With the 2008 campaign well underway, the race for the State Capitol is starting to heat up.
For residents in House District 55, it's the two term incumbent --
"As long as I feel like I'm getting something done, I'd like to spend another couple years over there and hopefully do some more good for Western Colorado," said State Representative Bernie Buescher.
versus the business savvy newcomer.
"It's a real challenge, I recognize that," said Buescher's Republican challenger. "But I've never backed away from a challenge."
Buescher has served in the state legislature for the last four years, where he chairs the joint budget committee. He says he has worked hard for the people of Western Colorado and is proud of the many measures he's helped pass including funding for new buildings at Mesa State, more money for the LEAP energy program, and a new law that lets wineries share wine making facilities.
"That's what I bring to the table," said Buescher. "An ability to spend a lot of time listening, to spend a lot of time trying to figure out how we solve a problem."
Laura Bradford founded Grand Junction business Pro-Safe Products and owns a tree farm in her hometown of Collbran. She has served on several councils at the local and state levels, and from 1999 to 2000 was appointed chair of the Colorado Women's Economic Development Council.
"I view myself as a fiscal conservative," said Bradford. "I have a lot of experience in operations, efficiency, and productivity."
Both say that experience makes them more than ready to get on board with the issues they say the state will have to tackle in the near future. Buescher says with funding for transportation at an all time low, the state has got to wrap its arms around a growing problem.
"That's the type of project I really like," said Buescher. "A tough project that's not an easy piece of legislation."
Bradford says she would support creating a committee to oversee old programs that receive state funding, that would determine whether or not they should continue receiving money in the future.
"This state does not have a revenue problem," said Bradford. "We have a spending problem."
Both say with their campaigns moving full steam ahead, they hope to rally Mesa County residents to their cause and win the race to the State Capitol come November.
"I think I would be a good addition to the other fiscal conservatives in the state legislature and I can tell them help is on the way," said Bradford.
"I hope at the end of the day, they say Bernie Buescher has done a good job for Mesa County," said Buescher.
For more information on both of the candidates, click on the links below.