In 2014, the race for Colorado House District 59 in Southwest Colorado was one of closest, nastiest and costliest in the state. Both of the major party candidates for HD59 who have filed candidacy in the 2016 election to date — incumbent Republican rancher J. Paul Brown and Democratic educator Barbara McLachlan — expect more of the same this time around.
“I expect it will be a very tough campaign,” Brown told The Colorado Statesman. “I’ve got probably the biggest target on my back of anybody in the state, and because we only won by 170 votes last time, they’re going to really come after me. They’ve already put out some negative flyers on me that I know of, so it’s going to be tough. But we’re tough, too.”
Brown’s razor-thin 2014 victory over Barbara McLachlan’s husband, Durango attorney Mike McLachlan — who unseated Brown by a scant 917 votes in 2012 — closed the gap to just a three-seat majority for Democrats in the House. Now, in another presidential election year, Dems are eyeing the seat as a way to pad their cushion.