Endorsements

AFT Colorado

AFT Colorado

AFT Colorado is a union that represents thousands of members in K-12 Education, Higher Education, and Public Service. The mission of the American Federation of Teachers - Colorado, AFL-CIO, is to improve the lives of our members and their families, and to give voice to their legitimate professional, economic, and social aspirations.

Federal

President

  • Democrat
  • Joe Biden is one of the nation’s most experienced public servants, having served as a U.S. senator from Delaware for 36 years and the U.S. vice president for eight years. Biden is running on a comprehensive progressive platform.

    Biden has championed individual rights throughout his career — from spearheading the Violence Against Women Act to passing laws that expanded the definition of hate crimes to include those based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. Biden led the fight to pass the Brady Bill, which established the national firearms background check system, and helped secure a 10-year ban on assault weapons from 1994-2004. As vice president, Biden oversaw the implementation of one of the largest economic recovery plans in American history in 2009, saving the American automobile industry and millions of American jobs in all sectors of the economy. During the Obama/Biden administration, the United States made significant progress toward a clean energy economy and provided health coverage to millions of Americans via the passage of the Affordable Care Act — a law Biden has vowed to expand and improve.

    If elected president, Biden has pledged to work to reverse the damage from the last four years of partisan obstruction and executive branch policies solely benefiting the wealthy and well-connected. Biden supports a $15-per-hour minimum wage and 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for all workers. He also seeks to address the country's racial wealth disparity, equal opportunity, and jobs gaps by empowering small-business creation and expansion in economically disadvantaged areas. On the climate crisis, Biden proposes net-zero CO2 emissions in the U.S. by 2050 and rejoining the Paris climate accords. On the immediate front, Biden has proposed a national crisis response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Biden’s experience handling the economic recovery with Obama after the Great Recession of 2009 will inform his actions to help individuals, families, small businesses, and local and state governments that are struggling badly as a result of the botched response to the pandemic. Biden will restore the long-standing precedent that public health decisions are best made by public health professionals.

    Biden has pledged to defend abortion rights, expand and protect union membership, bring together an equitable and diverse group of experts to handle the nation’s institutional racism crisis, and restore dignity to the office of president of the United States.

    Biden is the clear presidential choice for progressive voters.

    In this election, he faces Donald Trump — considered by progressives to be the most corrupt, incompetent, anti-progressive president in recent memory and perhaps in American history. Trump’s biggest achievement as president was forcing through a massive tax cut that overwhelmingly favored the wealthiest Americans, making the nation’s historic income-disparity problem even worse. Trump unilaterally withdrew from the Paris Climate Accords, making the U.S. one of very few countries that are not signatories. Trump’s administration has encouraged repeated unsuccessful attempts by Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which has provided health coverage to millions of Americans, including a federal court challenge in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic to dismantle the law. Trump has supported racist immigration practices that contravene international law on the treatment of refugees.

    Trump’s decisions have trickled into even the most mundane things, affecting Americans on a daily basis. Trump scrapped a bill requiring airlines to disclose bag fees, blocked consumers from suing banks, ignored the growing crisis over student loans, lifted bans on transferring military equipment to local law enforcement which has exacerbated police-citizen conflicts, particularly in relation to Black Lives Matter protests, and has set off a trade war with China that has done tremendous economic damage to American agricultural producers and manufacturers.

    Controversies involving Trump’s presidency are too numerous to list here but include lying about mail voting to such a degree that social media platforms have been forced to remove his misinformation, racist, sexist, and defamatory statements against his political opponents, dispatching federal police to attack protesters in unmarked vehicles, installing corrupt and incompetent tools of special interest into every level of government, nominating federal judges and Supreme Court justices who seek to overturn Roe v. Wade, banning transgender Americans from military service, helping spread baseless conspiracy theories, defending the actions of overt white supremacists and racist nationalists, downplaying the severity of the coronavirus pandemic to the public despite detailed foreknowledge of the coming disaster, pursuing diplomacy with dictators while scorning traditional American allies, and changing federal guidelines to undermine racial equality. For a more comprehensive list, we encourage you to visit the Wikipedia page for Trump administration controversies.

    Evidence abounds showing that Trump never disassociated himself from his businesses and has used his office for personal enrichment. And let’s not forget he was impeached over revelations he first blocked military aid to Ukraine and then pushed its president to dig up damaging info on his political opponent as a “favor.”

