Hislop for District 54

It’s surprising that so much animosity has developed between supporters of Bob Hislop and those for Ray Scott, the two men running for House District 54. There isn’t a great ideological divide between the two Republicans, nor are there huge policy differences between the two. Most of the differences are in personality and background.

We believe Hislop, the retired Secret Service agent, can best serve the residents of District 54 in western Mesa County and part of Delta County.

Hislop’s unassuming, consensus-building approach has already won him the endorsements of several important state organizations, such as the Colorado Medical Society and the Colorado Contractors Association. We believe that approach will also serve him well at the state Capitol. It is particularly important at a time of hyper-partisanship in both Denver and Washington, D.C.

Hislop and Scott are vying for the GOP nomination for House District 54 in the primary election that ends Aug. 10. Because there is no Democrat or independent in the race, the primary will decide the election. And because mail-in ballots go to voters Monday, we wanted to let readers know now which candidate we endorse.

This is not a case where we believe one candidate is head-and- shoulders above the other. There are things we like in the ideas presented by both Scott and Hislop, as well as items we disagree with. Scott’s long history as a business owner in western Colorado is commendable. But Hislop’s experience with the Secret Service and as an executive with a large corporation is equally solid.

Both men said they want to get rid of the new oil and gas regulations adopted by the state Legislature last year. We don’t think that’s the best means of protecting our environment while encouraging energy development. Hislop was more willing than Scott to consider the possibility that some portions of the new rules have merit.

The two have different ideas for dealing with the state’s budget crisis. Scott suggested the state could sell some of the $9.5 billion worth of property it owns to bolster reserve funds. Hislop talked of an across-the-board budget cut, such as Montana has done.

Neither idea is perfect, but they aren’t outlandish. And both are solidly conservative approaches to the budget. Tax increases are out for both men and rolling back things like the mill-levy freeze and the increased vehicle-registration fees are on their agendas.

Both men told The Daily Sentinel they opposed Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 on November’s ballot. That’s welcome news, because the measures would severely hamstring the ability of state and local governments to meet the needs of citizens.

Scott’s idea of encouraging a privately funded energy research center in Mesa County to study everything from solar and wind to more efficient use of natural gas is worth pursuing.

Western Slope lawmakers have historically been effective and influential at the Capitol largely because of their ability to forge relationships with other rural lawmakers, regardless of political party. Hislop is already engaged in that effort with current lawmakers and those who might be elected this year.

Of the two men, we believe Hislop’s personality and approach make him the best suited to carry on that West Slope tradition. In the GOP primary for House District 54, vote for Bob Hislop.


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