The room erupted in whoops and cheers as Jane Barnes took the stage.
She even received a standing ovation by fellow party constituents.
Barnes, former member of the Jefferson County Board of Education, is the GOP pick for the state house representative for House District 23. She replaces former candidate Nate Marshall who dropped from the race following allegations of racism.
She made one of her first public debuts during a “Meet the Candidates” forum at the Lakewood American Legion on Thursday, May 29.
“I have a lot to offer actually,” Barnes said. “I’ve worked in health care and served on the Jeffco school board … 75 percent of the state general operating fund is health care and education so I think I have a great background for those two big issues.”
Spending eight years on the Jeffco board of education, Barnes discovered a passion for policy and gained an understanding of the legislative process, she explained. “I think local control is really important,” she said. “Community engagement and understanding what the community wants and reflecting their voice is really important.”
She will run against incumbent Democratic Rep. Max Tyler who has been the state representative for House District 23 for the last three years.
“I’ve seen him interact with a lot of constituents and I think he listens and engages people pretty well at least on an individual level,” Barnes said. “I think he could just not vote straight party line all the time … that gets back to saying you have to listen to all constituents that you represent and try to forge some sort of compromise across constituent groups and that’s hard.”
Colorado’s Republican candidates for the 2014 election presented their platforms and spoke on what they say is voter unrest with the Democratic party at the forum. Candidates such as Don Yetterberg, R-Arvada for the 7th Congressional District made an appearance, as well as Jeffco Board of County Commissioner Don Rosier who is seeking re-election, County Commissioner Faye Griffin who will be running for Clerk and Recorder and former U.S. Representative Tom Tancredo, now a 2014 candidate for governor.
“I don’t believe that Colorado is as blue a state as depicted,” Tancredo said.
He noted the 2013 election recall of two Colorado democratic senators John Morse and Angela Giron for their support on gun control legislation. “This is a great step forward for us,” he said. “Some great things are happening.”
He will run against fellow republican candidate Bob Beauprez in the primaries. Both men spoke on the friendship they have developed over the years.
“I believe that we will be friends in the many years to come,” Tancredo said.
“The admiration is mutual,” Beauprez responded.
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