Glenwood Springs’ city attorney, Karl Hanlon, announces run for District 8 state Senate seat |

Glenwood Springs’ city attorney, Karl Hanlon, announces run for District 8 state Senate seat

Karl Hanlon provided

Glenwood Springs attorney Karl Hanlon has thrown his hat into the ring. 

Hanlon, a Democrat, will seek the party’s nomination to challenge Republican state Sen. Bob Rankin of Carbondale for the District 8 seat, which represents Garfield, Grand, Jackson, Moffat, Rio Blanco, Routt and Summit counties in the Colorado Legislature.

On Wednesday, former Eagle County commissioner and Carbondale resident Arn Menconi announced that he, too, would be seeking the Democratic nomination to run for the District 8 senate seat.

Hanlon, who grew up on a cattle ranch in Jackson County, graduated from the University of Wyoming and later received his Juris Doctorate from the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

In addition to representing the city, Hanlon also represents the town of Silverthorne, the Aspen Fire Protection District and serves as general counsel to the Grand Junction Regional Airport. 

Hanlon and his family currently reside outside Carbondale. 

“I really focus on communities, building their vision of what they want to become,” Hanlon said. “Working on everything from water and infrastructure issues to economic development.”

In 2018, Hanlon ran to represent Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, but ultimately finished second in the Democratic primary to eventual nominee Diane Mitsch Bush. Hanlon said he hoped to build on the successful aspects of that congressional run, in his bid for state senate. 

“Every constituent has a story and that story is important. I think that’s the biggest lesson,” Hanlon said. “Every community is facing challenges.”

When asked if his decision to run was influenced by Rocky Mountain Industrials, Inc.’s controversial plans to drastically expand its mining operation at the Transfer Trail limestone quarry just north of Glenwood Springs, Hanlon replied “absolutely, yes.”

“Communities are going to face those moments and they need representation in the state legislature that understands that moment that they are facing; and is willing to standup for them no matter what,” Hanlon said.

According to Hanlon, issues surrounding water, housing, education, health care and economic transitions would be at the forefront of his campaign. 

Sen. Rankin, who was appointed to the seat last year, replaced retiring Sen. Randy Baumgardner. Prior to that appointment, Rankin served as House District 57’s representative, which covers Garfield, Moffat and Rio Blanco counties. 

“If you look at Senator Rankin’s votes, there are a lot of them that are simply out of step with what this district both needs and wants and how it should be represented,” Hanlon said. 

Hanlon said he looked forward to speaking with voters on the campaign trail in the weeks and months to come ahead of the election. 

“The top priority for my campaign right now is to go out, talk to people and find out what their top priorities are,” Hanlon said. “We as a state need to focus on rural Colorado more.”

On the Republican side, Breckenridge-area resident Debra Irvine is challenging Rankin for their party’s nomination for Senate District 8.    

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.