FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 20, 2017
Seth Cagin Announces Candidacy for the State House of Representatives
I am excited to announce today that I am running for the Democratic Party nomination for Colorado State House of Representatives from the 58th House District.
I am a former newspaper editor, publisher and reporter, and am writing this press release in the first person because I don’t have a press secretary or campaign manager. Mine is a “do it yourself” campaign, at least to begin with.
I have lived in the heart of the 58th House District, in Telluride, for the past 30 years. For most of those years, I published The Watch newspaper, serving San Miguel and Ouray counties.
The 58th House District has not been represented by a Democrat since 1980. What’s more, three out of four counties in the district voted for Donald Trump in 2016, by margins ranging 61.2% to 76.1%. My home county, San Miguel, voted for Clinton by 68.7%.
Those numbers reflect the deep polarization we are experiencing in American politics. And that is exactly why I have decided to devote the next year of my life to running as a progressive in this district. I deeply believe that we Americans must overcome the forces that are dividing us into warring tribes who barely talk to each other… before those forces rip us even further apart.
I intend to prove in this campaign that we are not as divided as our corrosive politics often make it seem. I want to introduce myself to my neighbors across the divides (Lizard Head Pass and Dallas Divide) and ask them about the issues that concern them most. I want give them my promise that if they elect me I will work hard at the State Capitol to improve their lives.
I plan to wear out a bunch of shoes going door-to-door with the hope that I can break through the stereotypes that keep people apart. I know that many of the voters I will meet have been voting Republican. So, I will ask if we can move beyond our party affiliation to find our common ground.
I believe that the overwhelming issue in the 2018 election nationally will be the disturbing state of our civic life. I believe that the path forward is for us to reject the politics of division and scapegoating and to come back together as Americans with shared purpose and values. I believe that while some politicians thrive on conflict, most voters would prefer to see cooperation. I believe that most Americans want to see more educational and economic opportunity for themselves and their families, more investment in their communities and neighborhoods, and health care they can afford. These are the issues I will speak to over the next 12 months. I believe there is common ground even on the hot button issues that some politicians exploit to keep us angry with each other: issues like gun rights, abortion and immigration.
I am inspired by Wallace Stegner, who wrote, in 1969:
“One cannot be pessimistic about the West. This is the native home of hope. When it fully learns that cooperation, not rugged individualism, is the quality that most characterizes and preserves it, then it will have achieved itself and outlived its origins. Then it has a chance to create a society to match its scenery.”
It will be my privilege this coming year to meet as many of those rugged individuals as possible, hoping we can find a path to cooperation, living together, as we do, against the backdrop of Southwestern Colorado’s magnificent landscapes.