It wasn’t how state Rep. Justin Everett, a Littleton Republican and candidate for state treasurer, planned on spending his day, but relentless campaigning — covering some 31 counties over three months without a day off, he says — landed the 45-year-old in the hospital for a spell on Thursday after suffering what turned out to be a wicked bout of dehydration. After a few hours of tests, blood draws and scans, along with some enforced bed rest and a replenishing saline drip, Everett was cleared by the doctors — and promptly got on the road to attend a forum for state treasurer candidates at the Reagan Club in Thornton.
“[D]on’t feel a day over 70!” he joked in a lengthy online exchange through the afternoon with friends and fans on Facebook, where the third-term legislator got plenty of well wishes and some advice (take a day off now and then, and eat some honeycomb). “At the end of all this, they said I’m strong like (a) bull,” Everett posted, noting that he’d just returned from a grueling, two-day campaign swing over the Fourth of July holiday with stops in Summit, Mesa, Dolores and Montezuma counties.
It’s no wonder Everett has put 11,000 miles on his car — “it had some issues on Wolf Creek Pass on my way back from Cortez yesterday,” he noted — during his travels this year representing the House GOP caucus at Lincoln Day dinners and other Republican gatherings across the state, as well as campaigning for state treasurer in what promises to be a crowded primary next year.
Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn is also running in the GOP primary, with other powerhouse candidates said to be waiting in the wings, including state Rep. Polly Lawrence, R-Roxborough Park, state Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, and businessman and former legislative candidate Brian Watson. On the Democratic side, state Rep. Steve Lebsock, D-Thornton, is the lone announced candidate so far. The Republican incumbent, Walker Stapleton, is term-limited and is considered a likely candidate for governor in next year’s election.
“This is the level of commitment you’ll get from me as your state treasurer,” Everett wrote, after what he called a routine doctor visit turned into an unexpected sojourn in a hospital bed at Sky Ridge Medical Center in Lone Tree. As soon as he got the go-ahead, however, he was back on the campaign trail and wound up speaking for nearly a half hour as he shared the stage with Horn at the Reagan Club of Colorado meeting later that evening.
What’s next for the notoriously hard-working conservative? “I’ll be in Pueblo, Adams and Fremont counties tomorrow and Saturday,” Everett posted, no doubt tiring out a few of his Facebook friends as they read it.