The 59th House District is six counties in size, stretching from Pagosa Springs to Durango to Gunnison and points on either side, a lengthy but beautiful drive mostly through the San Juan National Forest. The district has been represented by Barbara McLachlan, a former high school teacher and native Coloradan, for four years. She would like another two years.
McLachlan has focused on educational issues during her time at the state capitol, from increased general funding to programs designed to use incentives to reduce the shortage of teachers.
This past term, she pushed legislation that made it possible for work experience to qualify for college credits and to add two additional seats on the Fort Lewis Colorado board of trustees for a Native American and a third local resident.
Media literacy, to be taught in the schools, was another successful legislative initiative of hers.
She also serves on the Rural and Agriculture Committee, where water is usually the first concern.
McLachlan, a Democrat, has always been approachable, transparent and comfortable debating the issues. She knows how to listen.
In the coming session she says that buying local and affordable housing are likely to be of importance.
There is a Republican on the ballot, Marilyn Harris from Pagosa Springs. Harris leads the Republican women’s organization there and statewide.
Harris is apparently a latecomer to the race and has not been visible in La Plata County.
Barbara McLachlan deserves another term.