Candidates for state House, Senate and Routt commissioner vie for votes at election forum (with video) | SteamboatToday.com
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Candidates for state House, Senate and Routt commissioner vie for votes at election forum (with video)

Candidates up and down the ballot vying for election on Nov. 8 spoke to Routt County voters Monday, Oct. 10, as part of the Steamboat Pilot & Today 2022 Election Forum.

Hosted in partnership with the Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors, the Steamboat Chamber and both local political parties, the forum aimed to help voters learn more about the candidates for Colorado Senate District 8, House District 26, Routt County commissioner and more.

The forum also featured candidates in uncontested races for county treasurer, assessor and clerk and recorder.



Senate District 8

In what has become a campaign fueled by outside groups spending nearly $1.3 million lobbing attacks at each other, both candidates for Senate district 8 said political polarization is a significant issue and they are the one to rise above it.

Republican Matt Solomon, a former Eagle Town Council member, quoted President Ronald Reagan saying that people agree on 80% of the issues and that should be a large focus.



Solomon said he is working to form a “Western Slope Caucus” to work with legislators of both parties and put “extremist division aside.”

Democratic candidate for Colorado Senate District 8 Dylan Roberts speaks as his Republican challenger Matt Solomon looks on at the Steamboat Pilot & Today Election Forum on Monday, Oct. 10, 2022, hosted in partnership with the Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors, Steamboat Chamber and both local political parties.
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today

“We can communicate for an expansion and knowledge of growth on the 20% that we disagree on,” Solomon said. “We need to stop communicating for conversion and we need to work for the betterment of our district and the betterment of our state.”

Democrat Dylan Roberts, who currently represents Routt and Eagle counties in the Colorado House, said he is already a member of such a caucus and that he has worked on more bills with Western Slope colleagues than he has other Democrats.

Republican candidate for Colorado Senate District 8 Matt Solomon speaks as his Democratic challenger Dylan Roberts looks on at the 2022 Election Forum on Monday, Oct. 10.
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Roberts said he has “walked the walk” and voters can “look at his record” if they are worried about partisanship.

“Every single bill I’ve passed except for one has had bipartisan support,” Roberts said. “That’s because when I hear an idea from my constituent and turn it into a piece of legislation, I always go looking across the aisle and try to build partnerships.”

Republican candidate for Colorado house District 26 Savannah Wolfson speaks during Steamboat Pilot & Today 2022 Election Forum on Monday, Oct. 10.
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today

House District 26

Republican candidate Savannah Wolfson opened the Colorado House District 26 election forum by saying that, if elected, she would introduce legislation to stop the reintroduction of wolves in Colorado.

Wolfson said compensation programs won’t address the value of a cow that has been bred to birth calves or the “emotional devastation” the loss of an animal brings.

“I fear what wolf reintroduction will do to my own livestock,” Wolfson said. “Boulder brought it to us, not the Western Slope. We all voted no and it’s not fair that we should have to face this.”

Democratic candidate for Colorado house District 26 Meghan Lukens speaks at Steamboat Pilot & Today’s Election Forum on Monday, Oct. 10.
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Democratic candidate Meghan Lukens said she opposes wolf reintroduction as well, despite an outside group that’s been spending money to say otherwise. As a legislator, Lukens said her role would be to allocate funding to reimburse ranches if livestock are attacked and work to mitigate potential conflicts before they happen.

Lukens said she has met with ranchers on the front lines of wolf conflicts including the Gittlesons in Jackson County, who have lost cattle to a pack that has migrated into the state from Wyoming.

“We can find practical solutions, and it’s imperative that we help people move forward,” Lukens said. “I look forward to working with Democrats and Republicans on this issue to prioritize our agricultural communities, especially with compensation and mitigation.”

Routt County Commissioner Candidates Sonja Macys, a Democrat, center, and Kathi Meyer, a Republican, right, speak at Steamboat Pilot & Today’s Election Forum on Monday, Oct. 10.
Eli Pace/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Routt County Commissioner

Both candidates for Routt County commissioner — Democrat Sonja Macys and Republican Kathi Meyer — voted to approve the Routt County Climate Action Plan when they served on Steamboat Springs City Council.

Macys said her advocacy for climate action shouldn’t surprise anyone, and that she encouraged the passing of such a plan long before it came to fruition. She said one of the main opportunities in the plan is to partner with other mountain towns to get federal funding to take actions outlined in the plan.

“I think we’ve already done the hard work, which is bringing every municipality together around the notion that climate action is real, and we need to address it immediately,” Macys said.

Meyer said when voting for the plan on council, she asked for a timeline in terms of implementation and what taking these steps would cost. While supportive of the plan in concept, in a county with such a high cost of living, Meyer said knowing the costs is important.

“In a time when we’re facing what I think is a recession and we are faced with a county that is high cost of living, I want to see what the cost of the plan is,” Meyer said.


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