House minority leader faces newcomer

Posted 10/15/08

A look at the two candidates for State House District 44: Democrat Shelly Tokerud, 54, defeated rival Ovieh Agahro in the August primary to make her …

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House minority leader faces newcomer


A look at the two candidates for State House District 44:

Democrat Shelly Tokerud, 54, defeated rival Ovieh Agahro in the August primary to make her second run at political office.

Tokerud lost her 2006 race for the Senate District 30 seat to Sen. Ted Harvey.

Now, the married mother of two daughters has fresh ideas to offer the constituents of State House District 44, a seat held by her opponent, Mike May, since 2002.

Tokerud is running on a platform that focuses on protecting private property rights, limiting environmental impacts, promoting innovation in schools, assisting the families of victims of violent crimes and ensuring the safety of children.

Tokerud, who has lived in Parker since 1992 with the exception of a five-year stay in Brussels, Belgium, has directed half of her campaign donations to purchasing child identification kits.

Tokerud, a marketing consultant, said she relies on thorough research to make important decisions.

She has been taught by Harvey McKay, John Nesbitt and Warren Benes, among others. Tokerud says her lack of political experience might be an asset because she would come into office with the mindset of an ordinary resident.

She plans to pioneer bills restricting eminent domain powers to help protect property owners, and wants to co-sponsor a measure headed by Rep. Paul Weissman, D-Louisville, that would redirect money used to prosecute death penalty cases toward assembling a Colorado Bureau of Investigation cold case team to provide answers to the families of murder victims.

Rep. Mike May, R-Parker, has spent six years as representative of House district 44 and was selected as House minority leader in 2006.

The 54-year-old, a former certified public accountant who now owns and operates hotels in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah, has lived in Parker for 22 years.

May was instrumental in passing the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act in 2006, which banned smoking in workplaces, restaurants and bars statewide.

He also pioneered a bill that requires graduated drivers licenses for all new drivers, which has resulted in a 60 percent drop in teen fatalities in Colorado.

If re-elected, May said he intends to focus on budgetary issues because of reckless spending in recent years.

He warned the House last April that a budget crisis was imminent, and now plans to repair the damage that was done.

“It requires balancing all the needs of Colorado with the needs of the taxpayers using limited revenues,” May said. “My background in finance is helpful in that.”

May, a former Parker town councilmember, is term limited and wants to spend his last two years in office following through on projects he has helped direct. Last year, May co-sponsored a bill that would have added a toll lane to Interstate 70 in the mountains.

The legislation never passed through the House, but he intends to resurrect an effort to ease the traffic congestions on the heavily used highway.

May also wants to lead a bipartisan charge to invest more money in the state’s infrastructure, and higher education.

— Incumbent May faces newcomer Tokerud— Tokerud focuses on education, property rights— May to head road, budget efforts


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