Residents of House District 13 will have a new face representing them next year, as term limits prohibit incumbent Tom Plant from running again.
Democrat Claire Levy of Boulder is facing Libertarian Rand Fanshier of Evergreen for the district, which includes the western part of Boulder County and parts of Gilpin and Clear Creek counties.
The candidates’ philosophies are as different as one would expect when comparing any members of the two parties.
“Libertarians are fiscally responsible and socially tolerant,” Fanshier said, describing the party as the best of the left and the right.
“Our legislators have been acting (while ignoring) the limitations the people have put on the government,” Fanshier said. Mountain residents, like those in District 13, chose their residences to get away from the rat race and want less government in their lives, not more, he added.
Levy, however, sees the Legislature as a vehicle to improve the environment, increase access to health care and offer better educational opportunities, she said.
“Government and business can be partners,” Levy said. Referendum C, which voters approved last year to allow the state to keep funding in excess of Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights’ limits, is a good start to improve the state’s educational system, Levy said. “We need to continue to do that,” she added.
Keeping with his belief in less government, Fanshier would like to see the state implement a voucher system so parents can send their children to private schools without also having to support public schools, he said.
Fanshier believes Referendum C violates the state Constitution, he said. If he is elected, he will make sure changes to state law are constitutional, he said.
“I would like us to follow the Constitution,” Fanshier said.
In 2004, Fanshier ran for the same seat against Plant. “This time, I’m going to play a lot harder,” he said.
Levy decided to run this year because of her interest in the environment. “I didn’t see a real committed environmentalist stepping in to the race,” she said. Before entering private practice, Levy worked for Jefferson County’s planning and land-use department, where she helped write local regulations regarding land use.
The whole of Levy’s experience will make her a good legislator, she said. “It requires a whole menu of experience,” she said. “You have to be a multi-faceted person.”
If Fanshier is elected, he expects to play a moderating role between the two major parties, he said. “I’ll be the tie-breaker. ... I will wield a much greater influence than you might expect.”
Victoria Camron can be reached at 303-684-5226, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.