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An Interview with Larry Don Suckla

By Valerie Maez

June 3, 2024

Julie and Larry Don Suckla

 

In a phone interview with Larry Don Suckla, Republican candidate for HD58 I asked the following questions. It is critical that all who live within HD 58 understand the differences between the two men seeking the nomination, and how they see the role of government in our lives. Fortunately, this campaign has been absent of the rancor that is on display in some of the other competitive primary races here in Colorado. Hopefully, that doesn’t translate into voters minds as it doesn’t matter who wins as long as its a Republican, as even Democrat voters are looking to change what has transpired here in Colorado under the party of Polis, Griswold, and Company. The choice has never been so clear. It also would be great to have someone from Montezuma representing us in Denver. I haven’t seen our current Republican HD58  State Representative for over two years here in Montezuma County. That should be something else for all Republicans here in the County to consider when voting there primary ballot.

 

1.  With there not being any population centers within the Montezuma County precincts that were redistricted, it really decreases the vote in your home base. I know this has caused you to do major travel to the other Counties in HD58. Have you kept track of the mileage to date that you have incurred?

The number of days you have spent on the road with your campaign?

    Actually I haven’t. I have given 25 speeches at events, most of them in Montrose County, as of the approximately 90,000 voters in HD58, sixty percent live in Montrose County. I have been to all the Counties within HD58 and have basically been operating out of my travel home in an RV park in Olathe. I get home when I can.

 

2.  An obvious follow up question, is why do it?

    I am doing this because I don’t want Colorado turning into California. I love living in Colorado and I want my kids, and everybody else who has kids, to have the same rights and freedoms I had growing up here.

 

3.  At one of your events, you mentioned that if elected, you wanted to look into auditing some of the State departments finances. Which ones and why?

    Primarily I want to look at the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). The reason being is we all pay gas taxes into a fund that is to be distribute road projects equally across Colorado. It is my thought that the distribution is not fair to our West Slope. So, if I am fortunate enough to be elected, I want to look at that.

   

4.  Local administrative departments are proposing new taxes for their budgets, claiming the County does not adequately address their respective needs. Your thoughts?

    Every year, the County prepares a budget from budgets submitted by the various department heads. Part of the job is looking at each one and eliminating the fluff from those budgets. There is always something that can either be eliminated or reduced. I would make sure that was the case before advocating any new tax.

 

5.  TABOR refund money is being circumnavigated by the current State Legislature. How do you see this issue?

    That needs to be stopped.  TABOR was passed by the people to limit government expenditures. Any taxes collected that exceed the budget is to be returned to the people paying taxes.

 

6.  School funding is always an issue. They never seem to ever have enough money to cover their dreams and  public school enrollment is now on the decline. How do we have an honest conversation about what’s gone wrong, how it can be fixed, and how to pay for it?

    A good example would be  school districts in Mesa and Montrose County. Mesa School District, if memory serves me, has about 41 Administrative staff. Montrose Schools have approximately twice that number with about half the student enrollment. I would like to see the possibility of reducing administrative jobs, use the  allocated money for those positions to raise the pay of classroom teachers. I think that would be a good first step.

 

7.  Any updates on how the Halt the Dolores Monument is doing?

    Well, I do know that the San Miguel Commissioners finally approved drilling permits to a mining company around Slick Rock that was an impediment to the NCA. As to the Monument itself, I know that Sean Pond was turned down from being allowed to address a meeting of the Public Lands Council despite the fact Sean was willing to use his own money to travel to Washington D.C.

 

8.  Are you aware that the Resource Management Team for the proposed National Conservation Area on the Dolores does not  include a designated seat for MVIC who hold the oldest Senior water rights on the Dolores River that predate the 1922 Colorado River Compact?

    As a local issue there is no difference between the Monument and the NCA. The folks pushing these things want it all.

 

9.  Any last thoughts you want to express on anything?

    There is a big difference between being a County Commissioner and a State Representative. The experience as a Commissioner is a good background, but as I travel the HD 58 District and talk with voters and listen to them I am convinced that it will take strong people who are willing to fight for every inch. With all due respect, I don’t think my opponent has that.

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