Better Know a District: The CO House District 54 race, Soper vs. Slaven-Emond

Where is Colorado House District 54?

Colorado House District 54 is all the dark pink area in this map. It includes Clifton, Fruitvale, DeBeque, the towns of Mesa, Collbran, Fruita, Loma, Mack, Glade Park, Palisade, Whitewater, Gateway, the western side of Delta County and the central part of the town of Delta proper. It’s the “doughnut” around state House District 55.

Republican Matt Soper at the GOP rally in Delta on Saturday, May 16, 2020, where he told numerous lies to the crowd.

The race for Colorado House District 54 is between the incumbent, Matt Soper (R) and AliceMarie Slaven-Emond (D), both of Delta. You can read articles in this blog about Matt Soper at this link.

Matt Soper (R-incumbent)

Soper won the House Representative D-54 office in 2018 under contentious conditions. Published articles reveal that Soper lied to the Secretary of State about where he lived in 2018, listing the address of a rental house his mother owns as his own residence in order to meet the residency requirement to qualify to hold the House District 54 seat. In truth, an unrelated family had lived in the house for years, and after one of the occupants swore in a legal affidavit that Matt Soper did not live in the house with him and his family, Soper had his mother evict the family from the home as retribution for telling the truth publicly about how Soper did not live there. When questioned about the location of his actual full-time residence, Soper has never answered the public’s questions about where he really lives, and to this day we do not know the answer to that question. Soper has a law degree from Edinburgh, Scotland, and claims to have other degrees (including an LLM degree, or Master of Laws, which is one year of full time study, vs. 3 years full time study required for a JD, or Juris Doctorate, the degree required to practice law) and LLB degree, or Bachelor of Laws, an undergraduate law degree in the United Kingdom. Soper has never worked as an attorney.

Close examination of Soper’s public statements reveals he is either a prodigious liar or incredibly misinformed about issues. On May 16, 2020 Soper gave a 17 minute speech to citizens on a public street in Delta in which he revealed he holds dangerously simplistic views of the coronavirus epidemic, was deeply misinformed about the way coronavirus statistics are being compiled, and was either completely lacking in knowledge or out-and-out lying to citizens about something as easily verifiable as what is in the Declaration of Independence. At the same time, on his Facebook page, Soper claims to be a “historian.”

Soper is part of the Old Guard Republican Establishment (OGREs), having been hand-picked by the area GOP to replace House District 54 Representative., Yeulin Willett, who retired.

AliceMarie Slaven-Emond (D)

AliceMarie Slaven-Emond has been a nurse-practitioner for 27 years. She has not previously held elected office. She previously worked as a teacher for the Technical School of the Rockies, is deeply concerned about the issues of public health, particularly surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic, education, health care and affordable housing. She has been a lifelong volunteer in community organizations. She has also been a foster parent and has experience in social services. You can read an article about her here, in the Delta County Independent. 

Slaven-Emond received her BS at Colorado State University, her BSN at Montana State University and her MSN in Primary Care at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. You can watch a short video of AliceMarie Slaven-Emond speaking at the GetOutTheVote rally here:

Here is another short video of Slaven-Emond discussing her priorities for public office:

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