Allies line up behind candidates for Colorado’s 59th District race

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Allies line up behind candidates for Colorado’s 59th District race

J. Paul Brown

Age: 59

Family: Married to Debbie Brown. They have fours sons – Joshua, Luke, Levi and Abraham – and five grandchildren.

Education: Graduated from Farmington High School in 1971, earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from New Mexico State University in 1975.

Work history: Sheep rancher and business owner. La Plata County commissioner for four years and school board member for Ignacio School District for 12 years.



Legislative highlights:



Brown is one of the most socially conservative members of the Legislature. He supports the criminalization of abortion and opposes both the legalization of gay marriage and civil unions.

In 2011, Brown gained a debutante’s notoriety as “the bear guy” by sponsoring a bill in his first session that would have overturned a 1996 ballot initiative banning bear hunting in the summer and spring. The measure died.

More recently, Brown was the only member of the House who voted down a bill that would streamline services for homeless youth and expand the state’s definition of “homeless youth” – from a person between 15 and 18 years old to one between 11 and 21.

In the last two years, he has sponsored bills that brought a new judge to the La Plata and Archuleta county district, banned bath salts (a synthetic drug) and made it easier to hire speakers of Native American languages.

As one of six lawmakers on the committee tasked with overseeing state property, Brown evolved into one of the most voluble advocates for spending money to finish long-delayed maintenance projects.



Chase Olivarius-McAllister

Mike McLachlan

Age: 66

Family: Married to Barbara McLachlan, who is a teacher at Durango High School. They have two children, Brian and Kate.

Education: McLachlan earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Southern Colorado State University in 1970 and a law degree from the University of Arizona in 1973.

Work: McLachlan has worked in La Plata County as a lawyer for 38 years, clerking for Colorado Supreme Court Justice Edward C. Day and serving as a prosecutor and a La Plata County attorney. In 1999, then-Attorney General Ken Salazar appointed McLachlan to be Colorado’s Solicitor General, during which time McLachlan successfully defended the constitutionality of a Colorado law shielding women’s health clinics.



Platform highlights:



McLachlan supports smaller class sizes and is in favor of increasing funding for K-12 education and higher education.

McLachlan supports the rights of existing water-rights holders and protecting Western Slope water from going to the Front Range or to downstream states.

He supports an “all-of-the-above” energy plan for Colorado, favors the carefully regulated development of natural gas and oil, as well as renewable energies.

He favors environmental protections.

He favors expanding access to broadband.

McLachlan supports the continued legality of abortion, supports women’s right to affordable contraception and health screenings. McLachlan said he would support legislation ensuring that women receive equal pay for equal work in Colorado.

McLachlan supports extending the protections of civil unions to all residents in Colorado regardless of their sexuality.

He supports the rights of gun owners.



Chase Olivarius-McAllister

Allies line up behind candidates for Colorado’s 59th District race

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