Rick Enstrom to Challenge Max Tyler

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.  

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