Bank retiree to run for House District 54 seat

A Democrat plans to throw her hat into the race for House District 54.

Grand Junction resident Claudette Konola has filed her paperwork with the Secretary of State’s Office.

Though she plans to hold a press conference later this month to announce officially the start of her campaign, Konola told The Daily Sentinel on Monday she’s running because of a desire to use her banking experience to help the state become more fiscally stable.

“When you think about all of the hamstrings that have been placed on the Legislature, in today’s environment it’s all about finding ways to be more efficient and more effective,” she said.

“I think (democracy) only works when there are citizens willing to participate, and it happens to be a time in my life when I can devote the time and energy to being a good representative.”

Konola, 61, retired from the banking industry last year.

Before that, she worked in the Grand Junction office of the Community Reinvestment Fund, a Minnesota-based nonprofit that helps economically distressed communities create jobs, grow small business and get affordable housing.

Prior to that job, Konola was manager of the Mesa County Revolving Loan Fund at Western Colorado Business Development Corp. and was a vice president for US Bank in Denver.

To date, she’s the only Democrat to run for the office being vacated by Rep. Steve King, a Grand Junction Republican who’s vying for the seat left vacant when Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry ran and then withdrew his gubernatorial bid.

Three Republicans are competing for the right to be the GOP nominee who will face Konola in the November election. They are David Cox of East Orchard Mesa, Robert Hislop of Fruita and Ray Scott of Grand Junction.


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