Steamboat Springs Terry Carwile has a tough road ahead of him. He has announced his candidacy for the new 57th District in the Colorado House of Representatives, a district where Democrats are as scarce as jackalopes. Since redistricting this year, the district Routt County is in has become an even more daunting Republican stronghold for a Democratic challenger, Carwile said.
"I tend to think it will be a pretty steep grade to climb," he said. "The numbers are not auspicious, let's put it that way."
Carwile, who plans to travel throughout the district on a bicycle, estimates that there are two Republicans in the district for every Democrat. But and here's where he thinks he has a chance there are also a lot of independents.
Carwile, a Craig resident, is an employee of Trapper Mining Inc. and is a longtime member of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local Number 9. He said he is especially concerned with issues that affect working people, including workplace safety and health care.
"I'm starting to think there is not enough of a voice for working class folks," he said.
State Rep. Al White, R-Winter Park, said he is planning on running for a second term in the new district, which changed significantly after redistricting. Still, he is confident he can win again.
"Northwest Colorado is great Republican country," White said, "but I still recognize I need to get out there and introduce myself to all the new voters."
Eagle County, home of Vail, was cut out of the new 57th District, while Moffat and Routt counties were included together in the same district.
Moffat and Routt used to be in two separate districts, with Moffat currently controlled by state Rep. Gregg Rippy, R-Glenwood Springs. Carwile, who already has a Web site (www.terrycarwile2k2.com), said he will be attempting to get on the ballot at the district assembly, unless he is challenged by another Democrat.
Jay Fetcher, a North Routt rancher who challenged White for the seat in 2000, said he has not decided whether he will run again.