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Campaign cash flows to state house, congressional races impacting Eagle County, Western Slope

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October 17, 2017, 7:03 am

Big bucks are pouring into local and regional political races on Colorado’s Western Slope, including the 2018 race for the state House District 26 seat that includes both Eagle and Routt counties.

Dylan Roberts

Dylan Roberts

Eagle Deputy District Attorney Dylan Roberts is seeking both a vacancy committee nod to take over that seat temporarily after HD26 state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush recently resigned and the Democratic nomination to run for the seat next year. Roberts claims to have set an early fundraising record (see press release below).

Eagle County Commissioner Jill Ryan is also seeking the Democratic vacancy committee nod to finish out Mitsch Bush’s term in the state house, which runs through November of next year. Whoever doesn’t get picked on Oct. 28 in Yampa could then try to earn the nomination in a primary. No word yet on potential Republican challengers, but local businessman Michael Cacioppa unsuccessfully challenged Mitsch Bush last year.

If Ryan gets picked by the vacancy committee, then another Democratic vacancy committee would have to select her replacement as county commissioner.

Mitsch Bush started the dominoes tumbling when she announced she would seek the Democratic nomination to run against incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton of Cortez in the 3rd Congressional District, which includes most of the Western Slope.

Mitsch Bush, according to the Denver Post, now has a Democratic opponent in Grand Junction City Councilman Chris Kenney. Mitsch Bush raised just over $140,000 in the last campaign reporting cycle, while Tipton reportedly pulled in about $150,000.

Here’s the press release from Roberts on his run for the state House of Representatives, which requires significantly less campaign cash than the U.S. Congress:

Dylan Roberts raises record amount from small-dollar donations in first quarter of run for State House; will apply for HD 26 vacancy.

 Eagle, CO – Dylan Roberts, candidate for the Colorado State House in District 26, is posting a record quarter of fundraising for a candidate in this region in his first quarter of campaigning. Roberts will be reporting total contributions exceeding $18,000 for the July 1st – September 30th fundraising quarter and a cash-on-hand balance of $16,095. He announced his candidacy for the State House on July 19th following the announcement that the incumbent Representative Diane Mitsch Bush was running for the U.S. Congress.

No candidate for this district or local candidate in this region has raised this much money in the opening quarter of their first run for office in recent memory. All of Roberts’ contributions came from 254 individual donations with an average donation of $71. All donations were collected through grassroots efforts as he accepted no PAC or special-interest money and held no fundraisers.

“I decided to run for the State House in this district because it is where I grew up and where I now call home but also because I believe that our district and our state needs fresh leadership with bold ideas for Colorado’s future generations. The outpouring of grassroots support I received in the first quarter of the campaign shows that the voters agree with that vision,” Roberts said.

Since launching his campaign, Roberts has engaged in a district-wide listening tour by meeting with over sixty business, governmental, educational, non-profit, environmental, and community leaders one-on-one to introduce himself and hear from them about what they want to see from their state government. He has received the endorsement of elected officials from both counties including Eagle County Assessor Mark Chapin, Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger, and Eagle County School Board President Kate Cocchchiarella. He has also been endorsed by other prominent officials including US Congressman Ed Perlmutter, former State Senator Gail Schwartz, local mayors and city councilors, State Senators and Representatives, and the national progressive organization Run For Something. Finally, Roberts is proud to have received the backing of dozens of voters from all corners of the district. A full list of endorsements can be found at: DylanRoberts.org/endorsements.

Dylan Roberts is also announcing his intention to apply to the House District 26 Vacancy Committee meeting taking place on October 28th in Yampa. Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush announced on October 2nd her intention to resign her State House seat to focus full-time on running for Congress and per state law, a vacancy committee will choose a replacement to fill out the remainder of her term in Denver.

“As the only candidate with significant ties to both counties, I will enthusiastically apply to fill the remainder of Representative Mitsch Bush’s term,” Roberts said. “I believe that my stance on the issues like reducing the cost of healthcare, funding our transportation needs, and making this district more livable for the working class combined with my experience working in the legislature, the strong campaign I have already built, and the fact that I am a voice that represents Colorado’s next generation best equips me to serve this district and to be an effective lawmaker. It would be the privilege of a lifetime to represent both the county where I grew up and the county where I live and serve now.”

Dylan Roberts grew up in Routt County and now lives in Eagle County where he serves as a Deputy District Attorney. The two counties comprise all of House District 26. More information on Dylan and his campaign can be found at DylanRoberts.org.

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