Fruita policeman and former Republican Party activist Jared Wright won the GOP nomination for Colorado House District 54, currently held by Rep. Laura Bradford, who announced earlier in the week that she would not seek re-election.
Wright overwhelmingly won the nod from HD 54 Republicans, winning 38 of 45 ballots, or 84% of the total.
Wright said that he was humbled by the outpouring of support, and the number of votes he received from delegates. “I think this shows my message of limited government and conservative values and principles resonated with voters”.
Wright went on to say that he planned to “continue talking about the issues that folks in this district care about, primarily bringing jobs back to western Colorado, and improving the economy.”
Wright was nominated by Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland, who stressed Wright’s conservative credentials and the need for unity among conservatives. Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey seconded the nomination, citing Wright’s steadfastness and commitment to personal responsibility.
In his nomination speech, Wright said, “I cannot afford to stand on the sidelines and watch the erosion of our values”. He outlined his policy platform by focusing on what he termed the “three E’s”, Economy, Energy and Education. He spoke specifically of eliminating the Business Personal Property Tax, and standing up to EPA regulators in order to help return the Western Slope’s economy to the strength it saw 4 years ago. He also hinted at school choice in outlining his education policy ideas.
John “Rusty” Price, Wright's only opponent, immediately endorsed Wright, with the caveat that he take a look at his ideas.
“I am disappointed at not making it on the ballot,” Price said, “But I will support Jared, and share my ideas with him, and hope that he sees the value in them.”
Price ran his campaign largely on the idea of “state sovereignty” for Colorado, mentioning concepts such as nullification and a state-owned bank as being central to his platform. Price received 16% of the delegate vote total, but said he would not petition onto the ballot.
The seat was left open earlier in the week when incumbent Representative Laura Bradford announced she would not seek re-election, citing concerns over her husband’s health.
Bradford was conspicuously absent from the assembly, where she was an automatic delegate due to her office.
State Senator Steve King and Rep. Ray Scott both spoke at the Assembly. King spoke of how elections have consequences, pointing to the results of “four years of Ritter, and four years of Obama”.
To date, the Democratic Party has not offered up a candidate to challenge Wright in the heavily Republican district.