Logan County commish running for state senate

Byron H. Pelton, Logan County Commissioner for District 1, is announcing his bid to serve as the Colorado State Senator from District 1.

“It is crucial that Colorado elects someone to the Senate that is willing to be a strong voice for Energy and Agriculture. These two industries are the largest economic drivers in the state of Colorado. Weld County alone has over 1.975 million acres of land devoted to farming and raising livestock. As the divide widens between rural and urban areas of Colorado, we must have an experienced voice defending Agriculture and Energy at the capitol. With Senator Jerry Sonnenberg term limited as our Senator, it is imperative that we elect someone who will continue to be an advocate; someone who will be willing to stand up and fight for rural Colorado,” explained Commissioner Pelton on his decision to continue his public service.
Commissioner Pelton was raised on a dryland wheat farm in Cheyenne Wells, Colorado. He moved to Basalt, Colorado as a freshman in high school where he worked with his father running a cow calf operation. After graduation, he joined the United States Navy serving in Norfolk, Virginia repairing ships that had been damaged in the Desert Storm conflict.
After the Navy, Pelton returned to Basalt to work as an electrician. His skills would relocate him to northeast Colorado where he would spend a little over two decades working as a Master Electrician.
“Whether I was wiring a center pivot sprinkler, wiring a loading/unloading system on grain bins, or working on somebody’s farm house, those 20 years gave me great insight as to the struggles of farmers and ranchers and small business owners in northeast Colorado,” Pelton said.
After becoming frustrated with the current state of government in 2008, Pelton became active in the Logan County Republican Party, serving as second vice president, first vice president, and then chairman, as well as vice chairman of the 65th House District. In 2017, Pelton was honored as Logan County Republican of the Year.
In 2016, Commissioner Pelton decided to serve the residents of Logan County and run for county commissioner. He was elected and began his first term in January of 2017 and was re-elected in 2020.
During his five years in office he has fought to lower taxes for land owners and business owners. He was successful in relieving some of the burden of the business personal property tax. He has voted every year to lower property taxes in Logan County. A strong fiscal conservative, Pelton has worked hard to obtain grant monies to take financial burden off of the taxpayers, farmers and ranchers, and small business owners. A couple of these grants were a million dollar energy impact grant through DOLA and a significant off-highway bridge grant.
After losing several youth and farmers to suicide in northeast Colorado, Commissioner Pelton experienced the need and fought for improved resources and funding for mental health in rural areas of Colorado. His work earned him a spot on the Governor’s Behavioral Health Taskforce, where he took advantage of the opportunity to advocate by educating others throughout the state about the inequities in the mental health system between rural and urban areas. That work is bringing much needed resources to northeast Colorado, including $1.1 million that was just awarded last week to several counties within Senate District 1.
Commissioner Pelton spent the last three years serving on the Child Welfare Allocation Committee. His work on that committee prompted him to fight for better funding for substance abuse and treatment centers for rural areas. For the last 16 months, he has worked with the Attorney General’s office to create a memorandum of understanding and negotiate the $400 million Federal Opioid Settlement money.
As Logan County commissioner, Pelton would use his leadership skills in Denver, where he serves on the Board of Directors for Colorado Counties, Inc. (CCI). In this role, he works with CCI staff and lobbyists regarding proposed legislation and has testified for good bills and against bad bills multiple times. He spent much of 2021 fighting against the Pause Initiative that would have been catastrophic to agriculture in Colorado. He visited counties all over Colorado, both rural and urban, working to build unanimous opposition against the Pause Initiative before it was struck down by the Colorado Supreme Court. Commissioner Pelton has been recognized by CCI multiple times, being awarded “Colorado Freshman Commissioner of the Year” in 2017, and “Colorado Commissioner of the Year” in 2021.
Current State Senator Jerry Sonnenberg endorsed Pelton saying, “In a legislature that sees the number of agriculture and rural voices continue to diminish, it is key to our state that we elect someone that understands agriculture and rural Colorado. As a man that believes families come first and an already strong voice on rural issues as well as the leadership skills to solve problems in today’s political environment, Commissioner Pelton is ready to hit the ground running at the State Capitol and that is why I support him in continuing his public service.”
Commissioner Pelton resides in Sterling with his wife of 17 years, Celeste. Together, they run a small cow calf operation and raise their two daughters, Mattea and Elliana.
“If the good people in the seven counties that make up Senate District 1 would see fit to elect me as their next senator, I will work with every fiber in my being to represent rural families, our rural economy, and our rural way of life,” said Commissioner Pelton.