RBC | Rio Blanco County Democrats held their County Assembly in Meeker March 11. First and foremost, they heard from their candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, the State House seat, and surrogates for gubernatorial and state attorney general candidates.
Attending in person were immediate past State Representative Diane Mitsch Bush from Steamboat Springs representing Routt and Eagle Counties and Glenwood Springs attorney Karl Hanlon. Mitsch Bush and Hanlon hope to be on the June primary Democratic ballot vying to be the nominee to challenge Colorado Third Congressional District Representative Scott Tipton, R-Cortez. Both brought their own entourage of supporters. Colin Wilhelm, also a Glenwood Springs attorney, spoke to his run for the State House District 57 seat.
Mitsch Bush talked about having to resist some of the Trump
Administration budget and program cutbacks as well as the overwhelming influence of unlimited corporate dollars in campaigns for federal offices. Both her campaign and that of Hanlon’s state they are not accepting political action committee contributions unlike their Republican opponent,Tipton, whom they regard as having been bought and paid for by large corporate support.
She wants to work toward a single-payer, universal health care system including the current child health insurance program (CHIP), Medicare, and Medicaid. She pointed out that the current single-payer Veterans Administration program operates at one third the cost of Medicare and Medicaid. She also wants to take on the drug cartel and stop them from being able to set prescription drug costs without any apparent limitations.
Hanlon grew up on a ranch that’s still in the family 30 miles north of Walden. Now a municipal and water attorney in Glenwood Springs, he and wife also run a non-profit that brings autistic kids and veterans with PTSD together with therapy horses and other animals. Hanlon promises attention to veterans, proper, balanced management of public lands, and the pursuit of diverse economies for the District. He’s especially enthusiastic about Pueblo rapidly becoming a renewable energy industry center.
The county Democrats also filled a couple looming officer and precinct committee person vacancies. Upriver ranching scion Joe Livingston was elected vice-chair and retired teacher and Craig native, Debra Frazier, was elected secretary-treasurer. They join county chair Paula Davis, a former Rangely mayor, who presided over Sunday’s meeting.
The group elected Carrie and Nicholas Swails, Rangely, to be their delegates to the April State Assembly in Broomfield. The Swails will carry forward recommended State Party Platform positions on transparency in government, state support for heritage and agricultural tourism, support for school finance reform being initiated by a majority of school superintendents in the state, improved public access to state waters, intervention in the vast inequality of corporate executive pay, and keeping intact the integrity of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Gubernatorial candidate, Cary Kennedy, and State Attorney General candidate, Rep. Joe Salazar, Thornton, were represented by surrogates. RBC Democratic delegates will go to the state assembly solidly in support of Kennedy’s bid for governor.