Rod Pelton Announces Candidacy
My name is Rod Pelton and I’m a lifelong farmer and a Cheyenne County Commissioner. I announced on Feb. 19th that I’m a candidate for House District 65, which is currently held by Jon Becker. While these are huge shoes to fill, I’d devote as much time and effort to represent the 65th district as I’ve done in my current position as County Commissioner. I’ve been married to my wife Kathy for 38 years. We have 2 grown daughters and 5 grandkids and we owe it to them to fight for the rights and freedoms that we’ve enjoyed. While I come to this race with no agenda, I do have a very strong passion to protect rural Colorado and the Eastern Plains. I’m in my 6th year as a County Commissioner and I’ve been the Chairman for all but one. I think this speaks to my leadership qualities that I’d bring to this office if I’m fortunate enough to be elected to this position.
As a commissioner, I’ve been very active at the State level and have worked with Representative Becker and Senator Sonnenberg to get things done to protect rural Colorado. I’m a 3rd generation Cheyenne County farmer and rancher and I live on the same section that I was born and raised on. I’ve owned and operated a custom harvest crew that travelled from Texas to North Dakota for many years. I currently have a registered Angus cow herd from which we sell seedstock. I’ve been elected twice to be the Chair of the Ag, Wildlife and Rural Affairs Legislative Steering Committee at CCI. I’ve been involved in production agriculture all my life, so I’m very passionate about protecting it from over- regulation and government activities that put too much pressure and expense on the producers and threaten their very existence. Sometimes there are regulations that are passed to put controls on the bigger operations that can put the smaller operators out of business, so we must ensure that the regulations are necessary and not more burdensome on one ag sector than another. Agriculture to me is one of the main economic drivers in the 65th, and I’d be a very strong and loud voice for Agriculture at the Capitol.
Every time we turn around Denver and Washington are passing “one size fits all” laws and regulations that are good for the Front Range and big cities, but can be harmful to smaller rural communities and counties. You and I both know that local governments and citizens know better what will work and what won’t for them, as well as what they can afford. Most of the time it is very costly to institute the new regulations that are aimed at the Front Range and maybe the mountains, but aren’t needed on the plains. We live and make our living out here on the land, and we wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize it.
Another important industry in the 65th is oil and gas exploration and production. Cheyenne County has benefitted from oil production for over five decades. Often nearly 70% of the county’s general fund revenue came from that industry. There are already more than enough regulations on the books, and we have several small to medium-sized oil companies in Cheyenne County that have said if they could sell their holdings in Colorado they would and they’d leave the state. The State Capitol is ground zero for defense against the onslaught of efforts to shut down the oil and gas industry, and I’d fight hard to keep the regulations at a minimum.
Our rural highways are in need of a lot of repair and upgrades, so I’d do everything I could to try to secure funding to address this situation. Since I’ve been a County Commissioner I’ve served on the Region 4 Eastern Transportation Planning Region, High Plains Highway Commission and I was named to CDOT’S Freight Advisory Council steering committee to try to get more funding to northeast Colorado highways. For some of us in rural Colorado, the highway system is an economic driver in our counties and communities and a highway system that is in good shape is essential.
I’d say every hospital and clinic on the eastern plains is under increasing pressure to provide skilled providers and staff, and they are also struggling financially. These are just a couple of the factors that make it very hard to keep the doors open, and we all know what happens to communities that lose medical facilities. We must make sure at the State Capitol that we continue to do all we can to preserve rural healthcare.
In conclusion, I would be more than happy to get phone calls or emails and talk about what I have to offer. I’m a common sense, Christian, constitutional, conservative, pro 2nd amendment candidate and I hope to gain your trust and support in the upcoming Caucuses, County Assemblies and, if you are chosen to be a delegate to the State Assembly for the 65th, your vote there. Be assured that although I’m from Cheyenne County, all of the eastern plains are important to me and I’ll fight as hard for everyone in the 65th as I do for Cheyenne County.