Tuesday, June 23, 2009

West Point grad looking to turn HD-1 red

Danny Stroud isn't running for the state legislature to be in politics. He's running to be a legislator.

"Nobody wants to go into a meat grinder. And I want to make a difference – I don’t want to be a statistic. I want to be in a positon where I can do something," said Stroud, who will be running as a Republican for Jeanne Labuda's seat in House District 1.

While HD-1 is probably the most GOP-friendly House district in Denver, the district still leans Democratic. But Stroud, a Denver business consultant, sees red where many others might see blue.

"The citizens are fundamentally conservative in my district and in a lot of the state," Stroud said. "And the Republican Party hasn’t done a very good job over the last eight or nine years keeping the message clean. And people are confused about things."

Stroud, 56, hasn't run for political office before, though in the 1980s he served on the Contra Costa County Mental Health Commission in California.

But as a former Army officer who graduated from West Point, Stroud said he's long kept an eye towards public service.

An Oregon native,Danny -- his given name, not a nickname -- moved to Colorado in the early 1990s. A bachelor, he has two children around college age. He said he'll likely formally launch his campaign around September.

Asked which issues he plans to focus on, Stroud said his platform will evolve as the campaign moves ahead.

Stroud, who said he hasn't heard of any GOP challengers, will likely have a tough time against Labuda, who despite some Democratic concerns last year won with 59 percent of the vote.

But Stroud says if he does lose, it won't be for lack of hard work.

"I’m a tenacious son of a gun, and nobody’s gonna beat me," he said. "I may not be successful in everything I do, but I sure don’t give up."

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