    Trump must not only be defeated, but the margin of victory must be so resounding as to prevent him from calling the results of the election into question as he has already pledged to do.

    Joe Biden is one of the nation’s most experienced public servants, having served as a U.S. senator from Delaware for 36 years and the U.S. vice president for eight years. Biden is running on a comprehensive progressive platform.

    Biden has championed individual rights throughout his career — from spearheading the Violence Against Women Act to passing laws that expanded the definition of hate crimes to include those based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. Biden led the fight to pass the Brady Bill, which established the national firearms background check system, and helped secure a 10-year ban on assault weapons from 1994-2004. As vice president, Biden oversaw the implementation of one of the largest economic recovery plans in American history in 2009, saving the American automobile industry and millions of American jobs in all sectors of the economy. During the Obama/Biden administration, the United States made significant progress toward a clean energy economy and provided health coverage to millions of Americans via the passage of the Affordable Care Act — a law Biden has vowed to expand and improve.

U.S. Senator

  • Former Colorado Gov. and incumbent U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper did not take the usual path into public office. After being laid off from his job as a geologist, he opened a successful brewpub. But as a small-business owner, he became involved in his community, and he ran for office. He served two terms each as mayor of Denver and governor of Colorado, using his unique perspective to bring people together to get things done.

    When Hickenlooper was sworn in as governor in 2010, Colorado ranked 40th among the states in job creation. By the time Hickenlooper left office eight years later, Colorado had the #1 economy in the nation. Under Hickenlooper, when he was governor, Colorado’s economy grew without leaving Coloradans behind. Hickenlooper expanded Medicaid to cover an additional 400,000 Coloradans and cut the uninsured rate by nearly two-thirds. He signed three landmark gun safety laws in 2013 that banned high-capacity magazines and required background checks for any firearm transfer. On the environment, Hickenlooper made Colorado the first state to limit methane pollution from oil and gas wells. Working with the General Assembly, Hickenlooper signed legislation to ensure every eligible registered voter in Colorado gets a mail-in ballot, made voter registration more accessible, and pushed for numerous other election reforms that have made Colorado a model for election innovation. He also signed historic legislation granting in-state tuition to DREAMers.

    Hickenlooper has vowed to improve and build on the Affordable Care Act and supports a federally administered public health coverage option. Hickenlooper recognizes the existential threat of climate change and favors a bold, science-based approach. He supports commonsense policies on gun violence, including restoring an assault weapons ban. Hickenlooper was the first governor of Colorado to apologize for the Sand Creek Massacre and has committed to listening to the voices of marginalized communities and rooting out systemic racism where it lurks in our society, from police brutality to immigration laws to racial disparities in economic status to access to quality education.

    Hickenlooper is the progressive voter’s best choice for U.S. senator.

    He faces incumbent U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner in this election. While in the Senate, Gardner has been a reliable Republican vote on the overwhelming majority of issues. He has supported Donald Trump’s position on votes 89% of the time, and Politico notes that Gardner is “reliably conservative on most issues.” In 2014, Gardner promised in a campaign ad to speak out when his party is wrong and called on Donald Trump to pull out of the race for president in October of 2016. Since then, however, Gardner has fully embraced Trump and was one of the first senators to endorse Trump’s reelection.

    From his earliest votes in Congress, Gardner has consistently sought to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He has voted to repeal the ACA and to replace it with a bill that would dramatically decrease health care coverage and increase the cost of coverage. He was quoted at a private luncheon that failing to repeal the ACA would result in fewer donations to Republicans, suggesting he is not motivated by the common good.

    Gardner has rejected most gun safety legislation throughout his career and is a top recipient of donations from the National Rifle Association. He has voted against expanding background checks to include gun show sales, which has been the law in Colorado since just after the Columbine High School shooting in 1999. He even voted against banning gun sales to people on the terrorist watch list.

    In a historic change of heart, The Denver Post editorial board declared in 2019 they made a mistake in their 2014 endorsement of Gardner, stating he “has been too busy walking a political tight rope to be a leader.”

    This race also has a Libertarian candidate: Raymon Doane. Doane is a Denver native who currently works for the Colorado Department of Revenue as a property tax specialist and business analyst. He previously ran for the state senate in 2016 as a Republican, and in 2018, he first filed to run for state treasurer and then for Congress against Democrat Diana DeGette as a Libertarian.

