James Iacino flew his own plane to Durango last Friday for the next day’s political events. Twenty-five minutes from Montrose, he told The Herald’s editorial board. With that kind of travel time, covering the 3rd Congressional District’s 29 counties will be a whole lot easier than by car.
Iacino is a newcomer to the Western Slope of Colorado, and a newcomer to an attempt for elected office; a run for the 3rd Congressional District seat is his first foray. High school for Iacino was in Denver, then an undergraduate degree in business and an MBA from Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
The business degrees were appropriate. Iacino is the third generation to own and manage the Seattle Fish Company, based in Denver.
Iacino says his grandfather, having arrived in Colorado from Italy in 1905 as a child, began by selling from a cart through downtown Denver. In 1918, the wholesale fish company was underway.
Later came expansion to the Western Slope, and now Iacino is running the company from Montrose. The lifestyle in Montrose appealed to Iacino and his wife, who are raising two young children.
Iacino is centering his campaign to be the Democrat nominee to challenge incumbent Republican Scott Tipton on his belief in the merits of capitalism, fiscal conservatism and the success and strength of his family company. His family ownership and union employees have a long history of working well together, he says, with the average employee at the company staying for 14 years. Developing employees is the key, he says.
Iacino is also supporting his alma mater, having created a foundation to support CSU students involved in aspects of global leadership.
About the decisions he would make in Congress, Iacino said he would aggressively advocate job creation and for infrastructure construction in Colorado and across the country. Jobs are critical, and infrastructure improvements are woefully lacking, he says. If the country has to go into debt, as it has, that debt should be used for infrastructure.
About the ideological and political splits in the country, Iacino says that it is the 5% on both right and left which are in the news. The large center, he says, wants compromise in moving the country forward. He can help make that compromise happen, he says.
As to health care, Iacino says he supports the public option. He also says he will protect and promote public lands.
He supports the “red flag” gun-safety law, as Colorado has, and would like it applied nationally.
It is too early for The Herald’s editorial board to make an endorsement in the Democrat race for the 3rd Congressional District, which also includes Diane Mitsch Bush and Root Routledge (and on the Republican side, five-term Tipton has a challenger in Lauren Boebert), but between now and the party primary election, James Iacino merits watching.
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As a Colorado civics primer, there will be both party caucuses and primary elections in Colorado (Iowa, in the news, has only caucuses, New Hampshire an election). Each party’s candidate for the 3rd Congressional District seat, for example, can appear on the June 30 primary election ballots either through support in the caucuses, which take place the first week of March, or by submitting signatures.
A separate presidential primary election takes place in Colorado on March 3, one of 14 states in what is labeled as Super Tuesday. Voting in the primary elections will be mail-in, as are all Colorado elections.