Rep. Dan Thurlow

DENVER — No doubt about it, Rep. Dan Thurlow is conservative, but by how much depends on who’s talking.

The freshman Republican is learning that where some people perceive a lawmaker’s left-right views depends entirely on where those people stand on the political pendulum.

That’s why some staunch conservatives in the state, and not necessarily voters who live in his Grand Junction House district, are calling for Thurlow’s recall because he doesn’t automatically vote for Republican bills.

As a result, a shadowy group that refuses to identify itself has established an effort on social media calling for Thurlow’s recall.

“Dan Thurlow has betrayed the trust of the people of District 55,” the group says on its Facebook page, Recall Dan Thurlow. “Dan immediately began to pursue a radical left wing ideology, out of touch and arrogant.”

Most of the comments on the page come from gun advocates and center on various efforts to repeal gun-control measures approved by Democrats in recent years. Attempts to contact those who created the Facebook page failed.

Thurlow and several other state lawmakers immediately laugh when asked just how “left wing” he is. “He’s very conservative, there’s no doubt about that,” said Rep. Su Ryden, D-Aurora.

“He’s a career market businessman, that means he’s a conservative,” added Rep. Bob Rankin, R-Carbondale. “He brings a business-oriented talent that we need.”

Thurlow started earning attention over several of his votes as a member of the House State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee, a panel often used by leadership of one party to ensure a bill’s demise from the other.

Democrats, who control the House, have sent all GOP bills that attempt to repeal several of the gun laws they enacted two years ago, along with any other Republican bill dealing with gun issues, to the committee.

While Thurlow has supported repeals of the 15-round gun magazine bill, he has opposed other measures he considers too radical, such as a bill to allow teachers to carry weapons onto school grounds and another that would have made it easier to obtain hand grenades, machine guns and missiles.

Ryden said Thurlow clearly is just trying to do what he thinks is right. “He’s a really thoughtful person,” said Ryden, chairwoman of that committee. “Obviously he comes from a certain point of view, but he strikes me as someone who really does want to get information, study the issues and make good decisions.”

Thurlow said he was elected to the Legislature not to rubber-stamp anyone’s ideas regardless of political persuasion, but to understand the issues and vote in the best interests of his district.

“I actually read the bills, and I will listen at the hearings,” he said. “I was elected by the people to do that for people who can’t be here. That’s my job, read them, listen to the testimony and be knowledgeable about the issue, and then make some kind of reasonable decision that I think represents my district. It won’t make everybody happy all the time, there’s no way that you can.

“But if you look at the totality of my work and you disagree with how I’m voting, you should vote against me next time,” he added. “That’s how the representative process works. I’m happy to be here or not be here based on that premise. My goal isn’t to cast every vote in the light of how it will help me be re-elected. That’s not what I’ve done, nor what I’ll do in the future.”

As a result of his reputation with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, Thurlow is poised to do with his bills exactly what he set out — to reduce government regulation and help create jobs.

To date, no actual effort to recall Thurlow has occurred, but one Denver-based group called Campaign Integrity Watchdog, a conservative group that mostly goes after Democrats, filed a complaint against Thurlow last month, charging him with “multiple violations” of campaign finance laws.

Those complaints, however, only concern Thurlow’s failure to include occupations for three contributions from Grand Junction residents Quintin Shear, Gaylene Thompson and Theresa Hodges, which are required for all individual contributions of more than $100.

The group has filed numerous such complaints over two years, the bulk of which have been dismissed.


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Thank goodness we finally have someone with a brain of their own who will do the right thing and not blindly vote right or left!  It is refreshing to have someone vote intelligently based on the testimony and conversation concerning bills. Those naysayers think Dan is arrogant? How bout this….go pound sand!

Interesting that those who defend this RINO are liberal/progressives themselves. He clearly is not doing what he promised he would do while in Denver. The only people that find him “refreshing” are those who benefit from his votes.
Mr. Phillips, might I ask you to “pound sand” yourself, how bout that?

Sounds like he’s doing exactly what he said he would do. He’s just not doing what the local conservatives assumed he would do.

I write neither to attack nor defend Dan Thurlow. I don’t know him or his world view, and I didn’t pay attention to any of his presumably RINO “politics-as-usual” promises.
What I find most amusing, other than the obvious astutely pointed out by Tim Fenwick, is the wannabe-clever little sub-headline which appeared only in the print version of the Sentinel: “Shadowy operatives nip at local legislator”.
“Shadowy”. Ooooooh! There’s a cool word for the valley’s 75% duopoly lemmings/sheeple who doggedly believe whatever false promises they most want to hear. The cutesy subliminal message, of course, is that if Thulow’s opponents are “shadowy”, then Thurlow must be OK. Follow the cutesy “logic”?
What remains the elephant in the room of local duopoly “Good Old Boy” (GOB) politics, however, is that there is NOTHING more shadowy than the valley’s duopoly/bipartisan GOB gang which pretends simultaneously to be both altruistic (aka “liberal”) and pro-economic-development (aka “conservative”) while laughing all the way to the bank with the taxpayers’ hard-earned money spent on projects the GOBs’ politically-connected, crony-capitalism buddies profit from.
I understand the manipulative sophistry and strategy of Thurlow’s “progressive” defenders. But I have a political question for Thurlow’s so-called “conservative” detractors: why is it that they can’t seem to triangulate a sufficient percentage of Mesa County’s 75% duopoly lemming/sheeple vote to find, vet and elect constitution-friendly candidates to public office in Mesa County?
In my opinion, when you have the power to do that—and to successfully recall establishment-supported RINOs—it will become clearer that REAL progress (instead of just rhetoric) toward restoring the U.S. Constitution is being made.
When the GOP controls the Presidency, the House and the Senate—and there’s still a shortage of 22LR ammunition, and DHS is allowed to keep it’s billions of rounds of ammo—it will become increasingly clear that the GOB gang is in control at all levels of “government”, and that “left v. right” is, like the Roman bread and circuses, a mere distraction designed to amuse the ignorant duopoly proletariat/hoi polloi.

“I actually read the bills,” Thurlow says. That’s the kind of legislator we want from the western slope. Maybe he votes the way he does because he actually reads the bills, as opposed to Ray Scott, who has admitted to NOT reading the bills. Thank you, Dan Thurlow.

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