    Doane’s few public statements should give voters pause. While the country has been dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, Doane was quoted as saying, “The federal government should not have to intervene on behalf of local municipalities and states that make poor decisions during a pandemic.” He also has said he thinks public health mandates should be more like “suggestions.” Additionally, among the four policy positions Doane takes on his website, one statement endorsing an unregulated Second Amendment stands out: “The government should NEVER have a monopoly on force. The U.S. Senate must … refuse to vote for any legislation which limits an American’s right to self-defense.” These kinds of statements don’t represent Colorado progressives.

    Former Colorado Gov. and incumbent U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper did not take the usual path into public office. After being laid off from his job as a geologist, he opened a successful brewpub. But as a small-business owner, he became involved in his community, and he ran for office. He served two terms each as mayor of Denver and governor of Colorado, using his unique perspective to bring people together to get things done.

    When Hickenlooper was sworn in as governor in 2010, Colorado ranked 40th among the states in job creation. By the time Hickenlooper left office eight years later, Colorado had the #1 economy in the nation. Under Hickenlooper, when he was governor, Colorado’s economy grew without leaving Coloradans behind. Hickenlooper expanded Medicaid to cover an additional 400,000 Coloradans and cut the uninsured rate by nearly two-thirds. He signed three landmark gun safety laws in 2013 that banned high-capacity magazines and required background checks for any firearm transfer. On the environment, Hickenlooper made Colorado the first state to limit methane pollution from oil and gas wells. Working with the General Assembly, Hickenlooper signed legislation to ensure every eligible registered voter in Colorado gets a mail-in ballot, made voter registration more accessible, and pushed for numerous other election reforms that have made Colorado a model for election innovation. He also signed historic legislation granting in-state tuition to DREAMers.

Congress

1st Congressional District

  • Incumbent U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette is seeking reelection for what would be her 13th term representing Colorado’s 1st Congressional District. DeGette, a lawyer, is Colorado’s most senior national legislator, the dean of its nine-member delegation, and the state’s only woman in Congress.

    A lifelong Denverite, she has dedicated her career to protecting the environment, expanding access to health care, and fighting for reproductive justice. Before being elected to Congress, DeGette served two terms in the Colorado House of Representatives, where she authored an important law that protected access to abortion clinics. She continues this work in Congress as co-chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus.

    DeGette has been recognized for her ability to work across party lines to deliver results. Some of her biggest achievements include playing an important role in the passage of the Affordable Care Act, co-authoring an influential law that modernized our medical research fields, and spearheading two key pieces of legislation that made big improvements in protecting the safety of our nation’s food supply. As chair of a key oversight panel, DeGette has led the effort to hold the Trump administration accountable for separating undocumented children from their families.

    DeGette has also been an outspoken advocate for enacting commonsense gun safety measures, safeguarding Colorado’s public lands, and protecting American consumers. If reelected, DeGette will continue being the strong, progressive voice that Denver needs in Washington.

    Her Republican opponent, Shane Bolling, is a management consultant working in energy. He is also a Denver resident and a first-time candidate for office. Bolling has not taken any issue positions except for his unabashed support for Donald Trump. He retweeted a Twitter account called “When Is Trump Gone?” with “Not so fast my friend, 4years plus.” He has also retweeted another account that claimed the recent Black Lives Matter protests are the perfect advertising for Trump, commenting, “It’s why Colorado turns back Red 11.03.20 simple Safety & Security.” Bolling also retweets and comments on coronavirus conspiracy theories. He seems to take no positions on anything else.

    Diana DeGette

    Incumbent U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette is seeking reelection for what would be her 13th term representing Colorado’s 1st Congressional District. DeGette, a lawyer, is Colorado’s most senior national legislator, the dean of its nine-member delegation, and the state’s only woman in Congress.

    A lifelong Denverite, she has dedicated her career to protecting the environment, expanding access to health care, and fighting for reproductive justice. Before being elected to Congress, DeGette served two terms in the Colorado House of Representatives, where she authored an important law that protected access to abortion clinics. She continues this work in Congress as co-chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus.

    DeGette has been recognized for her ability to work across party lines to deliver results. Some of her biggest achievements include playing an important role in the passage of the Affordable Care Act, co-authoring an influential law that modernized our medical research fields, and spearheading two key pieces of legislation that made big improvements in protecting the safety of our nation’s food supply. As chair of a key oversight panel, DeGette has led the effort to hold the Trump administration accountable for separating undocumented children from their families.

