Republican hopefuls also campaign for HD 1 seat

The Colorado Statesman

The two Republican candidates seeking the House District 1 legislative seat are focusing their attention on courting unaffiliated voters, while the Democratic candidates are preoccupied with their own primary contest.

The candidates both have backgrounds in business. John Kidd, who is the CEO of an insurance agency in Cherry Creek, is facing off against James Wildt, vice president of an accounting firm in Littleton.

The district holds a strong Democratic advantage, with 43 percent of active voters registered as Democrats, 27 percent as Republicans, and 30 percent unaffiliated, according to the latest numbers from the secretary of state’s office as of March 1.

Wildt — who just turned 60 years old — has lived within the district borders his entire life, and served as president of the Glenbrook Homeowners Association. He doesn’t like the label of politician, referring to himself as a “citizen advocate.”

As for campaigning, Wildt believes his familiarity with the district and its residents is his main advantage over Kidd.

Kidd believes he holds an advantage over Wildt in that he “understands the diversity within the district.”

“The district is divided almost in half with Hispanics to the north and Caucasians to the south,” Kidd said. “I don’t think the representative we have is legislating for both sides. My wife is from the Philippines, so I understand the challenges that someone from another country faces within our system.”

Denver Republican Party Chair Danny Stroud — who ran as the Republican candidate for HD 1 in the 2010 election — said he doesn’t have an opinion on which candidate is better suited to run in the district.

Stroud described Wildt as a “local, political leader” and Kidd as an experienced businessman with “lots of high-end skills.”

“It’d be nice if you could find a guy that has both of their attributes,” Stroud said. “They’re two very different kinds of guys, but they’re both great.”

Neither candidate has filed contribution reports with the secretary of state’s office, but Wildt has said he will not accept donations until he is on the ballot.

The multi-county assembly to decide whether the candidates make the ballot will be held on April 13. The threshold for receiving a spot on the ballot is 30 percent, which Wildt suspects would amount to about 9 delegates.