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January 10, 2012 05:57 AM UTC

Rick Enstrom to Challenge Max Tyler

  • by: Colorado Pols

Although incumbent Representatives Andy Kerr, Max Tyler, and Ken Summers will all reside within the new HD-23, only Tyler announced a campaign to return to the House.

Today, candy consigliere Rick Enstrom revealed his plans to take on Tyler. From KDVR:

On Monday, local businessman Rick Enstrom (R-Lakewood) announced his candidacy for Colorado’s state House of Representatives, District 23.

“We’ve seen what happens when there is no check on the radical tax-and-spend agenda pushed by Democratic legislators. People lose their jobs and working families suffer,” said Rick Enstrom, candymaker and newly announced candidate for HD 23.  “We must strike a new direction that clears the way for employers to create jobs. We must pursue legislative priorities that fund our schools and foster economic security for families fighting so hard to make ends meet.”

Enstrom is an executive with Enstrom Candies and has previously served as a volunteer member of Colorado’s Wildlife Commission and Great Outdoors Colorado as well as an EMT and member of the Highland Rescue Team.  He also served one term on the Mesa County Commission from 1978-1982.

“Rick is the right guy to serve in the state legislature,” said Shelly Liley, district resident and mother of three children who grew up in Lakewood.  “He’s always the first to offer his help and to lend a hand in the neighborhood, whether it’s shoveling snow or grilling the burgers at our bbq’s, Rick’s there doing the work with us.”

Enstrom is challenging Democratic incumbent Max Tyler (D-Lakewood).

Enstrom will likely enjoy a better-than-average name ID resulting from the boxes of toffee bearing his name. Still, there’s just no way to sugar coat the numbers: Democrats retain a 4% registration advantage and former State Treasurer Cary Kennedy won the district with 54% of the vote in 2010.

In short, no matter how much voters like his company’s gourmet chocolate, Enstrom’s not going to win the numbers game.

That said, Tyler’s never had a real opponent before, and the reapportionment process has given him plenty of new doors to knock – only about 25% of the old HD-23 is included within the district’s 2012 lines. For all intents and purposes, then, Enstrom and Tyler will be facing off for what is a left-leaning and functionally open seat.

No word on which candidate will earn the coveted endorsement of Willy Wonka.

(Cross-posted from Jeffco Pols)


22 thoughts on “Rick Enstrom to Challenge Max Tyler

  1. From TPTSNBN:

    One of the most visible faces opposed to levying a sales tax on candy was Rick Enstrom, a regional manager for Enstrom’s Candies in Grand Mesa. In passionate remarks often later quoted by Republican lawmakers, Enstrom testified about his family’s 50- year-old business and the 146 Coloradans it employs.

    “The adoption of a discriminatory tax on candy will have a huge impact on many small confectionery businesses and make it even more difficult to survive during these difficult economic times,” he testified.

    As it turns out, removing the sales-tax exemption on candy won’t affect the company, which has a large mail-order operation, because the majority of its products are frozen or refrigerated after production and not taxed under the law.

    “Once we actually analyzed it, since our products are frozen or refrigerated, it turned out it wasn’t that much of a deal for us,” Enstrom said, acknowledging that the company knew that even at the time he testified before lawmakers.

    “I was mostly carrying that fight for the National Confectioners Association,” he said. “It just struck us as morally objectionable to fund (state) salaries on the backs of little kids riding their bikes to the 7-Eleven to get a Mars bar.”

    Small businessman or amateur lobbyist?  In professional cycling, water carriers are called “domestique”, or servant.

  2. Rick is one of the good guys left in the “Republican” party.  He has two problems which may lead to a Tea-Party challenge.  He’s pro-choice and he re-registered as an unaffiliate at one point so that Owens could appoint him to a commission that already had too many Republicans on it.  I assume that he has since re-registered as a Republican.  Both of these issues will be problems in the ultra conservative “Republican” party in this area of the county.

    Remember, in 1992, it was this area of the county where the nuts defeated two incumbent Republican office-holders in the primary that began the downfall of the “Republican” party in Jeffco.  Resulted in the election of Mike Feeley to the state senate when a bunch of us RINO’s worked with the Dems for the first time to get Mike elected.

    So, neither of the negatives from a “Republican” party point of view is a negative for me, but may be in a “Republican” primary.

    Good luck Rick.

    1. Not only did he lie to multiple legislative committees about the impact removing a sales tax exemption would have on his business, he lied in this article characterizing the Democrat’s as having a “radical tax-and-spend agenda”. We all know that state lawmakers can neither tax nor spend as a result of TABOR and decreased revenues.    

    2. I might leave him alone. But he’s in favor of lying to the legislature in which he hopes to serve and lying about his opponent–and that’s before he’s even started to campaign. Let’s see how long a guy like that stays “pro-choice” when he’s running for office, shall we?

      Craig, I hope you’re right and Enstrom really is a great guy who had a couple of moral lapses that led him to lie to legislative committees and then lie again in this very article introducing his candidacy. Maybe he’s sworn off lying (after just that last little one). But I don’t trust him, and I don’t think the voters of HD 23 will either, not when they already have a solid, hard-working guy like Max Tyler who listens to them.

  3. to see how Hick lends himslef to all the D campaigns. I’m sure he knows and is being told that it is essential if he wants a future in electoral politics. But, how enthusiastic will he be?  

  4. Rick Enstrom is the type of top tier candidate who can unseat Max Tyler  Enstorm is wealthy and well connected.  If the Republicans have other candidates of this caliber in other districts it does not bode well for the Democrats retaking the majority.  

    1. Even though Rep. Tyler’s district has changed he has deep and wide roots in his new district. He also is a very hard-working candidate with a sound legislative track record. Enstrom’s name recognition isn’t as big as this post makes it sound. The Enstrom name is much bigger on the western slope where the company is actually located. I don’s see Rick the Liar posing much of a threat.  

      1. With SHK.  But, if, an cujo says Tyler has roots and works hard, he can win re-election.  Know that Rick Enstron has run for office before.  He was the youngest County Commissioner in Mesa County ever.  And, he’s been in this district for more than 20 years too.  Don’t underestimate him.

    1. But I am not.  The news isn’t about fair and balanced.  It’s about telling the truth.  I don’t see why a comment from Tyler has anything to do with Enstrom’s announcement or why anyone should care.  When you ask these types of questions, you only enable those who believe that news reporting is to be fair and balanced.  You may be snarking at Fox, but to do so, you buy into their “mystique.”  Just say Fox isn’t fair and balanced and it isn’t supposed to, it’s supposed to report only the facts and that’s where it fails.

      1. When one of the first things out of Enstrom’s mouth is a false attack on Tyler and his fellow Democrats a think a respectable journalist would seek out the other side of the story. Instead, this article simply props up Enstrom and let’s him get away with misinforming the readers.

        The reality is Enstrom’s campaign probably wrote the article and the Fox31 staff just published it as is because they don’t have the intelligence to write their own story. I wish Rick Enstrom the best of luck because he’ll need it. Max Tyler has a lot of dedicated supporters that will do everything they can to protect that seat.  

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