    DeGette has also been an outspoken advocate for enacting commonsense gun safety measures, safeguarding Colorado’s public lands, and protecting American consumers. If reelected, DeGette will continue being the strong, progressive voice that Denver needs in Washington.

    Her Republican opponent, Shane Bolling, is a management consultant working in energy. He is also a Denver resident and a first-time candidate for office. Bolling has not taken any issue positions except for his unabashed support for Donald Trump. He retweeted a Twitter account called “When Is Trump Gone?” with “Not so fast my friend, 4years plus.” He has also retweeted another account that claimed the recent Black Lives Matter protests are the perfect advertising for Trump, commenting, “It’s why Colorado turns back Red 11.03.20 simple Safety & Security.” Bolling also retweets and comments on coronavirus conspiracy theories. He seems to take no positions on anything else.

2nd Congressional District

  • Democrat
  • Incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse is running for reelection in Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District. Neguse, a lawyer and the son of Eritrean refugees, is the first and so far only Black American to serve in Congress for Colorado.

    As a vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Neguse advocates for bold progressive policies to address the most pressing issues facing our nation, such as Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. His priorities to date in Congress have included lowering prescription drug prices, raising workers’ wages, ensuring greater accountability in government, and protecting public lands, which make up over 50% of his district.

    Although he was first elected just two years ago, he has introduced more legislation than any freshman lawmaker in the country and has had more legislation signed into law than any member of Colorado’s congressional delegation. Before Congress, Neguse fought to expand opportunities for families across Colorado in a variety of roles: as a co-founder of New Era Colorado, the state’s largest youth voter registration and mobilization nonprofit; as a six-term member of CU’s Board of Regents; and as leader of the state’s consumer protection agency for two years.

    Neguse is a self-described eternal optimist who will continue to provide Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District with enthusiastic, diligent, and bold representation if reelected.

    Running against Neguse is Charles Winn, a radiologist and first-time candidate. Winn asserts that he’s running to change a “false narrative” about the Republican Party, but it’s a challenge to see how he will do that with his public statements on Donald Trump and the coronavirus.

    When asked to assess the president’s response to the pandemic, Winn dodged the question and instead said it’s “tragic we need to point fingers.” He later tried to clarify that he thought Trump was “a good commanding officer.” Winn also tried to downplay the threat posed by COVID-19, blaming partisanship for the widespread virus and saying Americans “started politicizing [the pandemic].” Winn also claimed we should open the economy back up because “the risk is less than riding in a car.” He made comparisons to the 1968 flu pandemic to try to prove the U.S. can reopen its schools, but he wasn’t on-point about the facts; he said we should “do what we did in 1968: get on with our lives.”

    This kind of thinking has helped get us into the health crisis we’re in today and cannot be elected to office.

    Joe Neguse

    Incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse is running for reelection in Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District. Neguse, a lawyer and the son of Eritrean refugees, is the first and so far only Black American to serve in Congress for Colorado.

    As a vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Neguse advocates for bold progressive policies to address the most pressing issues facing our nation, such as Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. His priorities to date in Congress have included lowering prescription drug prices, raising workers’ wages, ensuring greater accountability in government, and protecting public lands, which make up over 50% of his district.

    Although he was first elected just two years ago, he has introduced more legislation than any freshman lawmaker in the country and has had more legislation signed into law than any member of Colorado’s congressional delegation. Before Congress, Neguse fought to expand opportunities for families across Colorado in a variety of roles: as a co-founder of New Era Colorado, the state’s largest youth voter registration and mobilization nonprofit; as a six-term member of CU’s Board of Regents; and as leader of the state’s consumer protection agency for two years.

    Neguse is a self-described eternal optimist who will continue to provide Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District with enthusiastic, diligent, and bold representation if reelected.

    Running against Neguse is Charles Winn, a radiologist and first-time candidate. Winn asserts that he’s running to change a “false narrative” about the Republican Party, but it’s a challenge to see how he will do that with his public statements on Donald Trump and the coronavirus.

    When asked to assess the president’s response to the pandemic, Winn dodged the question and instead said it’s “tragic we need to point fingers.” He later tried to clarify that he thought Trump was “a good commanding officer.” Winn also tried to downplay the threat posed by COVID-19, blaming partisanship for the widespread virus and saying Americans “started politicizing [the pandemic].” Winn also claimed we should open the economy back up because “the risk is less than riding in a car.” He made comparisons to the 1968 flu pandemic to try to prove the U.S. can reopen its schools, but he wasn’t on-point about the facts; he said we should “do what we did in 1968: get on with our lives.”

