Glenwood Springs attorney Karl Hanlon to run for Congress
November 29, 2017
Karl Hanlon of Carbondale, a water and municipal lawyer who currently serves as chief legal counsel for the city of Glenwood Springs, has announced he is running for Colorado's 3rd Congressional District seat as a Democrat.
He will launch his campaign with a three-day tour around the district starting next Monday in Alamosa and ending Wednesday in Glenwood Springs.
"Over the last several months, I have spoken with many people about the challenges we face in western and southern Colorado. In those conversations, the thing I've heard over and over is that people are feeling ignored by their elected representatives," Hanlon said in a prepared statement.
The 3rd District is now represented by U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, a Republican from Cortez. Tipton defeated former Democratic state Sen. Gail Schwartz in 2016, and first won election in 2010, defeating then-incumbent Democratic Congressman John Salazar.
Tipton filed as a candidate for re-election to a fourth term in February of this year.
Hanlon joins two other Democrats in the race for the party's nomination. State Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush of Steamboat Springs announced in July that she would be running for Congress, and Chris Kennedy of Grand Junction filed his candidacy in September.
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Added Hanlon, "It's time for independent, innovative leadership that will take on health-care costs, have an honest conversation about energy and the environment, take meaningful action on opioid addiction and the mental health crisis, and work for the thoughtful preservation of our agricultural heritage."
Hanlon is currently the Glenwood Springs city attorney and a shareholder at the law firm Karp Neu Hanlon, P.C. with offices in Glenwood Springs, Montrose and Aspen. He has participated on behalf of Glenwood and Rifle in the negotiation of the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement, and has worked on implementing the provisions of that agreement.
Hanlon said his focus with local government is to help find creative solutions to economic and infrastructure needs of communities. He said he plans to use this approach to take on "an entrenched, dysfunctional Congress filled with career politicians who have forgotten why — and who — they serve.
"Unlike the people who claim to represent us in Washington, D.C., at the moment, I commit to you that I will show up, listen to you, and look you in the eye even if we disagree," Hanlon said.
Hanlon grew up in a cattle ranching family in southern Wyoming and Jackson County, located at the northeastern-most tip of the sprawling 3rd Congressional District.
His parents grew up during the Great Depression and worked in factories during WWII, according to a biography included with Hanlon's announcement.
His sister, Anne, runs the family ranch today, while Karl became a first-generation college student. After receiving his undergraduate degree at the University of Wyoming, he spent four years as a seasonal park ranger for the Colorado Division of Parks. He also attended the Police Academy in Rangely, achieving Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training certification.
Instead of becoming a police officer, he was accepted to the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, where he graduated with a law degree and an environmental certificate. Knowing that water would be a key issue for Colorado, he returned to the state and opened his practice in Glenwood Springs.
Hanlon is married to Sheryl Barto and is a father and stepfather of four. They live on a small ranch in Carbondale.
There, he and Sheryl founded Smiling Goat Ranch, a nonprofit that brings children with autism and veterans with PTSD to interact with horses and other animals.
Hanlon also sits on the board of Aspen Public Radio, volunteers at his kids' schools, coaches CrossFit, and is an avid motorcyclist and skier.