Democrat Barrett Rothe jumped in the state House District 43 race this week to unseat Republican incumbent Kevin Van Winkle in the Highlands Ranch district.
Rothe is a healthcare industry consultant who is unopposed, so far, in the Democratic primary. Unity Party candidate Scott Wagner also is in the race. Wagner ran as a Democrat last year and got 39.4 percent against Van Winkle, the highest total for a Democrat since Van Winkle was elected to his first two-year term in 2014.
Rothe ran as an unaffiliated candidate for the state Senate District 14 seat in Fort Collins in 2012, a race won by current incumbent John Kefalas, a Democrat.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to connect with voters over the next year,” Rothe said in a statement. “The people in Highlands Ranch deserve a thoughtful debate and a representative that will work for families and small-businesses, not the fringe groups that control their politicians today.”
Rothe called the March 6 caucuses his first test.
“We’re going to work hard to get people to the caucuses,” he said, “Democrats and Republicans are frustrated across the country, none more so than Colorado, and we want everyone in our district to take their frustrations to the caucuses in March, the primaries in June, and then the ballot in November.”
He noted that unaffiliated voters, the stage’s largest bloc, will be allowed to cast ballots in the June primary for the first time, and that favors moderate candidates.
“Both parties would be wise to rethink their strategies in our state,” he stated. “House District 43 in particular is ground zero for frustrated, moderate voters getting hit hardest by the anti-middle class policies coming from Washington, D.C. It’s going to be a year worth watching the seats taken for granted by Republicans.”
Rothe has an undergraduate degree from the University of Northern Colorado and a master’s in public administration from the University of Colorado Denver. He and his wife, Annelise, own a floral company in Highlands Ranch.
He also has a great website.