NewsThe Front Range

Challenger running for Calhan mayor known for confrontations, racism

Author: Rachel Riley, The Gazette - March 30, 2018 - Updated: March 30, 2018

The challenger hoping to unseat Calhan’s mayor in Tuesday’s town election is a local man known for his run-ins with police and racist views, including repeatedly calling a black woman a racial slur during a confrontation at a gas station in 2014.

David Kline, 65, has broadcast his distrust for law enforcement on social media, referred to a Hispanic woman in his neighborhood as a “dirty Mexican,” and reportedly threatened to shoot others if they set foot on his property, records provided to The Gazette by an anonymous source show.

Kline, who lives in Prairie View Mobile Home Park in a recreational vehicle that Calhan officials say is in violation of the town’s zoning rules, petitioned his way onto the ballot by collecting 10 signatures.

The only other candidate is the incumbent, Mayor Cameron Chaussee.

Multiple attempts by The Gazette to reach Kline through town staff were unsuccessful.

At a candidate forum last week, Kline cited his free speech rights when Gazette news partner KKTV asked about his racist comments.

“If you actually look at the First Amendment, it gives us that right to say whatever you want,” he told KKTV. “And nowhere in the First Amendment does it guarantee that someone’s feelings won’t get hurt.”

Kline said he’s running because he’s unhappy with the town’s current leadership, KKTV reported.

“He just says what we’re doing is not right,” Chaussee said.

More than 60 pages of police reports, background check materials and screenshots of Kline’s Facebook page were emailed to The Gazette earlier this month from a “Calhan Concerned Citizens Group.” The sender did not include contact information and did not respond to multiple follow-up emails from The Gazette.

The documents show that last March, Kline posted a news article link, saying “Never trust a cop. They are not your friends. As of a rule they are the biggest crooks not in jail and the largest liar’s (sic) you will ever meet.”

In another post with a link to an article about another state considering a bill that would protect drivers who hit protesters, he encouraged others to “run their asses down.”

“I hope I can find a bunch of worthless women protesting abortion being made illegal I can drive through,” he wrote in the Feb. 11 post. “Dam (sic) what a rush that would be.”

The posts have since been deleted from his Facebook profile.

A flier recently distributed to residents outlines Kline’s criminal record and asks “Is this the type of person that we want representing our town, our people, our children?”

Chaussee said he did not send the packet of documents to The Gazette and was not familiar with the citizens group that submitted the records to The Gazette, but that he had requested many of the documents from the town clerk and shared them with residents and trustees.

In June 2015, Kline was found guilty of disorderly conduct in 4th Judicial District Court for the comments he made to the black woman about a year earlier while waiting in line behind her to pump fuel at the Loaf ‘N Jug in Calhan.

Chaussee said he first heard about the incident at the gas station because his family owns the property, as well as several others that house businesses along 5th Street. He then decided to request records from the town that would shed light on Kline’s record.

“David Kline is not an unknown person around this town,” said Chaussee, 34, who works as a salesman at his family’s modular home dealership, Accolade Homes. “He’s got a pretty serious reputation for doing some pretty shady things.”

Chaussee was a town trustee until the board voted to make him mayor in January 2017 after the previous mayor stepped down to take a job in Colorado Springs, he said. His cousin, Tyler Chaussee, also serves on the board.

According to an article published in the Feb. 15 issue of Ranchland News, Kline is a graduate of Ellicott High School. Before retiring, he held jobs with Napa Auto Parts, Hewlett-Packard, Apple, and an auto paint distributor, the community newspaper reported.

Kline was cited with offensive language and gestures in 2008 after he allegedly threatened to beat up another driver who was following him too closely and punched the driver’s side mirror on the man’s vehicle, town records show. Those charges were later dismissed, Calhan Town Clerk Cindy Tompkins said in an email.

Last July, he confronted town Police Chief Dave Weinberger in the Police Department parking lot about an ongoing investigation and said he would contact the district attorney if the chief did not address his concerns. He then accused the chief of “not being on his side” when he was the victim of a trespass by another resident of the mobile home park, Weinberger wrote in an incident report.

Later that day, he confronted several other people at the mobile home park, telling one woman to “shut your mouth, you dirty Mexican.” He also used vulgar language when telling a police officer to shut up.

In September, Weinberger was called to the mobile home park on a report of harassment. A woman told police Kline took pictures of her and others near his home. He responded that he wanted to document the juveniles that hang around and believed some of them were armed, according to Weinberger’s report.

Rachel Riley, The Gazette

Rachel Riley, The Gazette