Spotlight on Colorado House District 23
Colorado House District 23’s race pits the incumbent Representative Max Tyler against challenger businessman Rick Enstrom.
District 23 encompasses Lakewood and Pleasant View with a party split of 31.40% Republican, 35.65% Democrat and 32.19% Unaffiliated, according to the Colorado.gov website. These percentages could have changed after the voter registration deadline of October 9th.
According to the left-leaning JeffcoPols website, Enstrom is outraising Tyler as of the end of September and because of reapportionment, only about 25% of the district would have been voting for the current HD23 in 2010 so the race could be called a toss-up.
Representative Tyler, who took over mid-term in 2009 for the retiring Representative Gwyn Green, is a 24-year resident of Lakewood. He and his wife Susan have one son, Roger, who attended the JeffCo schools.
Tyler says his priorities are education for K-12 and higher education, preserving Colorado’s beauty through renewable energy, and understanding and helping small businesses since he is a small business owner. He says he knows how to create jobs and make a payroll. He has started 3 companies on his own so he is familiar with the challenges of being a business owner.
His website states he supports “the administration’s current effort on enforcing the laws we currently have regarding employer hiring of undocumented workers.” It goes on to say he supports “giving everyone the opportunity for a secure and fair paying job.”
He is also a big advocate for seniors, supporting tax reductions, helping reduce utility costs and protecting seniors from healthcare policy challenges. He also supports renewable energy like wind turbines and solar panels.
A political ad states Tyler raised taxes on seniors, approved wasteful spending and compared school children to maggots and worms. The school children comment came from a speech he gave on the Assembly floor regarding an education reform amendment.
According to the Colorado Observer, Tyler said this in May 2010, ““Why can’t we run schools like a business for crying out loud?…Well, if you were running a business like making bread and the flour came to you, full of maggots and worms, and you had to use it, you would not be able to produce a very good product.”
Learn more about him on his site at www.maxtyler.us.
Rick Enstrom works in his family’s business, Enstrom Candies Inc. a 50-year old Colorado business. He also talks about his love of the outdoors which is illustrated by his chairmanship of the Colorado Wildlife Commission and has a water fowl refuge on his land in southern Colorado.
He is married to Linda and they have two grown sons and three grandchildren. They have lived in Lakewood since moving from Cherry Creek in 1991. Enstrom served as the President and CEO of the Cherry Creek Chamber of Commerce.
His website’s biography says he has been a firefighter, an EMT and part of the Highland Rescue Team. He has also served on the board of Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) which helps allocate lottery funds to help parks, wildlife and open space across Colorado.
His website states he decided to run for one reason – “Get Coloradoans working again.” He wants to control taxes and reduce regulations to help entrepreneurs start business and help get the economy going again. Enstrom, whose mother was a teacher, also supports school choice for giving children the best in education.
Recently, a Democrat 527 group dug up a charge from 27 years ago alleging Enstrom was busted for selling drug paraphernalia from a shop he owned. The Federal Bureau of Investigation states that there is no record of an arrest or charge in this matter. Enstrom is considering libel charges because the charges against him were dismissed with prejudice, according to Colorado Peak Politics which means they could never be brought upon him again and connotes there was no basis for the charges, way back when.
Learn more about Enstrom at www.rickenstrom.com.
Tyler has been endorsed by NARAL, Planned Parenthood, AFO-CIO, Pipefitters Union, Plumbers Union, and Colorado Conservation Voters, among others.
Enstrom has been endorsed by the non-partisan education reform group Stand for Children. Their picks this year are bi-partisan, including a mix of Republicans and Democrats.
He is also being endorsed by Debbie Brown, Director of the Colorado Women’s Alliance. Her statement follows:
“We’ve all heard the alarming news that companies are closing or hanging on to their capital, reluctant to invest in new jobs or equipment because the economy is so uncertain. As a successful small businessman himself, Rick Enstrom has the first-hand experience to know how government can encourage business job creation. He understands that for our economy to grow, our businesses need to grow free of the heavy hand of government that can smother the entrepreneurial spirit. Rick Enstrom will use his business know-how to stand up for private enterprise, the engine of a thriving economy.”