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Sheriff James Casias will run for State Senate

TRINIDAD — Announcing from the Las Animas County Courthouse Square on Thursday, Aug. 5, Las Animas County Sheriff James Casias, a Democrat, stated his intention to seek the District 35 State Senate seat in Denver. The seat is currently held by Republican Larry Crowder. “Democrats in the 35th District feel that Sheriff Casias, can win the seat,” said Andrew Short, Executive Director of the Democratic Senate Campaign Fund. “He reflects the values of the 16 counties that make up the 35th District.” Many Democrats in SD 35 feel that Sheriff Casias is a strong contender for the seat and has the best chance of defeating incumbent Larry Crowder, a Republican from Alamosa, who has held the seat since his election in 2012. During his four years in the Senate, Crowder has accumulated a number of liabilities that a strong opponent can exploit, including voting against rural broadband, affordable housing, and senior services – and above all voting to change the way retirement benefits are defined for a significant number of Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA) retirees in the 35th district. When connsidered together, all of the above add up to a potent challenge to Crowder in a competitive key race for the Colorado Senate seat in 2016. PERA includes employees of the Colorado state government, public school teachers in the state, many university and college employees, judges, many

employees of cities and towns, State Troopers, and the employees of many other public entities such as prison guards, according to the PERA website. Sheriff Casias also has a nuanced position on the 2013 gun laws that will appeal to voters who dislike those laws. One such position involves the much-maligned magazine limit law, but at the same time he defends the universal gun background checks that were always the highest priority. In an email Sheriff Casias noted that ”I have been very busy, traveling to the counties in the eastern part of Colorado. I have been to Baca County, Lamar, Prowers, Bent County, Otero County, Huerfano, and Las Animas. “I am still working on getting dates to get to Crowley, Kiowa, Conejos, Costilla, Rio Grande, Mineral, Saguache, Custer, Pueblo, and Alamosa. In a phone conversation with the World Journal, Sheriff Casias, said he felt that what Denver needs to hear is a strong voice for the average working person. “In SD 35, we lack jobs in a declining economy. People work hard in southern Colorado and we need to develop the economy here. I have received a good response from the six counties Iʼve visited since last Thursday. Agriculture is the livelihood for many who live in southern Colorado. It is here that we work, we live, and we love.”