    This kind of thinking has helped get us into the health crisis we’re in today and cannot be elected to office.

3rd Congressional District

  • Diane Mitsch Bush, a former state representative, is now running for Congress. She is a retired sociology professor and previous Routt County commissioner who has lived in the Western Slope — a part of Colorado’s sprawling 3rd Congressional District — for over 43 years. She previously ran for this seat in 2018, when she came closer to winning than any Democrat had in the three prior elections.

    Colleagues from her other tenures have commended Mitsch Bush’s extreme attention to detail, her pragmatism, and her willingness to work with all sides. She has shown an ability to lead calmly through disasters, including the Great Recession, wildfires, floods, drought, and the swine flu epidemic. While in the state legislature, Mitsch Bush was a leading advocate for family agriculture, sustainable water infrastructure, and small rural communities. She sponsored many critically important bills, including ones to protect the environment and hold polluters accountable, lower health care and health insurance costs, and increase funding for rural schools. Over 80% of her bills were co-prime sponsored with rural Republicans.

    Mitsch Bush has said her family’s early struggles with financial insecurity taught her the importance of helping others through public service. Her goal is to have an America that provides opportunities for all, not just the wealthy and well-connected. She intends to fight to make health care affordable for everyone, to protect the environment for generations to come, and to bring more good-paying jobs to rural communities.

    Mitsch Bush is an experienced lawmaker and local leader who, if elected to Congress, will be ready on day one to get to work on policies that will benefit her district.

    Running against her is Republican Lauren Boebert. Boebert is the owner of Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado — a restaurant known mainly for the fact that the wait staff openly carry guns on their person. Guns are one of the few things Boebert talks about regularly. She once drove across the state to go to a rally for Beto O’Rourke just to confront him about his gun safety position.

    What voters really need to know, however, is that Boebert is a strong proponent of the QAnon conspiracy theory: the wild idea that Donald Trump is waging a secret war against Democrats and movie stars who are running an international child trafficking ring. She has been quoted as saying, “I hope that this is real. … It only means America is getting stronger and better, and people are returning to conservative values and that’s what I’m for.” She later added, “Everything that I have heard of this movement is only motivating and encouraging and bringing people together stronger ... it could be really great for our country.”

    Boebert hasn’t explained more of her own positions beyond generic talking points, but it seems clear she is very far from being a progressive choice.

    Diane Mitsch Bush

    Diane Mitsch Bush, a former state representative, is now running for Congress. She is a retired sociology professor and previous Routt County commissioner who has lived in the Western Slope — a part of Colorado’s sprawling 3rd Congressional District — for over 43 years. She previously ran for this seat in 2018, when she came closer to winning than any Democrat had in the three prior elections.

    Colleagues from her other tenures have commended Mitsch Bush’s extreme attention to detail, her pragmatism, and her willingness to work with all sides. She has shown an ability to lead calmly through disasters, including the Great Recession, wildfires, floods, drought, and the swine flu epidemic. While in the state legislature, Mitsch Bush was a leading advocate for family agriculture, sustainable water infrastructure, and small rural communities. She sponsored many critically important bills, including ones to protect the environment and hold polluters accountable, lower health care and health insurance costs, and increase funding for rural schools. Over 80% of her bills were co-prime sponsored with rural Republicans.

    Mitsch Bush has said her family’s early struggles with financial insecurity taught her the importance of helping others through public service. Her goal is to have an America that provides opportunities for all, not just the wealthy and well-connected. She intends to fight to make health care affordable for everyone, to protect the environment for generations to come, and to bring more good-paying jobs to rural communities.

    Mitsch Bush is an experienced lawmaker and local leader who, if elected to Congress, will be ready on day one to get to work on policies that will benefit her district.

    Running against her is Republican Lauren Boebert. Boebert is the owner of Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado — a restaurant known mainly for the fact that the wait staff openly carry guns on their person. Guns are one of the few things Boebert talks about regularly. She once drove across the state to go to a rally for Beto O’Rourke just to confront him about his gun safety position.

