Tom Sullivan Takes On Rep. Cole Wist

HD-37 candidate Tom Sullivan (D).

KKTV reports on a familiar face at the state capitol who has filed again to serve in the General Assembly–this time taking on a GOP House leader in a favorable election year:

The father of one of the lives lost in the Aurora theater shooting has announced his candidacy for Colorado House of Representatives.

Tom Sullivan has been an outspoken advocate for both gun control and victims’ rights in the years since his son Alex was gunned down during a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” on July 20, 2012. He has been on the forefront of several pushes to strengthen gun reform laws in Colorado and is challenging a GOP representative with an “A” grade from the NRA for the seat.

In a statement Monday, Sullivan said he was running to implement the kind of change he couldn’t make outside the Capitol.

From Tom Sullivan’s statement announcing his run in HD-37:

“You can raise money for somebody. You can make empowered speeches, but when it comes down to it, you don’t really have the ability to make the change unless you’re the one up there making the vote. That’s what I have to do,” Sullivan said in an interview last week.

Sullivan is challenging GOP Representative Cole Wist, a member with multiple “A” ratings from the NRA and who voted to allow 100-round magazines such as those used in the Aurora shooting.

“I’m doing this for my murdered son Alex, but I’m also doing this because I know that we can do better for my daughter Megan and everyone in Colorado who needs someone to fight for regular people and not protect the well-connected political insiders.”

Ever since the debate in 2013 over gun safety bills in the wake of the Aurora theater shooting in which Tom Sullivan’s son was killed, he has been a member of a core group of witnesses who show up every year to testify against both the repeal of the 2013 laws as well as various new attempts to weaken existing gun laws in general–along with Tom Mauser, the father of a Columbine victim, and Jane Dougherty whose sister was killed in the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting in December of 2012. Their tireless advocacy is part of the reason that none of the repeal attempts have gone anywhere.

And it’s made Tom Sullivan a well-known presence at the Capitol for now a sixth legislative session–long enough to know the process as well as many elected officials. Sullivan lost in his last attempt against Sen. “Handsy” Jack Tate, but 2018’s prospect of an historic Democratic wave makes it a very good year to try again.

If recent events have left you feeling cross with the NRA, here might be a way to punch back.

6 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MADCO says:

    That's Mr. Handsy to you.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      Well, it sounds like he certainly wouldn't be in line to be "The Honorable Jack Tate."

      I'm thinking the Senate majority, protecting its own, may be helping to write some campaign talk and ads. Gotta  hope the enthusiasm doesn't end with the legislative session.

  2. Good for Tom. This looks to be an R+10 district at least at the local level, so not an easy haul…

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