Vail Daily column: Why I’m running

Don Suppes
Valley Voices

As Coloradans, we are truly blessed to live in the most beautiful state in the union! Our Western spirit of optimism, self-reliance and rugged individualism has made us strong. Water rights, gun rights, the education system, jobs, regulations and taxation are all factors needing qualified representation.

My name is Don Suppes. I’m a native of Delta County and am currently serving in my second term as mayor of Orchard City. My loving wife, Beth, and I have 4-year-old twin boys who keep us on our toes. In 2002, I started my own successful heating and cooling business and know what it is like to sign the front side of a paycheck.

Folks ask me why I’m running for office when I am living the good life here in rural Colorado. The answer is simple. I’m running because I want my kids to have the same opportunities in Colorado that I have had, and if things don’t change, that will never happen.

Historically, Coloradans have favored a balanced government and the reasonable solutions that come from stakeholders working together. With Democrats leading in the House and Governor’s Office, the Senate is the people’s opportunity for balance. The voters recently narrowed the gap in the state Senate to 18 Democrats and 17 Republicans. With your support, I’d be honored to represent you in the state Senate and restore the balance Coloradans deserve.

People who promise things they never give are like clouds that bring no rain. I cannot promise you everything under the sun, but I will be the senator who brings a listening ear, unrivaled work ethic, honesty and proven leadership skills to positively effectuate change for the future. If you believe in fiscal responsibility, entrepreneurial opportunities that create jobs, smart energy development, protecting our water rights, and Second Amendment rights, along with reining in unfunded mandates, then I’m your candidate!

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The people of this great state are eager for a balance under the Gold Dome in Denver. It is time that we have a business friendly government that will allow our economy to once again thrive and bring back jobs and wealth to Senate District 5. I can start the process by combining my own experiences as a small-business owner, family man and mayor of Orchard City to give the people across the district the opportunity to be heard.

Water rights have become a major playing card in Denver. They want rural water to supply the metro areas of Colorado. Between SB-23, which was sponsored by Sen. Gail Schwartz, and the governor’s water plan, it has been made clear that our current politicians intend for us to lose our water rights, along with the very water that our farmers, ranchers and families need to keep our Western way of life alive. When elected, I will fight to keep every drop of water here in Senate District 5, and I will “take to the trenches” to make sure we don’t lose any more of our water rights! For five generations, my family has relied on agriculture in Western Colorado; and we Coloradans should never have to worry about watering our orchards, fields or our livestock.

As a father, education is a priority to me. We have got to put the local school districts back in charge of the schools. At the state level, focus has got to be put on funding, and it needs to be made clear that our children are the greatest asset to our state’s future. It is imperative that our children’s education does not struggle under burdensome testing and over-regulation.

I was recently able to take some time off of the campaign trail and take my family camping, hiking, and canoeing in the mountains. There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing your kids enjoying the outdoors. Over the past year I’ve spent hundreds of hours traveling from Delta to Salida; Lake City to Vail; Leadville to Gunnison; Crested Butte to Buena Vista; and Paonia to Aspen. I’ll continue campaigning to all points in between for your vote, as the future is worth fighting for to give our kids the same opportunities we’ve had in Colorado.

Don Suppes is the Republican candidate for state Senate District 5, which includes Eagle County.

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