Breck woman looks to fill Senate seat just vacated by Baumgardner
Grand County voters in 2020 will help select a new state senator to represent them in Denver and while the election is still nearly two years away one candidate is getting an early start.
On Dec. 7, Breckenridge area resident Debra Irvine officially announced her candidacy for Senate District 8, which encompasses all of the northwest corner of the state from Moffat to Summit County and includes Grand County. Irvine is running as a Republican for a senate seat that has been held by a member of the GOP for more than a decade.
Irvine is announcing her candidacy relatively early, a factor that she acknowledged and put on context of the vast geographic size of SD8. She said her early announcement is meant to provide her with enough time to travel extensively throughout the district in hopes of meeting constituents and getting a feel for the issues that matter to voters.
“I want to have the opportunity to meet someone, hear their stories and find out how things affect them,” Irvine said. “To find out what the issues are for them and their family. I want to meet as many people as I can. I am a door knocker.”
While Irvine will still need to secure the Republican nomination for SD8 if she hopes to win the 2020 general election she said her number one priority if elected to the state senate will be listen to her constituents to get a feel for the issues that matter most. In a broader sense Irvine highlighted issues related to water and water rights, forest fire mitigation and forest health, mental healthcare, fostering a pro-small business environment and protecting second amendment rights as key areas.
While Irvine has never held an elected public office before she has past experience running for the state house of representatives on two separate occasions as a Republican. During her life she has worked as an administrator for a defense contractor, spent time as a ski instructor and held a range of volunteer positions from Belgium to Breckenridge. Originally born in New Jersey Irvine grew up in a military family and spent much of her childhood in ski town of Garmisch Germany.
Irvine’s husband was a career military man and later served as a diplomat including a stint the family lived in Brussels Belgium. Irvine’s son is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy and is an Air Force veteran.
Irvine’s announcement on Dec. 7 was followed just 10 days later by the announcement that current incumbent for Senate District 8, Randy Baumgardner, would be resigning from his senate seat effective Jan. 21. Irvine said she was not aware of Baumgardner’s impending resignation when she announced her candidacy and call the timing coincidental.
“I wish him and his family well,” Irvine said. “I thank him for serving. It is not an easy thing to do.”
A Republican vacancy committee will select a temporary replacement to appoint to Baumgardner’s seat. When asked if she had any thoughts on who the vacancy committee should select to replace Baumgardner Irvine laughed.
“Of course,” she said with a chuckle. “Me.”
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