Jan 252006
Authors: James Baetke

A Fort Collins Democratic and professional beekeeper is generating buzz with his campaign for a seat in the Colorado House of Representatives this November.

Randy Fischer is a CSU alumus hoping to be elected to the District 53 seat. He will replace outgoing Rep. Angie Paccione, a Democrat vying for a spot in Congress.

When elections take place in November, Fischer does not necessarily want voters to know him as the man who used to tend 1,100 bee hives-a full-time job that took him to California pollinating crops and to producing honey locally-but as a man dedicated to public service, a clean environment and the sanctity of CSU.

"CSU is critical in this district. It is the center of the district, it is the center of the economy and it is the center of professionalism," Fischer said.

The 54-year-old engineering consultant accredits CSU for shaping much of his professional career. He earned a master's degree in civil engineering and a bachelor's degree in natural resources management, claiming the title of Outstanding Graduating Senior for the College of Natural Resources in 1976.

"I am a successful businessman because of my education at CSU," Fischer said.

Born in Fort Collins, Fischer grew up in a "humble" family during tumultuous political times in the United States.

"I had my political awakening in 1968 when Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated," he said.

In a heated political and environmental era, Fischer's senior year in high school proved ever changing. He is now increasingly concerned with the environment-his home sits on three acres, part of which is a miniature wildlife refuge-and the way government is handling higher education and a depleting healthcare system.

His graduating class includes friends Ray Martinez, former Fort Collins mayor, and state Sen. Bob Bacon.

Paying for college was tough for the Fischer family, so Randy decided to save his parents from hefty loans and went to CSU for a combined education of several years.

Today, Fischer specializes in cleaning out old and abandoned mines and consults for the clean up of hazardous waste. He is married to a retired English teacher who taught with the Poudre School District.

Face un-phased and eyes forward, Fischer said of his profitable career choice: "I am an expert in acid mine drainage. I clean things up."

Having worked on election campaigns for city council members and a Larimer County commissioner, along with serving on at least three city advisory boards, Fischer has never served as an elected official.

"This is the first time I have run for an elected office," he said, but admits, "Leading a campaign is serious business, you just cannot wake up one day and decide to run."

Fischer has an invested interest in all things related to CSU.

"To be an affective representative you must go out and find what people are concerned about," Fischer said, who believes the student population is widely concerned with increasing tuition and gaps in state financial aid.

If elected, the mining guru wants to set party affiliation aside and create and vote on bills based on personal and constituent needs, not based him being a Democrat.

"I am appalled by the partisanship at the Capitol," he said. "It turns people off."

Fischer is not aware of any Democrat stepping up against his campaign, but Republican Anne Wyeldell has come forward as his opposition, he said.

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