GOP House candidate Johansson likely moved to Golden just to gun for Tyler

When Democrat Max Tyler, Lakewood, was appointed to fill a vacancy created by Gwyn Green’s resignation from the Colorado House of Representatives last May, he knew he would have to run to retain the seat this year. Indeed, Tyler’s seat has been pegged by political analysts as one of roughly 20 state swing seats this year. But Tyler couldn’t have predicted that Republican Edgar Johansson would move from Denver to Golden just to run against him.

Edgar Johansson

In papers filed with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, Johansson reports he lives in a condominium on 11th Street, in Golden. The 921-square-foot unit is owned by Peter and Janet Reyelts, who also live in Golden, according to county records. Peter Reyelts confirmed that Johansson had moved into the unit on October 27, 2009.

The electronic keypad directory for the building shows no one named Johansson as a resident.

Public records indicate that Johansson has owned a house in Denver on Humboldt Street since 2003. On a visit to the house, a tenant said that Johansson had moved out in October in order to establish residency in HD 23. Johansson has not returned multiple phone calls.

Johansson’s resume on LinkedIn says he is director of business development at RedCanyon Engineering & Software in Denver.

He worked for the governor’s office under Bill Owens as Director-Asia and as the Space Liaison. According to his campaign website, Johansson “advanced Colorado companies’ ability to export goods and services into the Asian market. Concurrently I worked as the space liaison, creating an integral relationship with the Colorado aerospace community.”

He is currently the chairman of the board of the Colorado Space Business Roundtable. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Denver.

Tyler was appointed to the seat by a vacancy committee. He had been chairman of the Jefferson County Democratic Party for several years prior to the appointment. As a Legislator, he has been known for his leadership on environmental issues.

The Colorado Constitution says that a person must have lived within a district for 12 months prior to being elected to office. The election is November 2, so Johansson would have been required to live in the district since November 2, 2009 to be qualified for office.

According to Secretary of State Bernie Buescher’s public information officer, Rich Coolidge, Johansson registered to vote at the Golden address on October 28, 2009. In order to register, Coolidge said, he would have needed to provide some proof of residency, such as a driver’s license, passport, or utility bill.

According to reports filed with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, Johansson raised just under $6000 in the first quarter of 2010, with the vast majority of the money coming from outside of District 23. For the same period, Tyler raised just over $25,000.

Colorado Democratic Party communications director Grace Lopez Ramirez said the Democrats “absolutely never” encourage anyone to move in order to run for office from a district they don’t already live in. The Colorado Republican party did not return phone calls. Rep. Tyler did not return phones calls or an email.

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Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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