Steve Ivancie announces he will run for state House

Longtime City Council member will face Baumgardner for District 57 seat



Steve Ivancie

— Former longtime Steamboat Springs City Council member Steve Ivancie will attempt to disrupt the Republican hold on Colorado State House District 57. Ivancie confirmed Monday that he plans to run against incumbent Randy Baumgardner in the November election.

Ivancie, a Democrat who served on the City Council for eight years, was term-limited and left the council in November 2009. He acknowledged that although he’s entering the race a bit late, it’s the right decision to make.

“I should have made this decision earlier, but I sat down with my wife and other people who have been very supportive of me” and decided to run, he said. “I said, ‘Well, it’s about time to step up to the plate and make a decision.’”

Ivancie is running in a district that traditionally goes Republican. Baumgardner beat Democrat Todd Hagenbuch in 2008. Prior to that, state Sen. Al White, R-Hayden, held the seat for eight years. House District 57 includes Routt, Moffat, Grand, Garfield, Rio Blanco and Jackson counties. And although Routt County has voted Democratic in recent years, a strong Republican vote in the other counties has carried Election Day for GOP candidates.

Ivancie said he isn’t concerned about party affiliations because he bases his decisions on facts, not the party line.

“I think people are tired of parties, both parties, winning elections for partisan purposes,” he said. “It’s a new era, and we don’t have the luxury of being as partisan as we have been in the past.”

Baumgardner said he will not rely on the Republican tradition in the district to help him retain his seat.

“Nothing is safe. You have to get out and do your best,” he said. “I have a voting record, though, that people can look at now after two years. That’ll be the difference, I think.”

Tackling the issues

Ivancie said several of the issues he wants to address include three controversial November ballot initiatives and education funding. Proposed state constitutional Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 aim to reduce government spending and taxation.

“I consider myself a fiscal conservative, but we have to be careful we don’t overreact to these things because it could make it very difficult for our local government to deal with the things they need to do,” he said.

Ivancie also stressed that he wants to cooperate with other legislators, something he said isn’t happening now.

“We need to have some representation in District 57, and I think our representation is sorely lacking,” he said. “We need to have someone who can represent the district who has some experience and looks for collaboration in the other lawmakers.”

Ivancie said he wants to create a team of pragmatists to deal with problems and bring jobs to Northwest Colorado.

“My feeling is that it’s time for us to position ourselves for an economic recovery and make sure Northwest Colorado is ahead of the curve, and we can create jobs,” he said.

Baumgardner said he has had success working with other lawmakers on legislation and has voted for bills that will bring jobs to the district.

“I’ve worked very well with both sides of the aisle, my voting record will show that,” he said.

Baumgardner said he voted on renewable energy bills and a bill that “kept the coal industry alive,” bills that he said could help create jobs.

Austere campaign

Ivancie said he learned many lessons in his time on the City Council, and one that he will retain is how to run a lean campaign.

“It’s very late (in the campaign season) so it’s going to be a very austere and conservative campaign,” he said. “Even when I ran for council I didn’t believe in spending money on ads and things.”

He said he plans to travel throughout the district and introduce himself to constituents. Ivancie said he has held jobs that encompass aspects from all across the district. He has worked as a miner, on a ranch, as a ski patroller and as a project manager.

“I learned a lot of very valuable lessons from my years as councilperson,” he said, alluding to working with diverse council members and on divisive issues.

“I want to take that experience to the next level.”


sparkle 6 years, 11 months ago

Go Steve. Thanks for stepping up and running for office. We need you.


dave pieknik 6 years, 11 months ago

Real name. Real wishes. Good Luck with all Steve!


Scott Wedel 6 years, 11 months ago

Regardless, it is good that he is running. Then at least there is some discussion of the issues and the voters have a choice.

It will be very hard for Steve to win because Randy is more noted for dealing with Western Slope issues for his constituents than rabid partisanship. So he gets votes from independents and some democrats.

But if Randy were to support 60, 61 and 101 then that could dominate the race and give Steve the victory if those amendments lose badly. Or maybe if supporting them angers a large number of Tea Partiers and those people decide it is better to let Steve win than support Randy.

I think 60, 61, and 101 are so extreme that they are easily opposed by Democrats as financially irresponsible, but could be a problem for Republicans that risk losing their ring wing for failing to support tax cuts or losing the moderates for being financially irresponsible and being too radical.


Steve Lewis 6 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for stepping up Steve. You'll do well.

And thanks for leading Steamboat council to build our community center to LEEDS standards. That's the kind of leadership we need.


Scott Wedel 6 years, 11 months ago

Okay, you might not like what has gone on, but planning to cut property taxes in half and saying the state will make up the difference is certainly as financially irresponsible as what you don't like. You don't fix something by being as bad as what you don't like. You fix something by being good, by improving it.

There were all sorts of things that could have been done to make government more financially responsible and these amendments start off with reasonable ideas, but then also include really bad ideas. Don't allow permanent exceptions to TABOR limits, but require the people get periodic votes on exceptions? Good idea, too bad that amendment also has the crazy idea of cutting property taxes in half and pretending that the state could make up the difference. Could have had an amendment limiting overall debt levels to 5 times annual revenues and not allow debt for anything other than constructed improvements or purchased assets, but instead they want all debt paid in 10 years and prohibit new debt, a really bad idea. Could have reclassified vehicle registration fees above their administrative costs as a tax and reset fees to previous levels, but they picked a low arbitrary number that probably doesn't even cover their administrative costs and then add on a massive cut in the state's income tax rates. How is that supposed to work with the promise that the state would make up for the property tax cut?

And I would have added stricter rules for government enterprise funds that explicitly prohibited transfers to the general funds. I would also require that enterprises solicit private bids for services that they pay other governments to perform. (Ie if the SS water dept pays the city of SS $200K a year for billing for water/sewer usage then the water dept would have to allow a private contractor to bid to perform the same services for less money).

If you think school districts spend too much money and would do better with less then say that and say that in 10 years the school districts will have to cope with half as much property tax. But please don't insult our intelligence by saying the state will make up the difference.

And it is hilarious that YVB anonymously mocks someone for using their real name. Talk about showing one's true colors.


carlyle 6 years, 11 months ago

I agree that Steve is an excellent candidate. Further, Routt County has been blessed with excellent choices and excellent winners over the last years.

I can't imagine how anyone running for public office in Colorado can associate themselves with these three amendments. But, I also think, given the extraordinary rancor rank and file voters seem to hold, one or two of these three might pass. While Scott Wedel lists a number of sensible debatable issues, I fear that these amendments are not about sense and debate.


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