Steamboat native Dylan Roberts launches run for state legislature
July 19, 2017
Steamboat Springs native and current Eagle County Deputy District Attorney Dylan Roberts announced July 19 his bid to run for Colorado House District 26 in the 2018 election as the Democratic candidate.
The path to the Colorado House of Representatives opened up earlier this month when State Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush announced she would step down from the legislature in mid-term, sometime in November, to mount a challenge to U.S. Rep Scott Tipton for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District seat.
"It would be the privilege of a lifetime to represent the county where I grew up and the county where I live and work now," Roberts said in a news release. "I am running for the State House, because our state faces some large challenges. I will be a fresh and bold voice for these two counties in the State House and by focusing on public policy that makes life better and easier for Coloradans."
Roberts has formally filed his candidacy with the Colorado Secretary of State, which clears him to begin raising funds for a run for the legislature. Voters can learn more about him at dylanroberts.org
"The reason I'm launching now is that every other candidate for 2018 is already doing things needed to earn voters' trust," Roberts told Steamboat Today. "I'm new — I want to talk to people, raise money and start building a campaign. I want to be prepared — November 2018 will come very quickly."
Roberts has practical experience in organizing political campaigns.
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After earning his high school diploma from Steamboat Mountain School in Steamboat Springs, Roberts attended Boston College, where he got his feet wet in politics, serving as the Northwest field organizer for Barack Obama's 2008 campaign for president. In the process, he opened and ran the first-ever presidential field office in Routt County's history. Roberts returned to Colorado in 2012 with degrees in political science and environmental science and became the Western Colorado Field Director for Obama's re-election campaign. That role required him to manage more than 30 staff members in 16 offices across Western Colorado.
Mitsch Bush told Steamboat Today July 6 she would follow through with her legislative commitments on the interim Transportation Legislation Review and Interim Water Resources Review Committees, vetting prospective new bills this fall. When that work is done, she will resign her seat.
Consequently, Democratic party members from Eagle and Routt counties will convene a vacancy committee to name an interim state representative to be sworn in and serve out the balance of Mitsch Bush' two year term (she was reelected in 2016).
Roberts confirmed to Steamboat Today that he hopes to be named to that interim role and, in fact, his 2018 candidacy likely hinges on that decision by the review committee.
"I will apply to the vacancy committee, and I look forward to doing that," he said. "If there are other candidates, and I'm not chosen, I would most likely support them in the general election. I'm a team player."
Already, Roberts has impressive recommendations from well-placed government figures.
After graduating from Boston College, he attended the University of Colorado Law School. During that time, he worked for State Rep. Mike Foote as a legislative policy advisor.
"From day one, I saw Dylan tackle complex policy issues and show a willingness to serve the people of Colorado by helping to craft good public policy," Foote was quoted saying in a new release. "I am proud to endorse Dylan to join me in the legislature."
Sue Birch, a Steamboat Springs resident and a member of the Governor's cabinet as the director of health care policy and financing, has known Roberts for many years.
"Dylan has always been driven by a strong desire to do his part to give back to his community," she wrote. "He is exactly the kind of young and fresh voice that we need helping to make policy for our state."
Along with working to improve transportation infrastructure and serving on a business committee to get involved in job creation, Roberts said he wants to explore ways to make Routt and Eagle counties more livable for members of his generation.
"It's hard, in your late twenties, if you have student debt," he said. "There's more to be done to keep good people here."