Bayfield resident and La Plata Electric board member Guinn Unger will be on the primary ballot in his bid to unseat state Sen. Don Coram, R-Montrose. Unger, a Democrat, petitioned onto the ballot.
The Colorado Secretary of State's Office verified Unger's petition Thursday. He was required to have 1,000 signatures. He turned in 1,538 and 1,189 were accepted. District 6 includes La Plata, Montezuma, Archuleta, San Juan, Dolores, San Miguel, Ouray and Montrose counties.
If elected, Unger said he would focus on reducing carbon emissions, increasing funding for highways and other infrastructure, equalizing insurance premiums available through Connect for Health Colorado and funding programs to combat opioid abuse, among other priorities.
Funding infrastructure is key for businesses, and public funding - including gasoline taxes - has not kept up with the need, he told The Durango Herald in March when he announced his intention to run.
To cut carbon emissions, Unger would like the state to take a phased approach to the renewable energy generation standards that companies have to meet so they could prepare to bring more renewables online by certain dates.
Carbon emissions in the transportation sector are likely to reduce as electric cars become more common, Unger said. He wants to make sure the state is ready by supporting the development of charging stations, which are currently prohibitively expensive for private businesses to invest in on their own.
Unger said the state should make sure there are adequate resources for residents seeking addiction treatment.
Unger graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from Rice University and worked at NASA for two years as part of the space shuttle design team. He has also owned three small businesses, including a software development firm. Most recently, Unger worked as a software consultant, managing large software implementations, and is currently retired.
In addition to his career in business, Unger served 28 years in the U.S. Army Reserve. If elected, he plans to resign his seat on the LPEA board.