Veteran Republican lawmaker Sen. Don Coram, of Montrose, has won District 6 State Senate seat, beating out Democrat rival Guinn Unger Jr.
Districtwide, Coram garnered 39,725 votes, (54.8 percent), compared with Unger’s 32,730 votes (45.2 percent).
In Montezuma County, Coram had 62.7 percent to Unger’s 37.3 percent.
Coram has a background in ranching and mining, and runs a small hemp operation, Paradox Ventures. He served as the Colorado House of Representative for District 58 from 2010 to 2016, then was appointed to fill the District 6 Senate seat after Ellen Roberts retired.
Coram is an active legislator, sponsoring 69 bills in the last session. According to an article in the Durango Herald, Coram’s priorities are: funding for projects identified under the Colorado Water Plan, improving school security, improving access to mental health and suicide prevention services and trying to solve the opioid addiction crisis.
Coram is proud of the recent passage of Senate Bill 2, which could put as much as $150 million into high-speed internet for rural communities.
“It levels the playing field and will improve our economy,” said Coram, during a recent candidates forum in Dolores.
On improving school safety, Coram said having radios in schools that contact law enforcement directly would help.
“Right now, everyone calls 911 and, it overwhelms the system,” he said.
During a candidate forum in Cortez, Coram said he wanted a legislative solution to lower health care costs in Southwest Colorado. Under the current rate system, urban areas enjoy lower rates than rural areas.
“Our city cousins would rather see us pay that higher rate,” he said,
He also ran Senate Bill 117, which recognizes industrial hemp as an agricultural product, thus allowing water allocated for agricultural purposes to be used for irrigation on fields growing industrial hemp. The bill was signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper in Cortez.
Before serving in the Legislature, Coram served on board of the Montrose County School District. Senate District 6 covers Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, Ouray, San Juan and San Miguel counties.