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Longmont lawyer Brandon Shaffer plans to stay in city

LONGMONT -- Attorney Brandon Shaffer spent much of the past eight years in Denver, helping write and modify Colorado's laws.

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Print   Email   Font ResizeBreaking NewsLongmont lawyer Brandon Shaffer plans to stay in cityAfter 2 terms in Colorado Senate, former president starts to look aheadBy John Fryar Longmont Times-Call Posted:   01/13/2013 10:06:32 PM MSTUpdated:   01/13/2013 10:14:18 PM MST Former Colorado Senate President Brandon Shaffer and his 8-year-old daughter, Madison, watch Saturday s AFC division playoff game between the Denver Broncos and the Baltimore Ravens ( LEWIS GEYER ) var requestedWidth = 0; if(requestedWidth > 0){ document.getElementById('articleViewerGroup').style.width = requestedWidth + "px"; document.getElementById('articleViewerGroup').style.margin = "0px 0px 10px 10px"; }   EDITOR'S NOTE: The Times-Call's series Take Two revisits people we have written about in the past yearTake Two stories will run on Mondays. LONGMONT -- Attorney Brandon Shaffer spent much of the past eight years in Denver, helping write and modify Colorado's laws. Now, he's spending most of his time in Longmont, assisting clients with drawing up wills, completing real-estate transactions or pursuing personal-injury claims. "It's been fun," Shaffer said of his return to a full-time private legal practice. "It's challenging, interesting," he said, adding that "it brings different skills to bear" than those he exercised during his time in the Colorado Legislature. Last week, Longmont Democrat Shaffer officially concluded two four-year terms representing eastern Boulder County in the state Senate. That included three years as Senate presidentLast Wednesday, at the start of the Legislature's 2013 session -- and for the final time -- Shaffer returned to the statehouse to preside over routine procedures such as recording the results of the 2012 Senate elections and swearing in newly elected and re-elected senators. Then, he formally handed the gavel to Colorado Springs SenJohn Morse, chosen by fellow Senate Democrats to succeed Shaffer in the president's chair. This was the first time in years that "I wasn't stressed out about writing opening-day speech remarks," Shaffer joked Wednesday afternoon at Ziggi's. Shaffer, who was barred by term limits from seeking re-election to his Senate seat, said there'll be some things he'll miss about his work at the state Capitol. "It's a beautiful building, a beautiful process, and wonderful people are involvedAnd I'll miss all of them." He said he still gets emails from some former constituents who apparently didn't know that he's no longer their senator -- messages he passes along to SenMatt Jones, D-Louisville, who was elected in November to the Senate Ditrict 17 seat. Photographed a year ago, SenRollie Heath, left, D-Boulder, greets Senate President Brandon Shaffer, D-Longmont, during the opening day of the 2012 session of the Colorado Legislature ( LEWIS GEYER ) Last year, Shaffer campaigned to shift to a different lawmaking arena. But he lost his challenge of incumbent U.SRepCory Gardner for Colorado's 4th Congressional District seatYuma Republican Gardner, Schaffer's former law school classmate, won re-election. The core of local voters' support that elected Shaffer to his state Senate seat in 2004 and re-elected him to that post in 2008 continued in the congressional competition, with Longmont-area voters giving Shaffer 57 percent of the Boulder County votes cast in the 4th District contestGardner got 38 percent. Gardner handily won the district-wide competition, though, getting 58 percent of the total 4th District votes cast while Shaffer got about 37 percentThe rest of the districts' votes were split between Libertarian Josh Gilliland and the American Constitution Party's Doug Aden. When asked last week about any lingering effects of that congressional contest, Shaffer said: "You win some and lose somePart of building character is being able to get back up after you've lost one." Meanwhile, one of the up-sides of no longer being in the midst of a political campaign or of carrying out the day-to-day responsibilities that come with being a state legislator, Shaffer said, is that he now has more time to spend with his Longmont friends and his family -- wife Jessicca, a Longmont Estates Elementary School teacher, 11-year-old son Dylan and 8-year-old daughter Madison, students at that school. When he was making his daily commute to Denver, Shaffer said, he deliberately tried to be back home at night in time to tell his kids stories and help put them to bed. "I don't think I missed a parent-teacher conference," he saidHe could recall only a couple of occasions when bad winter weather forced him to sleep in Denver; he then stayed at the home of his mother, Trudy Beamguard. Even so, "I can't remember a two-month period when I really had time, with the family, to look at what the future holds." Now, he said, he blessed with an opportunity to take the time "to find the right fit" when checking out potential career changes. "The truth is, I'm still kind of working my way through on long-range prospects," Shaffer said. That could entail affiliating with an established law firm, or considering appointment to some government post "if the right opportunity came up," or pursuing a management-level position in the private or nonprofit sectors -- positions he said could benefit from the public-sector experience he gained as Senate majority leader and Senate president. Shaffer said he hasn't set a time frame for deciding on his next career choice. "I'm enjoying life right now," Shaffer said, adding that he's getting in shape for playing tennis, a favorite form of personal recreation he'll once again have more time for. Shaffer predicted that "good things will happen in the future" for him and his family. "I'm grateful for the chance to have served in the Legislature," he said, and "I love the town we live in," he said. Shaffer said he's been operating his private law practice out of his northwest Longnmont home, for the time beingHe said that whatever he winds up doing in the future, he hopes to remain based in Longmont. "We are so connected to this community," he said"The schools have been really good for our kidsWe love Longmont and have no plans to leave." 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