In the race for Colorado House District 58, incumbent Republican Marc Catlin defeated Democrat Kevin Kuns by a vote of 25,938 to 19,757, or 57% to 43%.
In Montezuma County, Catlin garnered 2,363 votes, compared with Kuns’ 823 votes, or 74.2% to 25.8%
Catlin has a long career in water management and agriculture.
“I’m here to protect the Western Slope. Colorado should keep its water in the state. California needs to work on its own problems and not look to us,” Catlin said at a recent forum in Cortez.
Catlin said a big threat to agriculture is “buy and dry” where cities buy the farm, strip the water and leave in the river so it can be delivered to the growing urban areas of the Front Range. The result is fallowed farmland.
“This is a serious threat, we need more storage. That way, we have dominion over it,” he said. “Southern California is pushing hard (for water), and the Front Range is pushing just as bad. The urban-rural divide is not made up.”
Kuns, a “Western Slope Democrat from Montrose” running for District 58, worked in restaurant management as an adult and on a family ranch as a child. He said his business experience and people skills make him a good candidate.
Kuns said climate change and warming means less water, and collaboration is needed between city and rural areas on fair water use.
“We need farmers, we do not survive without them, cities need water,” he said. “I hate the divisiveness of urban versus rural. We need to look at the big picture, work together, be innovative. If we succeed, you succeed. We are tied at the hip.”