El Paso County Republicans have a new candidate in the race for Colorado’s House District 18 — and she’s got a long way to go to catch up to her opponents before the November election.
Mary Elizabeth Fabian was selected late last month by an El Paso County Republican vacancy committee, said GOP District Chairman Andy Colon. She will succeed Jillian Likness, who dropped out of the race barely a week after earning her party’s nomination in June, citing health complications.
While two others were possibly interested in the spot, Fabian was the obvious choice, said Cassandra Sebastian, executive director of El Paso County’s Republican Party. She’ll face Democrat Marc Snyder and Maile Foster, an unaffiliated candidate backed by Unite Colorado and Unite America, nonprofits formally known as the Centrist Project.
Fabian said she is a small-business woman and mother of three who is passionate about serving the community. Her top three issues for the race are public safety, education and business.
One of Fabian’s sons has from autism, though he’s high-functioning, she said. And finding schools that meet his special needs has been difficult. So if, elected, Fabian said she wants to give parents options that might make private schooling more affordable and give teachers the ability to work outside the box.
“I’m tired of cookie-cutter educational methods,” Fabian said.
Since she was named the GOP’s new candidate, Fabian has been knocking on doors and attending local events to meet the electorate and familiarize herself with the issues, Sebastian said.
Already there is a wide gap between Fabian and her opponents. Campaign finance data filed with the Secretary of State’s Office shows that as of Aug. 1, Fabian has collected $610 from nine contributions.
So far Snyder has raised $34,354 and Foster has raised $29,751, the filings show.
But Fabian said those numbers are already outdated.
“I’m a PTA mom, I’ve been fundraising since my kids were in pre-K,” she said. “I was elected on the 21st and I believe the campaign finance report went through on the 27th, $600 is definitely not where I am.”
Sebastian called Fabian “feisty” and said the candidate is up for a challenge. Similarly, Colon said the GOP newcomer will be the next state representative in House District 18.
“She really believes her community deserves better representation and she sees how she can give them that,” Sebastian said. “And she knows she’s going to have to prove herself and do some hard work to earn that.”
The House District 18 seat is being vacated by Rep. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs, who is running for a Colorado Senate seat.