Mary Elizabeth Fabian, the Colorado Republican Party’s candidate for House District 18, which encompasses most of downtown Colorado Springs, Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs, sat down with Complete Colorado for an interview.
Fabian replaces GOP primary candidate Jillian Likness, who withdrew from the race in July for health reasons. According to Fabian, she first fell in love with Colorado Springs as a teenager, before moving here in 2009 with her husband and three children.
“I came to Colorado as a teenager and told my mom ‘oh my gosh I love it here I want to live here someday,’” said Fabian. “I grew up as an Army brat and my dad retired and became an educator in South Florida. My husband and I got married and he got stationed at Fort Carson.”
“I can remember turning onto Academy from I-25 to drive to Fort Carson. It was February and it was fairly early in the morning. There was snow, it had snowed the day before. My husband looked at me and I said ‘yeah, we’re home.”
A dedicated small-business entrepreneur, Fabian consults with and assists small business owners to help them fill needs they may not have the experience or manpower to fill themselves.
“I find niche areas that a small business can’t afford to have a full-time person and either myself or one of my associates goes in and helps with those areas,” says Fabian.
Many of the entrepreneurs she works with are “poor moms with multiple children who can’t afford daycare.”
“I like to give women the opportunity to use their smarts. I personally as a mother have put myself aside career wise time and time again because I felt like taking care of my kids was the important thing,” she said. “I don’t regret that decision but being able to give women the opportunity to keep a foot in their career interests so that someday, when their kids are grown and they want to go back [to work], they have 15 years of experience doing this stuff instead of a big gap is great.”
Fabian is concerned with the regulatory burden state and local governments place on small business owners and as a state representative she says she wants to find innovative ways to ease that burden.
“What I’ve seen with these small businesses is we regulate, regulate, regulate. And almost as soon as one law comes in and we know how to handle it, more are coming and it’s almost like drinking from a fire hose,” she said.
“I want to help businesses by having laws on the books that are easy to understand,” said Fabian. “When you’re running a business, trying to sit down and understand legal-ease often gets put to the side until all of a sudden you’re slapped with fines or you’re risking losing your company. I would love to help clarify that area. That’s what I do in my business, I try to keep them out of hot water.”
“Wayne Williams makes it incredibly easy to create a business in the state of Colorado. Ten bucks and 20 minutes and you’ve done your filing,” said Fabian. “It’s a great way of stimulating the economy. But I’ve not see a ‘here’s your foolproof way to avoid the shark tank.’”
Fabian would be representing two distinctly different communities; Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs.
Fabian said, “I love Manitou. Manitou reminds me of Key West. I grew up going down there It was my favorite place to go because it showed all of the crazy, beautiful aspects of life, and I see that in Manitou.”
“You have to represent everybody, not just your party, not just the people who voted for you,” said Fabian. “When I get to Denver it’s not about just the voters who voted for me, it’s about everybody.”