By Anthony Bowe
THE COLORADO STATESMAN
The odds of Republicans defeating seven-term U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette this November may be long, but leaders in the 1st Congressional District have confidence in their recently designated nominee, Mike Fallon, 52.
An emergency care doctor at Denver Health, Fallon said he began mulling a run for office after the U.S. Congress passed health care reform legislation earlier in the year.
“I’ve had increasing frustration at the way our federal government has been running our country over the last several years with the increasing spending, increasing reliance on government programs, and health care was sort of the final straw,” he said. “Like many citizens I got frustrated to the point where I started to turn that frustration into some passion and got active.”
Fallon has also owned and sold urgent care clinics.
Fallon was nominated with 86 percent delegate support at the CD 1 assembly on May 15 at Hill Middle School in Denver. He was nominated by Elaine Brofford and garnered support from a majority of the 207 voting delegates over opponent Kelly Stanley.
“It was very moving,” Fallon said about his nomination. “To be able to gather their support in such an overwhelming majority was quite a moving experience and it reaffirmed that we are on the right track.”
Denver County Republican Chairman Ryan Call said the assembly turnout was double what it was in 2008.
“There’s a level of enthusiasm and energy with respect to this race that I haven’t seen in Denver in a lot of years,” Call said.
Steve Barton, a long shot candidate for U.S. Senate, made a speech at the assembly and Cleve Tidwell, another candidate for Senate, had a representative speak on his behalf. Several candidates running for state office also spoke, Call said.
Fallon believes DeGette is vulnerable in her reelection bid because she as a member of Congress suffers from approval ratings at historic lows.
Fallon has not yet filed a financial report with the Federal Election Commission, but said he has started raising money. DeGette has $119,389 cash on hand, according to FEC filings.
If elected, Fallon said his first priority would be to repeal the recent health care reform legislation.
“They’ve addressed only one aspect of the delivery of health care and that’s access. We all agree that health care needs fixing but when you only address access, you leave out of the equation the two other main components of the system, and that is quality — we have the highest quality health care system in the world — and high costs, which are growing at a faster rate than inflation,” he said.
Fallon said the nation should be operated like a business with “fiscal responsibility, balanced budgets and an understanding that if you fail there’s nobody there to bail you out.” He also advocates for the elimination of earmarks and the implementation of term limits in Congress.
Call said Republicans are excited about Fallon.
“He brings a really compelling message and a unique perspective that I think is sorely needed in congress,” he said. “This is a seat long held by Democrats but I also believe that voters of Denver and Arapahoe County are looking for competence and looking for fresh perspectives to help bring some change to Washington, and we think Mike Fallon is going to be a terrific candidate.”