A Telluride newspaperman is vying for the House 58th District seat in the Colorado Legislature.
Democrat Seth Cagin, 64, was the editor and publisher for the Telluride Watch for 25 years, and has also worked as a news reporter. He is running against incumbent Republican Marc Catlin.
“As a reporter and editor, I’ve been deeply immersed in policy and political issues, so it’s a logical step to move into politics,” he said.
If elected, Cagin intends to “bridge the divide” between political parties and also between the Western Slope and Front Range. The 58th District includes Montezuma, Dolores, San Miguel and Montrose Counties. “Our district is as far as Denver as one can get, and I have the time, motivation and the experience to find common ground between parties, ratchet down the anger and help govern the state in a way that is fair to both rural and urban areas,” he said.
He says the way health care is managed is unfair to rural areas – families in rural areas pay two to three times more than families in Denver for the same insurance policy
“The state can and should require insurance companies to treat the entire state as a single insurance pool,” Cagin said. “It may slightly raise premiums in larger urban areas, but it would drastically reduce ours to make insurance affordable.”
Cagin also says education funding puts rural schools at a disadvantage. He feels the state should increase funding to rural schools struggling financially because their budgets rely heavily on property taxes from lower home values. Meanwhile, urban school budgets get the benefit of higher tax revenues from rising home values. “More state resources are needed for rural schools, including for higher education,” Cagin said. “Small towns are getting left behind. The state is prospering, but it’s largely contained to Front Range and resort areas.”
Other issues that interest Cagin are promoting more broadband for rural areas, supporting more renewable energy projects, and taking a look at adjusting the Taxpayers Bill of Rights and the Gallagher Amendment, which he feels handcuffs the state’s progress.
“I will be talking to as many people as I can, and will be visiting Cortez a lot,” Cagin said. “My message is that I will fight for policies that treat rural areas more equally. When the gap between the prosperous and those struggling gets wider, it fuels the divide, and the feeling that government is choosing the winners and the losers.”