James Shelton Economy is key issue
October 13, 2012
James Shelton has knocked on a lot doors during his quest to be a state representative, and the thing he's heard over and over again is that the economy needs to be fixed.
Shelton, a Democrat, is running against Republican Perry Buck for the open seat left vacant when B.J. Nikkel, R-Loveland, was moved out of Colorado House District 49 and into House District 51 due to redistricting.
House District 49 incorporates Windsor, a little bit of Johnstown, Estes Park and the rest of Larimer County with the exception of the city of Loveland and the city of Fort Collins.
"I've worked with small businesses in Larimer County, and I think that the consensus is that they're doing all right but they're not doing great. They can be doing a lot better," said Shelton, a self-employed business consultant who specializes in strategic planning and financial analysis for small businesses. "I want to do a little bit more for small businesses. I think the state government can help small businesses a lot more than what we have been doing in the last few years to kick-start the local economy."
Shelton said the government must create a better environment, which includes efficiency in state licensing with the Department of Revenue.
"I think we can trim out some time there that it takes for small businesses to work with the state," Shelton said. "Efficiencies in our processes at the state level will help. I also think that we need to seek out innovative and creative businesses within Colorado that are starting up and find a way to incentivize them whether that's through tax breaks or incentives to hire people. If small businesses are on the brink of deciding whether they should hire somebody or not and are kind of on the fence, I want to be able to have a policy that pushes them over the edge to be able to hire that person that will hopefully help their business grow."
Education is another priority Shelton would address if elected.
"I've got a little 3-year-old boy, and my wife and I are concerned about the public school system," he said. "We just want to make sure that not only are they properly funded, but that they're spending the money that they get the right way."
Shelton knows he's in for a battle in a district that he says is 41 percent Republican, 22 percent Democrat and the rest unaffiliated voters.
"My strategy has been to talk to as many unaffiliated as possible and tell them what I stand for and see how the unaffiliated vote could possibly swing it," he said. "We would need to win 75 percent of the unaffiliated vote to win. It's going to be a major uphill battle, but it's a battle that's still worth fighting in my opinion."