Daneya Esgar announced her candidacy for House District 46 in Pueblo at the Steelworker’s Union Hall on January 21, 2014. The seat is being vacated by Representative Leroy Garcia, as Garcia will be running against George Rivera for Senate District 3. Esgar’s competition for the HD46 seat will be, first, Democrat Stephanie Garcia (no relation to Leroy), a term-limited past President of the District 60 School Board. Local caucuses March 4 will select a Democratic nominee, and the final decision will be taken at the County Assembly on March 22nd.
The Democratic nominee for House District 46 will then run against Republican Brian Mater, a Pueblo businessman and failed candidate for Pueblo City Council at-large. Mater is not an especially strong candidate; while evidently a nice guy, he also apparently has a temper, and has not always managed money well. Mater still has a permanent restraining order against him, and was the subject of several court proceedings for questionable business dealings. Mater has not filed any campaign finance reports with the State, although they were due January 15. Mater’s policy positions, as far as they can be determined from his Facebook page for the City Council position, are closer to Stephanie Garcia’s privatizing and union-busting ways– He advocates for returning PERA funds to the City, and for a “balanced budget”. If Garcia and Mater run against each other, it may be hard to tell them apart on budget issues.
As School District 60 President, Stephanie Garcia was heavily criticized by union employees and by parents for her vote to privatize the District’s night custodians and school bus drivers. The move was supposed to cut costs for the cash-strapped district; parents cited safety concerns, and community members warned that “short-term savings could mean long-term problems.”
Daneya Esgar, the granddaughter of two steelworkers, supports “public policy that brings jobs to our community. Not just any jobs, but “jobs that come with the right to bargain for a real living wage.” Esgar spoke about her concerns about poverty in Pueblo:
“Five out of every ten families live below the federal poverty level. Our unemployment rate is still one of the highest in the state. Our city has the highest utility rates and insurance rates in Colorado… Small and successful businesses … have left Pueblo County because of our utility rates…The good news is that there is real work that can be done at the state legislature to fix Pueblo’s high utility rates.”
Pueblo’s Black Hills utility rates are “the highest on the Front Range”, according to those who work with families whose utilities have been shut off for lack of payment. Esgar’s message will resound with Pueblans struggling to pay high utility bills.
Esgar is well-known as an advocate for LGBT issues, and is herself an open lesbian; however, her campaign is much more about economic issues which affect all Pueblans.
From her press release:
Daneya Esgar has worked closely with local families throughout the community who have sought to improve local law enforcement. She is well-known on the grassroots level for her hands-on work on issues of equality, education, justice, and poverty. Esgar has a record of listening to the community and transforming those needs into sound public policy that is good for Pueblo’s families.
Photo Credit: John Jaques, The Pueblo Chieftain, December 9, 2013
I am one of many in the Pueblo democratic party that believes that Daneya Esgar is a terrible candidate for HD 46. Unfortunately, because of the infighting and division that has gone on recently, many of us are scared to openly say anything about it.
People are getting kicked off of forums, including the democratic chat on Facebook, and not respected for their views and voices. All of this while we have candiddates like Ms. Esgar who like to wear the badge of equality on their sleeves.
Daneya should not even be a candidate for this position, let alone win. She has been a major detriment to the democrats in Pueblo, and has now tried to publically severe her social ties to those that don't serve her new political goals (ie. Angela Giron, Theresa Trujillo, Josette Jarimillo, etc).
My hope is that people see through her self-serving political agenda and reclaim their voices in the democratic system we all work tirelessly to preserve and protect.
Well, hey, let's put all the dirty laundry out here, shall we? I had several of my posts deleted from what used to be Pueblo Dems chat, and was invited to leave the group, but declined. You're only a victim of infighting and silly middle-school level clique-mongering if you consent to be a victim.
I do agree with you that there are gaping wounds in the Pueblo Democratic party, mostly for really trivial personality and territorial conflicts, and as part of the "blame game" for the disastrous recall result. It's a fricking shame. Nobody's actually disagreeing over policy, that I can tell, except maybe on which hill to die on for the gun lobby.
I disagree with you on your assigning blame to the people you named. They are all staunch progressive warriors who have the same long term goals we all share. I've proposed an open, mediated meeting for Dems in Pueblo; instead, we get fake "focus groups" like the one that met in Denver recently, with its one agenda item seemingly to trash Angela Giron, for fear that she might primary Joe Neguse.
"Principles before Personalities" is a motto that we might all be wise to emulate. As far as Ms. Esgar's candidacy, we'll see you at the caucuses – that's where the issue will be decided.
I meant no disrespect for those mentioned as the examples of people Ms. Esgar appears to be attempting to severe public social ties with, nor was I implying that the recall was either a bad or good thing.
A serious consideration for any truly dynamic and forward thinking candidate will be whether they remain impartial to the drama and middle-school behavior you eloquently mentioned, and of which stands at the heart of an example of what makes Daneya a terrible candidate.
Daneya's tactics since recently entering public office and becoming a gay advocate have been rooted in division and us against them battles. She is gossip driven, and vindictive in nature. A major reason that Angela was unforunately recalled most likely had to do with her inability to remain seperated from a cohort that consistently exibits this behavior, and in which Daneya was a major role figure within.
For the democrats to reward these divisive and hateful tactics by nominating candidates like her, will only serve to continue to drive a wedge between the party.
please read, since entering the public arena above****
I'm thrilled Daneya is running for office. What a refreshing change of pace. She has been a great advocate for Pueblo fighting for education, equality, and economic justice. We need more people like Daneya Esgar in office. She has my vote!
bliss, your point of view is apparently common in the Pueblo Democratic party. I attended Esgar's candidacy announcement yesterday, along with members of the media and about 75 Pueblo Dems from all of the different factions that I'm aware of. People were applauding, signing up to donate and to volunteer.
Not mean-mugging each other, not behaving like middle school drama queens. Judging from the crowd's reactions yesterday, Esgar has the potential to help heal some of the divisions in our local party.