Personal injury lawyer and liberal Democrat Dan Robinson announced today in Grand Junction that he will challenge Ray Scott, the Republican incumbent, for the seat in Colorado House District 55 in this year's election. Dan Robinson has a long history in Western Colorado and has worked as a personal injury lawyer for many years. He served on the school board for Mesa County Valley School District 51 for two terms, and is currently on the board of trustees for Colorado Mesa University.
Dan Robinson was an advocate of “civil rights and equality” in public education. Robinson has advocated for education funding and programs that would help to hire more Hispanic teachers in the school district, and increase minority involvement in the political process. Dan Robinson often bemoaned the inadequate funding to local schools.
Ray Scott ran unopposed in 2010 and has been a popular representative among local Republicans. A minor controversy occurred when, during the recent redistricting process, the boundaries of House Districts 54 and 55 were changed. Ray Scott, during that process, moved into a house in another part of Mesa County which he had owned for some time, unaware of some of the miniscule changes that affected his district. It was determined only days ago that Representative Scott’s current place of residence does not impede his plans to run for the District 55 seat this year.
Dan Robinson is hoping to capitalize on the new District 55 boundaries which currently encompass more of Grand Junction City proper. Theoretically, that would make the District less conservative and more competitive, placing more Democrat voters within its boundaries. Ray Scott, who is known as an advocate of energy exploration and expansion, has been a bulldog at the heels of Governor Hickenlooper in his attempts to get him to pay attention to the dismal employment situation in Mesa County. Whether or not Dan Robinson can run a truly competitive race against Ray Scott may be largely determined by whether or not his fellow Democrats in Denver will take real measures to improve the economies of towns on the Western Slope.