GOP likes Gallagher for D-18; he’s thinking it over

       Second-term Colorado Springs City Council member Tom Gallagher garnered 70 percent of the delegate votes for the Republican Party's State-house District 18 candidacy at the county assembly March 8 - but he's still not sure if he wants the job.
       The longtime Westside resident hadn't even gotten to the assembly yet. “That'll teach me not to show up for my district meeting,” he quipped, though he added, “I'm flattered to do as well as I did and not be there.”
       He told the Westside Pioneer March 10 that he plans to wait 10 days for an “exploratory group” to look at the possibilities. Employed as an engineer, Gallagher said he also needs time to think about whether running for state representative is the right thing for himself and his family.
       He admitted the possibility did not come totally out of the blue. “It's been talked about, but it's still somewhat of a surprise,” he said.
       After the 10 days, “I know I'll have something more concrete,” Gallagher said. “I'll have a press announcement and let everybody know.”
       Meanwhile, a second Republican candidate, Kate Szot, also emerged at the assembly. The paralegal, former security officer and mother of six gave a speech on her own behalf and came away with 30 percent of the votes - enough to qualify for the primary.
       A Hillside resident, she has no political office experience, although she said she has helped other local Republicans with past election campaigns. Her chief reason for running is to reform the workers compensation law - largely as a result of a personal job experience, she explained.
       She also is an advocate for educational vouchers.
       Asked what kind of campaign she would run if chosen for the Republican nomination, Szot said she would probably create some posters with the help of friends and supporters, but probably wouldn't spend more than $500 in all.
       District 18 comprises an area including Manitou Springs, the older Westside and the downtown area. The incumbent is Democrat Michael Merrifield, who is serving his third term and was selected to run for a fourth term at the Democratic Party's county assembly in February.

Westside Pioneer article