Don CoramCandidacy: Colorado House District 58, Republican, IncumbentAge: 64Education: Attended Montrose High SchoolOccupation: Miner, rancher, Environmental Reclamation businessFamily: Wife and one son; lives in MontrosePrior Government Experience: Elected District 58 Representative in 2010; second vice-chair of Montrose County Republican Central Committee
Don Coram is running for re-election to the Colorado State House “because I did a pretty good job the last time. I passed a lot of legislation. I brought 16 bills to the House floor. Eleven had bipartisan support. And the [aggregate] vote on them was 866-160. I don’t think there’s anybody who worked more closely with anybody to get this done.”
On the biggest challenges facing the district, Coram said, “It’s certainly jobs. It may be the hardest-hit district in the state when it comes to unemployment, and underemployment.”
Then, Coram said, “There’s the forestry situation. The beetle kill. Two to four million acres were added to the beetle kill in one year, statewide. The only tool out there to fix that is fire. We’ve got to get a grip on this and how we’re going to handle this. The timber mill in Montrose [Intermountain Resources] is a part of that. The northern part of the state is much worse than we are, the Denver watershed. It’s going to take far more than just the state. We’re going to have to work with the federal government on this.”
Another problem Coram sees, he said, is “the shutting down of our coal-fired power plants. It’s not good for jobs. And you know, you walk by a coal plant and you don’t see any pollution there.”
This is an example, he said, of “regulations with unintended consequences. We all want clean air, clean water, but these [regulations] are hindrances to business. We just need to come back. We need to create a regulatory oversight committee. I have a bill ready to go. It would be like the joint budget committee in the House and Senate. I think it will be good for business.”
As to the pitfalls that come with representing a district across the range in Denver, he said, “We’re so far from Denver. I travel back and forth, 600 miles; it’s so much windshield time. But that’s part of the job. You have to stay in contact with the people you are representing.
“I got a call from a man this morning. He owns a bar in Dolores. He needs help. I can help with that.”
Asked why he should win in November, Coram answered, “I’ve reached across the line. Art Goodtimes [San Miguel County Green Party candidate for county commissioner] said to me, ‘You’re doing a great job. Send me some yard signs.’ Even when we disagree on a subject, it’s never disagreeable.
“I’ve always said the R behind my name stands for Rural.”