Attorney from Glenwood Springs to challenge Bob Rankin for Colorado State House seat
For the first time in several years, a race is shaping up for the Colorado House District 57 seat held by three-term incumbent Republican Bob Rankin of Carbondale.
On Thursday, Glenwood Springs attorney Colin Wilhelm announced that he will run as a Democrat for the House district that includes Garfield, Rio Blanco and Moffat counties, and said he hopes to be a new voice for northwestern Colorado.
“I believe in serving and giving back to my community,” Wilhelm said in a press release. “I think it is time to bring new a voice to the Colorado State House. I would like to make a difference for the 57th and across Colorado.”
Wilhelm said one of issues he plans to address as a state representative is lowering health care and health insurance costs throughout the district. He plans to look at all options public and private.
“The 57th District as a whole has some of the highest health insurance costs in [Colorado], and I want to get that lowered and create more affordable health care for its residents,” he explained.
He also hopes to be a voice for both men and women.
“I want to work for women’s rights and equality, including eliminating the gender pay gap, and I want to bring in new jobs and new industry sectors to the 57th district,” he stated.
Reached at the state Capitol in Denver Thursday afternoon, Rankin said he looks forward to the campaign.
“I think I’ve worked very hard to serve the people of the 57th District, and have been on the Joint Budget Committee for four years,” said Rankin, who added he spent the better part of the afternoon Thursday in JBC meetings.
“I feel I have a long list of things that I have accomplished, and am very bipartisan,” he said. “I have done an awful lot of things across the aisle, and I think people can look at what I’ve done and can continue to do for the next two years.”
Rankin won initial election to the house seat in 2012 in a three-way race that included a Democrat and Libertarian candidate. Another Libertarian candidate was on the 2014 ballot, and Rankin was unopposed for re-election in the 2016 election.
Party nominations will be decided through the county assemblies and state party convention process in March and April.
Wilhelm said he plans to get out and hear from the residents of the 57th District over the next few weeks.
Next Wednesday, he will be at Bluebird Cafe in Glenwood Springs from 8-10 a.m., and two days later on Friday, March 2, he will be at the Starbucks on Airport Road in Rifle from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. talking to folks and answering questions.
“I want to get out there and meet people and listen to their voices and ideas,” he explained. “I’m not just going to be a candidate of Carbondale.”
Colorado District 57 contains Garfield, Moffat and Rio Blanco counties and is geographically one of the largest state house districts in Colorado.
Wilhelm said that he has more stops planned in Craig and Rio Blanco counties, as he hopes to spread out and to listen to as many voices as possible.