The Colorado House of Representatives district that includes CSU, State House District 53, features a district attorney and a former CSU professor striving for the seat.
Republican Kirk Brush and Democrat Angie Paccione have been walking the precincts of the 53rd House District and talking at various events during this election year. Their precinct includes the area of Fort Collins primarily west of College Avenue – including CSU.
Rep. Bob Bacon, D-Fort Collins, has decided not to run for reelection in the district, even though his term limit allows for one more term.
To avoid a primary election, Paccione agreed to have a coin toss with Fort Collins businessman Larry Chisesi. Although she chose heads and lost the coin toss, she went ahead with the primary election and ended up winning.
Brush has been a district attorney in Fort Collins for 16 years and has spent much of his career as a lawyer.
“I have decided to run based on the fact that I live (in the 53rd District), things that I have seen here have made me want to become a legislator,” Brush said.
Paccione is a former USA women’s basketball team member; however, the CSU campus better knows her as a former assistant professor in the education department.
“My working class upbringing kept me keenly aware of how politics can impact one’s life,” Paccione said in a statement on her Web site. Paccione was not available for comment for this story despite several attempts.
Attempting to inform students, Brush made an appearance on campus with the College Republicans Thursday, Oct. 10; however, CSU students did not show up for the forum.
“I think there is a mixture of feeling candidates don’t care and students not taking the time to find out about the issues,” Brush said. “Students historically don’t have a high voter turnout.”
Both candidates have been on campus and have been trying to pull in the student vote by talking about voter registration on the Lory Student Center Plaza. However, they have not stopped at on-campus votes. They walk the precincts most afternoons and mornings.
“We have been knocking on doors every Saturday morning,” Brush said.
According to their campaign Web sites, both candidates are concerned about growth and transportation either in Colorado or Fort Collins. However, the difference between the two is that Brush states his concern with transportation in Colorado as a whole, where as Paccione has voiced her concern of growth affecting Fort Collins’ transportation.
“This has been a very exciting campaign,” Brush said.
-Edited by Vince Blaser and Ben Koerselman