Interview with SD8 candidate Solomon

RBC | “I want to help be the voice and the messenger and the representative in the senate for this northwest corner of Colorado,” said two-time Eagle trustee, business owner and longtime Colorado resident Matt Solomon. He’s running for Colorado’s Senate District 8 against Democrat Dylan Roberts.

Solomon cites his array of public service experience, a willingness to learn and desire to “bridge the gap” of political divides as reasons why he is good candidate for office. Having founded international and local businesses, Solomon said his “multiple career paths” would be invaluable. One of Solomon’s businesses included Alpine Arms, a gun shop in Eagle where conversations about state gun legislation eventually led to a foray into politics. “People regularly came to me and asked questions about legislation that was being passed,” he said, including 2013 laws that increased background check requirements, added fees, and aimed to close private sale loopholes of guns in Colorado. Solomon noted the “intent” behind the laws was good, but he said the implementation was negative. Before getting involved in politics directly, Solomon also helped to promote a “white water park” in Eagle. “Through that process and those efforts several people asked me to run for town council,” he said. After two terms in local Eagle government, Solomon is ready to step into state politics.

“Northwest Colorado has not been fully represented,” said Solomon, adding, “I do bring a balanced voice.” Balance and “bridging the gap” came up more than once for the two-time Eagle Town Councilor, businessman, and Colorado resident of 26 years. He also worked as a paramedic and photographer/videographer for certain magazines and publications.

EDUCATION FUNDING

Matt Solomon’s first issue to address when asked was education funding. Thanks to a recession-era budget rule, state legislators can take money from the education fund to balance the budget. Known as “budget stabilization,” the rule has cut off hundreds of millions from Colorado schools since 2008. “Most people are unaware that the funding we’re approving for the schools isn’t making it to the schools, and that’s deceptive, I call it a ‘budget gimmick,’” Solomon said, also criticizing the way funds raised by legal mairjuna sales are distributed to school districts. Referring to the budget stabilization, Solomon stated, “We really need to right that wrong.”

ECONOMY AND PUBLIC SAFETY

“Every other issue rolls up into the economy,” Solomon said, describing how he believes “majority party” policies have driven industries out, raised the cost of living and generally made the streets “less safe.”

In terms of economic solutions for places like Rio Blanco County, Solomon said “we are looking for solutions within the same industries that are there, but also introducing new industries, both [in] energy and manufacturing”

On public safety, Solomon decried 2013-14 gun legislation passed in the state, as well as recent bills which decriminalized possession of certain drugs like fentanyl.

BRIDGING THE GAP

Solomon said he uses the term “bridge the gap” deliberately to contrast the oft-repeated term “reaching across the aisle.” “I don’t want to keep the chasm and the divide there, I want to bridge that,” said Solomon, adding “instead of focusing the conversation on finding the one spot where we disagree and making that the issue, we need to remember, there’s a whole lot of things we do agree on, and we need to have a conversation about the things we disagree on, so we can look out for our youth, and the best interests of our district.”


By LUCAS TURNER | lucas@ht1885.com

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