Colorado native Jon Keyser says he’s running for the House District 25 seat to help restore political balance to the state legislature.
“We’re coming off of a couple of years of control by the same party,” he said. “There are no checks and balances.”
Keyser, a Morrison resident, said he would like to serve the state as a “citizen legislator” representing the interests and concerns of those in his district.
“I’m a Republican, and I hope to have the support of the conservative base,” he said.
An attorney and reserve Air Force officer, Keyser is seeking the seat that Rep. Cheri Gerou has held for the past several years. Gerou, also a Republican, decided not to seek re-election this year.
While discussing the state’s current political climate, Keyser said that Democrats have passed legislation he finds objectionable.
Senate Bill 252 requiring electric cooperatives to comply with renewable-energy mandates is an example of urban politicians trying to control a rural way of life, Keyser said.
Renewable energy is costly to produce and financially burdens the Intermountain Rural Electric Association and other electric cooperatives in the state, Keyser said.
He supports efforts to produce natural gas and oil in the state through the hydraulic fracturing process.
“We have the opportunity in the United States to be energy independent,” he said. “It’s a critical part of our economy.
“It has to be done safely and responsibly,” Keyser added.
He also supports conservation efforts and preservation of open space areas such as those in Jefferson County. Being a good steward of natural resources is important, Keyser said.
Improving the state educational system is also a priority for Keyser.
“We want the best education we can possibly have,” he said.
Salary increases for teachers are a way of ensuring they are treated fairly and are retained, he said.
“We want to aggressively pursue high-performing teachers,” he said.
Along with other state Republicans, Keyser said he does not support the gun-control legislation passed last year. It is difficult to enforce and has resulted in a loss of business in Colorado, he said.
“I think we were overreaching,” he said. “I don’t think there was a single Republican who voted for it.”
Keyser is also critical of House Bill 1303 mandating the use of mail-in ballots in elections.
“That was sold as a bill of goods. I didn’t buy it,” he said.
Although supporters of the bill claimed that it would streamline the voting process, Keyser said it actually harkens back to the days of the “Pony Express.”
Keyser said that last fall he received multiple ballots in the mail, which can cost as much as $10 each to send to voters.
“I think that’s completely inefficient,” he said. “It’s very expensive.”
“I think voters should be able to decide how they can vote,” he remarked.
Keyser also said he was misrepresented in social media communications about the manner in which he protested the two mail-in ballots that he received.
While focusing on issues within his district, Keyser said wildfire mitigation efforts are essential for residents. A related concern for residents living in heavily forested areas is maintaining adequate insurance coverage for their homes, he said. Some insurance companies are canceling policies or not renewing them, Keyser said.
“I hope to represent everybody in the district,” Keyser said. “I believe in a constitutional government. … As a military officer, I’ve taken an oath to support the Constitution of the United States. That’s the lens through which I’ll approach serving in the state legislature.”
Keyser is a graduate of the Air Force Academy who has served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan as a tactical intelligence officer. He received a Bronze Star for his service.
After returning from military service, he attended law school at the University of Denver and currently works at the firm of Hogan Lovells in Denver.
House District 25 includes Conifer and Evergreen, as well as a small portion of South Jefferson County east of the Hogback.