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Larson cites business experience in bid for HD 22

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By Sal Christ

If Colin Larson looks young for a political candidate, it’s because he is. At 31, the Republican candidate for House District 22 is one of the youngest candidates running for office in Colorado this year and 25 years younger than his Democratic challenger Todd Kastetter.

But while his age might suggest a lack of experience, his resume doesn’t.

A 2009 graduate of Colorado College who grew up in the Ken Caryl neighborhood, Larson boasts a background in both politics and business — including three stints as a political research consultant, 2½ years in various roles with the National Republican Congressional Committee in Washington, D.C., and, more recently, as the co-owner of Atlas Coffees in Littleton.

After five years at the helm of the coffee shop, which celebrated its fifth anniversary Sept. 1, Larson yearned for a return to politics and leapt at the opportunity to run for office after state Rep. Justin Everett announced last year that he would forgo a re-election to HD 22 in order to run for state treasurer.

“I’ve always had an interest in politics. When I heard that Justin was going to seek the Republican nomination for state treasurer, I thought it would be a good opportunity to get in and change the current direction of representation down here,” said Larson. “I think we’ve been represented by people that are more focused on partisan issues versus the community and that’s been a disservice to us. I’m a pretty standard issue suburban Republican — I care a lot about schools, roads, keeping taxes low. I’m not so much interested in ‘get your name in the headlines’ type of stuff.”

Though Larson said he wasn’t taking a swing at Everett, he admitted that he felt the outgoing legislator was too focused on the partisan fray during his time in the General Assembly — something he said the Republican Party at large is also guilty of.

At stake for Larson are school choice, responsible spending in education, funding for road improvements, and things that impact small businesses such as right-to-work and rising minimum wages.

In particular, Larson said he would support more accountability for school spending versus “just throwing money at the situation,” would advocate for more transportation funding to widen C-470 and improve road surfaces, and find ways to reduce government regulations in the state.

Married to Gardner staffer
Born in St. Louis, Larson has lived in Colorado off and on since 1988, and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Colorado College in Colorado Springs. Father to Cora, 1, Larson has been married to Annie Larson, a regional director for Sen. Cory Gardner, for the past 4½ years. When not hiking around the trails in and around Ken Caryl, Larson and his wife spend time checking out new restaurants and breweries in Denver.

Contact reporter Sal Christ at sal@evergreenco.com or at 303-350-1035. Follow her on Twitter @decriture.