DENVER — The 2013 legislative has barely begun and already candidates are lining up to run in next year’s election.
Earlier this week Michael Fields, a Teach for America 4th grade teacher in Aurora and former political strategist, announced a run for House District 37 in Centennial. The district is currently represented by Republican Spencer Swalm, who is term limited.
The announcement of the conservative Republican’s bid, just months after the GOP took a shellacking at the polls, comes at a time when party leaders and activists are taking a hard look at the party and its brand.
Fields believes he can play a positive role in transforming and modernizing the party’s image and outlook.
“The election this past November makes it clear: Republicans need some fresh blood and new ideas. With the shifting demographics in Colorado and the nation, Republicans need to do a better job of being intentional about reaching out to all voters,” said Fields in a press release that came with a detailed, 20-page issue paper laying out the 25-year old educator’s conservative policy vision.
Should Fields win election in 2014, he would be 27 at the time of his swearing in, which would make him the youngest member of the Legislature.
As a younger guy, who grew up in a bi-racial family, Fields’ candidacy presents a fresh alternative to the mainstream media caricature of an old and stodgy Republican Party.
While he may be a new face to the candidate pool, Fields is no stranger to the rigors of a political campaign. He worked on former Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier’s bid for the 7th Congressional District in 2010 as policy director, and managed Frazier’s run for mayor of Aurora in 2011. Nor is Fields a newcomer to the world of policy, having worked for both conservative U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) and the Colorado State House GOP caucus. Additionally, Fields holds a law degree from the University of Colorado.
The incumbent, Spencer Swalm, took the district 53-43 in 2012, but those familiar with the district say it will likely be more competitive as an open seat.