Eagle County Democrat Dylan Roberts launches campaign for House District 26 seat

Author: Ernest Luning - July 20, 2017 - Updated: July 20, 2017

Dylan Roberts talks about his brother Murphy Roberts before presenting the Colorado Democratic Party's Murphy Roberts Young Volunteers of the Year awards at the state party's annual dinner on March 11, 2017, at the Denver Mariott City Center. The award, commemorates Murphy Roberts, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 11 and began volunteering regularly at the Routt County Democratic Party headquarters a few years later. Dylan Roberts announced on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, that he was running for the House District 26 seat being vacated by state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, D-Steamboat Springs, who is running for Congress in next year's election. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)Dylan Roberts speaks at a Democratic event in Denver in March 11. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)

Democratic Party luminary Jason Kander gave Eagle County prosecutor Dylan Roberts some advice a few months back, and this week he took it.

Kander, a former Missouri secretary of state and 2016 U.S. Senate nominee, delivered the keynote address at the Colorado Democratic Party’s annual dinner in March, the same night Roberts presented a pair of awards from the state party named for his brother Murphy Roberts, who died last summer at age 22.

After Roberts brought the crowd to its feet introducing the Murphy Roberts Young Volunteers of the Year awards — Murphy Roberts was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 11 and began volunteering for the Democratic Party and candidates a few years later — Kander  told the young man to run for office, he recalled Wednesday. And that’s what Roberts announced he was doing, launching his run for the House District 26 seat being vacated by state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, D-Steamboat Springs, a candidate for Congress in next year’s election.

“It would be the privilege of a lifetime to represent the county where I grew up and the county where I live and work now,” Roberts said in a statement. “I am running for the State House because our state faces some large challenges. I will be a fresh and bold voice for these two counties in the State House and by focusing on public policy that makes life better and easier for Coloradans.”

Roberts was born and raised in Routt County and returned after college and law school to live and work in Eagle County, where he serves as the deputy district attorney. (The two counties make up the House district.)

Roberts worked as an organizer for Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns — opening the first presidential field office in Routt County history in 2008 and then managing the campaign across 26 counties in Western Colorado in 2012, his campaign said.

“Working as an organizer for campaigns taught me so much more than how campaigns are run, it showed me the value of actually listening to voters about what’s important to them. Some of the most influential conversations I had were with people who disagreed with me because we talked about where common ground could be reached,” Roberts said.

“As a state legislator, I will do the same. I will fight  for what I believe in but if working across the aisle will result in policy that is good for this district and this state, I will be the first to join that effort. People are sick of partisan gridlock and establishment politics. I am a new voice who is ready to focus on getting big things done.”

Mitsch Bush told Colorado Politics she plans to step down from her seat in November after completing interim committee work in order to devote full time to running against U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, the Republican incumbent.

Roberts tipped his hat to the three-term incumbent.

“I would like to continue Rep. Mitsch Bush’s leadership on transportation and health care, because those two issues are crucial to Routt and Eagle Counties, as well as Colorado as a whole,” he said. “On health care, I want to try to tackle both the growing costs of insurance for the mountain regions and work on transparency in the pharmaceutical industry. Further, I believe the state can be a better partner with local authorities and towns on the issue of affordable housing, clean energy, education and childcare.”

No other candidates have filed to run for the seat.

Roberts obtained a degree in political science and environmental science from Boston College and a law degree from the University of Colorado Law School. He worked as a legislative policy advisor for state Rep. Mike Foote, D-Lafayette, during law school.

Roberts lives his with his girlfriend, Sarah Andrews, and their dog Hattie live in Eagle. His parents, Stu Roberts and Lulu Gould, live in Steamboat Springs, which is where his sister Cassady lives and teaches public school. Roberts’ brother Hig is a professional alpine ski racer based in Utah.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.