by Chet Hardin
Next Wednesday, Aug. 15, Democratic candidate for House District 17, Tony Exum Sr., will be holding an event at Sand Creek Library, 1821 S. Academy Blvd. The event is scheduled to kick off at 4 o'clock that afternoon.
The event will feature former state Sen. Polly Baca. Baca has served on the Democratic National Committee and was the first Latina elected to Colorado's Senate.
Exum will be running against one-term incumbent Republican Rep. Mark Barker for the seat that represents the southeastern part of the Springs.
This isn't Exum's first campaign; in 2011, he ran unsuccessfully for Colorado Springs City Council.
This should be an interesting race to watch, as we explained back in March:
There are several plot lines at work. First is Exum's desire to provide a voice for the thousands of largely forgotten, lower-income people and families of his area. Second is being part of the Dems' determined effort to regain control of the state House, a slender 33-32 in favor of Republicans since the 2010 election. Already, the Dems have the wherewithal to assist in contested races.
Exum has been assured of help from the state party, but those volunteers from the party faithful will be just as vital. "It's gonna take a lot of effort," Exum told them, "from everybody here and about 100 people you know."
He'll also benefit from the local crusade to register (and reactivate) voters by the campaign to re-elect President Obama. Four years ago, that well-funded machine impacted HD 17 when Democrat Dennis Apuan was elected. But in 2010, Apuan lost to Barker.