Grand Junction resident Cindy Ficklin has thrown her hat into the ring for the Colorado House, saying she wants to promote the new Republican Party, which she called “the party of freedom.”
But in a video formally announcing her bid earlier this week, Ficklin said she decided to run because she was not chosen to fill a vacancy on the Mesa County Valley School District Board of Education.
Touting her accomplishments and education, Ficklin said she decided to run because the school board didn’t pick her as a finalist to replace Paul Pitton, who resigned from the nonpartisan board last month because “politics have crept in and have no place in the public school system,” he said at the time.
Ficklin has been among several to routinely appear at recent school board meetings demanding no mask rules for students or mandatory vaccinations to combat the pandemic.
Instead, the board chose Kari Sholtes, a Colorado Mesa University engineering instructor.
Ficklin said “you could say I was a sore loser,” but the four finalists were “liberal progressives” selected by a “liberal” school board.
“I somehow was not in the top four for school board, who are all leftist progressive liberals,” Ficklin said in a video announcing her candidacy that was posted on the Facebook page for Stand For The Constitution, of which she is a member.
“Alright. Fine. You know what? I just went ahead and I filed my paperwork today and I am now announcing for House District 55 state representative,” she said. “We’re going to make sure that this never happens again because this was wrong on every single level, and it’s not OK that the school board can go and do that to a community. We are going to make sure that we take this state back and this country back and this school district back.”
Ficklin tweeted something similar in April after a slate of three right-leaning candidates lost in the Grand Junction City Council race.
Although she now says they lost because not enough Republicans turned out to vote, at the time she questioned the integrity of the election.
“WE JUST LOST every single City Council Seat,” Ficklin posted on her Facebook page the day of the city election. “Either we’ve already been overrun with Liberals ... or CONSERVATIVES didn’t vote! Or something else??”
A similar slate of GOP-endorsed candidates is running in this fall’s election for the D51 board, who also have the backing of the Stand For The Constitution group.
Ficklin says she hasn’t received any of the COVID vaccines because she wants to see more science behind those who have.
She is running for the seat currently held by Rep. Janice Rich, R-Grand Junction. Rich isn’t running for a third term because has already announced plans to vie for Senate District 7, a seat currently held by GOP Sen. Ray Scott, who is term limited and barred from running again.
She is the only announced candidate to run for the seat.
Another Republican, Nina Anderson, announced her bid for that seat in February, but has since said she will switch to House District 54 because the latest legislative redistricting map has her living in that newly redrawn district, which covers most of the county outside of Grand Junction and a part of Delta County.
If that map holds — it’s still undergoing review by the Colorado Supreme Court — she would run in a primary against Rep. Matt Soper, R-Delta.