Eagle County woman seeks seat in state House
EAGLE COUNTY – Heather Lemon has lived all over the world. She said it makes her appreciate America all the more.
But it could be even better, and that’s why Lemon said she’s running for a seat in the Colorado House of Representatives for House District 56, which includes Eagle, Summit and Lake counties. Lemon’s opponent is Lake County Democrat Carl Miller.
Lemon, an Eagle County Republican, is one of those up-by-your-bootstraps success stories. She worked her way through Wheaton College and John Marshall Law School in Chicago, then launched a successful legal career. For the past several years she has been an attorney in Eagle County, practicing what she calls “positive law.” She now focuses on immigration.
“In immigration work, you’re helping people change their lives for the better,” said Lemon. “They’re trying to improve their lives by legally immigrating into this country. They’re getting jobs, paying taxes, getting married, becoming citizens and contributing to the area both economically and culturally.”
Like many of her clients, Lemon knows what it’s like to work tirelessly to hold everything together. She’s a mother of three – one in college and two in high school – all honor students. An automobile accident in July 2000 left her youngest daughter, Kelly, with a paralyzed right arm and the family with mountainous medical bills. Kelly is slowly recovering the use of her arm.
“We were absolutely overwhelmed by the community’s support,” said Lemon. “Schools and churches are made up of people, and those wonderful people came from everywhere to help us. We would never have made it without them. I want to return some of the outpouring we received, and that’s why I’m running.”
Some of that service, she said, will mean fighting for local interests. Among them, she said, are water rights, land use, conservation and open space preservation, economic diversity, development and regional revenue-sharing that would help offset the cost of human services by richer counties, such as Eagle and Summit, contributing to struggling counties, such as Lake County.
“You have to look at it realistically,” she said. “Right now, the regional economy centers on construction and tourism, which operates hand-in-hand. The region should be attracting high-tech, low impact, non-polluting industry. It could become an economic center for the health-care industry. We should be exploring ways for people to make a living without opening up another ski shop.”
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