youth and their families.

There are too many other organizations to mention in which Vikki supported and was active. However, she sang in the mass choir and held the position of children’s department director with the King Baptist Church in the late 80s and early 90s. In recent years, Vikki had been an active member of Heritage Christian Center and a founding board member of Project Heritage, a separate non-profit human service outreach program.

In tribute to Vikki, over 2,500 people gathered for her final service. Dear friend Sly Morgan-Smith said it best by stating, “She has been elected to the party of service. She’s seated next ot the right hand of her Father, and it didn’t take anyone to count the ballots.”

Vikki fought constantly against the odds and won. She was simply an elegant woman. My family and I will miss her dearly. Colorado and the nation will miss a pioneer and a leader.


(Joe Rogers is a member of Project 21 and the lieutenant governor of the state of Colorado.)

Note: New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 40,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.