February 21, 2014 Updated: February 21, 2014 at 3:16 pm
Roni Bell Sylvester, a rancher from LaSalle, is the seventh Republican to enter the Colorado governor race, but she's not daunted by the odds.
"I have the cleanup crew," Sylvester said, referencing a group of close associates who she has worked with for years on policy research and analysis.
Those experts are in the field of domestic resource production and federal overreach - areas Sylvester said she's become an expert on while living in rural Colorado.
"I live in the epicenter of agriculture, livestock and energy production, within 120 paces of my front door," Sylvester said. "I have boots-on-the-ground knowledge."
Sylvester has worked with Colorado lawmakers on bills that would protect water rights, but her main focus as governor would be to end federal overreach, particularly through the Environmental Protection Agency.
"Anything that the federal government is trying to do outside of its enumerated defines - I don't call it enumerated powers - we are going to demand that they pack up and leave," Sylvester said.
She's so passionate about the issue that she said if Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, will adopt her policy on federal overreach and help Colorado's agricultural base thrive, she will withdraw from the race.
But before Sylvester takes on Hickenlooper, she'll have to get her name on the primary ballot - either through the Republican caucus process or through a petition - and then beat the competition.
Also running on the Republican Party ticket are Secretary of State Scott Gessler; former Congressman Tom Tancredo; former state Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp; state Sen. Greg Brophy; Jason Clark, owner of a money management company; and Steve House, the Adams County GOP chairman.
Contact Megan Schrader