Karl Hanlon listens to voter concerns in tour of Summit County
DILLON — As election season heats up, candidates have started making their way to Summit County in an effort to connect with constituents.
Democrat candidate for state senate Karl Hanlon visited Summit County on a three-day tour of the area. From Thursday, Sept. 10, through Saturday, Sept. 12, Hanlon toured Frisco, Breckenridge, Blue River, Dillon and Montezuma.
Hanlon is running against State Sen. Bob Rankin for the Senate District 8 seat, which covers Summit County, Glenwood Springs, Steamboat Springs and Craig.
The goal of the “campaign caravan” was to connect with voters in a socially distant and safe way, Hanlon said.
“We’re still a place where people like to look you in the eye and ask you a question,” he said. “That’s what makes us special. So any way we can do that safely, we’re going to try to get out there and do that.”
Throughout his tour, Hanlon heard about the issues on the top of mind for Summit County voters. For most of those voters, the biggest concern surrounds the winter.
“There is a great deal of uncertainty going into the winter, what that’s going to look like in the ski season,” he said. “It was a great reminder when we were up in Breckenridge walking down the street (Friday) morning, it was cold out. People are not going to be out sitting in the middle of Main Street.”
If elected, Hanlon plans to put pressure on the federal government to provide more stimulus money for small businesses, he said.
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“At the state level, it’s really going to have to be focused around prioritizing where the money goes,” Hanlon said. “At this point we’re really going to prioritize the health and safety and success of our people in Colorado.”
Hanlon is focused on taking a science-based approach to the novel coronavirus pandemic. He commended Summit County on its response to the virus.
“It’s really critical that we stay the course that has been so successful in places like Summit County,” he said. “What business owners can’t afford is to really have a bad fall over the winter and be completely locked down.”
Hanlon said it will also be important for state representatives to listen to business owners and look at what works when making decisions.
“The solutions that we’re going to find to these problems are going to be generated, frankly, at the local level,” he said.
Frisco Mayor Hunter Mortenesen, who met with Hanlon to talk about the town’s needs on Friday, said he personally appreciates the desire to keep resort communities afloat.
“We’re still very very fragile right now in how things could go,” he said. “We have done a phenomenal job, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t stumble backwards if things don’t continue to go well and we don’t all continue to do what we can with community safety at the forefront of our decision making process.”
Hanlon said that as election day approaches he plans to have more conversations with voters like those he had in Summit County.
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