Republican candidate for House District 47 Ron Parker attended a meet and greet at the Copper Kitchen in La Junta in February. Parker was there to listen to the concerns of people in the valley and to share what he's interested in pursuing should he be elected.

"Some of the legislation I have been following deals with closing of the prisons," Parker said. "As you saw they did a
tremendous amendment thanks to Larry Crowder our Senator in this area he really helped out though,
he helped to at least change some of the amendments.

"There is still one verbiage that needs to go. The verbiage is 'A study. 'Because that study could be one day, one month, five years, but it could be one day. That needs to stop."

Parker also said if elected he would go after the so called red flag gun law. The law, signed by the governor in May of 2019, allows law enforcement and families to petition a judge for the temporary removal of an "at risk" person who may be a danger to themselves or others.

"They are senseless and useless," said Parker. "They make no sense. I could come up the Sheriff in town here and say, oh this
person right here just threatened me, I think they are crazy. Their guns need to be taken."

The text of the red flag bill that became law states specifically that a law enforcement officer, a family member, or a member of the household in which a supposed "at risk" person lives, may file for an Extreme Risk Protection Order. If granted by a judge, the order would result in the restriction of the "at risk" person's access to firearms temporarily or on a continuing basis.

On education, Parker had a unique take on the issue of substitute teacher shortages.

"This is kinda personal because I worked for the state for many years and I draw retirement," Parker started. "If I
go work another state agency of any type - I officiate baseball and softball - they take 11% of my game
and put it in the general fund of PERA. And it doesn’t go to my retirement. They just take 11%. And I
really want to know why.

"They talk about not being able to get certified teachers to come and sub after they’ve retired. Well, why would you go sub for $100 a day knowing they are going to take $11 off the top and then you have to pay taxes also on top of it. So, there are many teachers that say it’s not worth teaching if your going to take 11% off the top but this other person gets their whole pay. And that’s just, it’s wrong. So that would be one of the things, it may seem simple in nature, but it probably affects a couple hundred thousand people. And your looking at a sub pool for teachers, huge, that might go back to subbing in their retired years that you don’t have."

In Parker's parting notes he said, if elected, he "probably won't have much of a say" until Republicans gain back more control of the Colorado Congress. But he also added that he would serve as a voice to the people of the lower Arkansas Valley.

"Until we can get at least one house majority or the Governorship it will be a long haul," he said. "But I will promise you this: Even though my vote may not matter much up in Denver because they are going to vote the way they want, my voice will be heard. And it’s your voice, not mine. Because I’m not up there for me.

"If I get elected and my constituents say they're going to close the prisons on us, I’m going to be right there in the fore front saying 'No.' This wording of this bill may not say closure in it but the way you have written it is closure, and I know my constituents in this area have 2 prisons down here that although they are not in Otero County, Kit Carson I thought closed."