Oak Creek mom announces run for Colorado House seat
Savannah Wolfson, 32, moved to the Yampa Valley in 2016 and has fallen in love with the area’s agricultural roots
An Oak Creek mom announced her run for Routt County’s seat in the State House on Sunday, Jan. 16, becoming the second person in a race that could be one of the most competitive in the state.
Savannah Wolfson, who moved to South Routt County in 2016, lives with her husband and two children and is running as a Republican in the District 26 race. The district, as redrawn last year, includes Routt, Moffat, Rio Blanco counties and most of Eagle County.
“I don’t feel that the people that we’ve been sending to represent us actually vote our culture and values,” Wolfson said in an interview Monday. “I don’t want a politician to represent me who doesn’t bring up my needs and fight for them.”
Wolfson, 32, has lived many places, but was drawn to Colorado on a trip to the mountains in high school. In 2016, her family moved to Oak Creek from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Wolfson said they have fallen in love with the district’s agricultural roots.
But she feels elected officials on the Front Range have overstepped and are trying to tell those on the Western Slope how best to manage the land. Wolfson said many locals she talks to are still upset about the decision to reintroduce wolves in their backyards.
Wolfson pointed to one of the first bills introduced by Democrats in the Colorado State Senate this session as another example of the disconnect she sees. The bill would outlaw mountain lion and bobcat hunting in Colorado and is sponsored by three Front Range Democrats, with a fourth whose district spans the Continental Divide.
“There are a lot of people who think that they’re experts on this,” Wolfson said. “Really, they need to leave conservation for people who actually are experts in that field.”
Wolfson has been involved in local Republican politics but has always considered herself to be better in a supporting role. After considering it for two months, Wolfson said she decided to run because she wants to ensure she is happy with the candidate.
Routt County Republicans Chair Pete Wood said Wolfson had reached out about a month ago, and he is excited that she decided to step up.
“I think she represents all the issues that are important to rural and conservative Routt County,” Wood said. “She is very articulate, smart and really has the passion and energy to represent us.”
School choice will be a big issue for Wolfson, who sends one of her children to public school and homeschools the other. Rather than funding systems, Wolfson said she believes in funding students.
“Every students has different needs, and every school has something different to offer,” said Wolfson, who used to work in public schools.
Wood said that he is unaware of anyone else pursuing the Republican nomination for the District 26 House seat. The only other announced candidate in the district is Democrat Meghan Lukens, a 28-year-old teacher from Steamboat Springs.
The district is current represented by Democrat Dylan Roberts, of Avon, but he running for a seat in the state Senate. Democrats have represented District 26 since it was drawn in 2010, with the last contested election in 2018 being won by Roberts by 24 percentage points.
But redistricting has changed the landscape. Election results from eight statewide elections since 2016 give Democrats a slight edge of 2.7%, according to data from Colorado’s Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission.
“This is a great opportunity for us, the way the climate is in the country right now and the direction of the Democratic Party,” Wood said. “We are in a good spot, especially with someone like (Wolfson).”
Wolfson announced her campaign in Hayden on Sunday and is working to meet with people around the district. She said she hopes to represent young families specifically and wants to make the legislature in general more “mom-friendly.”
“A lot more young families are getting politically active now, and they need representation,” Wolfson said. “I’m going to fight really hard to bring it for them.”
To reach Dylan Anderson, call 970-871-4247 or email danderson@SteamboatPilot.com.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.