I attended Representative Dan Thurlow’s announcement of his run against Senator Ray Scott yesterday. For the record, I ran against Ray Scott and lost. I attended with Heidi Jeanne Hess, the former chair of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
The crowd at the announcement was small, but there were notable Republican leaders attending, including Kathy Hall (former County Commissioner and spokesperson for the oil and gas industry until she fell out of favor for drinking fracking fluid,) Tillie Biship (former state Senator and part of the original group that founded the Riverfront Commission, a man noted for his decency,) and Phyllis Norris (current Grand Junction City Councilwoman, and former mayor, a woman noted for her tone-deafness regarding minority members of the community.)
In Thurlow’s speech he noted that he had attended League of Women Voters events–which shouldn’t be a big deal, but for some reason the local attitude is that the organization is only for Democrats–despite its long history of being non-partisan. He also noted that he had attended Black Lives Matter meetings in Grand Junction, which I can confirm because I was at one of those meetings. His point was that an elected official has a responsibility to represent and talk to all of his constituents. That will be a breath of fresh air for this community.
The incumbent Senator famously refused to talk to members of the LGBTQ community on their lobby day, believing that Mesa County didn’t have any Gays. I was one of three people who filed an ethics complaint against Senator Ray Scott because he has blocked us on his Facebook page, despite a recent court ruling that suggests the practice is unconstitutional. Scott argues that it is his personal page, and not part of his campaign.
Thurlow made a big impression when he hosted a Town Hall meeting to discuss how TABOR, and other tax related constitutional amendments hamper work in Colorado’s legislature. Most Republicans won’t touch that subject. He packed the room, and people in attendance were both from his party and from mine. He brought in real experts who told the whole story, which was appreciated by the Democrats in attendance.
There are lots of issues on which I disagree with Dan Thurlow, but unless another candidate comes along with strong name recognition and community support, he’ll get my vote in the General, if he survives the Primary vote by his party. Ray Scott is proud of the fact that he is a climate denier and unabashed supporter of everything fossil fuels. (I believe our future depends on moving away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy.) I have been a critic of Scott, since I first met him on his first run for the Colorado House. He is an arrogant misogynist and bad businessman. Mesa County should be able to do better.