    What voters really need to know, however, is that Boebert is a strong proponent of the QAnon conspiracy theory: the wild idea that Donald Trump is waging a secret war against Democrats and movie stars who are running an international child trafficking ring. She has been quoted as saying, “I hope that this is real. … It only means America is getting stronger and better, and people are returning to conservative values and that’s what I’m for.” She later added, “Everything that I have heard of this movement is only motivating and encouraging and bringing people together stronger ... it could be really great for our country.”

    Boebert hasn’t explained more of her own positions beyond generic talking points, but it seems clear she is very far from being a progressive choice.

6th Congressional District

  • Democrat
  • Incumbent U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, a lawyer and former Army Ranger who completed three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, is running for reelection in Colorado's 6th Congressional District. In 2018, he defeated longtime Republican incumbent Mike Coffman to become the first Democrat ever to represent this district.

    Before serving in Congress, Crow spent years helping veterans like himself who struggled to receive benefits, focusing his work on veteran homelessness and substance abuse issues. Then, during his first term, Crow stepped into the national spotlight as one of the seven impeachment managers who argued for Donald Trump’s removal from office during the Senate trial. Crow made the case that Trump put both Ukraine’s safety and the U.S.’s national security at risk by withholding military aid in exchange for political favors.

    Crow’s district is the most diverse in Colorado, with 1 in 5 residents being born outside the United States; Crow has said this is what makes his community such a special place to live. He supports protecting DREAMers and passing comprehensive immigration reform and has called for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to end its contracts with private prison companies.

    Crow has also focused on instituting campaign finance reform. The first bill he sponsored, the End Dark Money Act, would prevent mega-donors from being able to hide their political contributions. His other priorities include preventing gun violence, combatting the effects of climate change, ensuring small businesses are able to thrive, and fighting for a bold investment in America’s infrastructure.

    Running against him is Steve House, the former chair of the Colorado Republican Party and a one-time gubernatorial candidate. He spent 35 years working in the health care industry, yet the biggest point House has made about problems in the health care system is that “we must face the facts and repeal Obamacare.” House apparently doesn’t realize that recent Republican efforts to repeal and replace what’s officially known as the Affordable Care Act—which has been a lifeline for many Americans struggling with health insurance coverage—have been cited as increasing the cost of health care coverage while also reducing coverage throughout the U.S. This kind of regressive thinking can’t be elected to office.

    Jason Crow

    Incumbent U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, a lawyer and former Army Ranger who completed three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, is running for reelection in Colorado's 6th Congressional District. In 2018, he defeated longtime Republican incumbent Mike Coffman to become the first Democrat ever to represent this district.

    Before serving in Congress, Crow spent years helping veterans like himself who struggled to receive benefits, focusing his work on veteran homelessness and substance abuse issues. Then, during his first term, Crow stepped into the national spotlight as one of the seven impeachment managers who argued for Donald Trump’s removal from office during the Senate trial. Crow made the case that Trump put both Ukraine’s safety and the U.S.’s national security at risk by withholding military aid in exchange for political favors.

    Crow’s district is the most diverse in Colorado, with 1 in 5 residents being born outside the United States; Crow has said this is what makes his community such a special place to live. He supports protecting DREAMers and passing comprehensive immigration reform and has called for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to end its contracts with private prison companies.

    Crow has also focused on instituting campaign finance reform. The first bill he sponsored, the End Dark Money Act, would prevent mega-donors from being able to hide their political contributions. His other priorities include preventing gun violence, combatting the effects of climate change, ensuring small businesses are able to thrive, and fighting for a bold investment in America’s infrastructure.

    Running against him is Steve House, the former chair of the Colorado Republican Party and a one-time gubernatorial candidate. He spent 35 years working in the health care industry, yet the biggest point House has made about problems in the health care system is that “we must face the facts and repeal Obamacare.” House apparently doesn’t realize that recent Republican efforts to repeal and replace what’s officially known as the Affordable Care Act—which has been a lifeline for many Americans struggling with health insurance coverage—have been cited as increasing the cost of health care coverage while also reducing coverage throughout the U.S. This kind of regressive thinking can’t be elected to office.

7th Congressional District

  • Incumbent U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter is running for reelection in Colorado’s 7th Congressional District. The lifelong Jefferson County resident has been active in his representation of this district since 2006 and is well-known for his relentless brand of door-to-door retail politics. He’s held over 100 constituent meetings in local food markets — events that he calls “Government in the Grocery.”

    His main priority since taking office has been improving opportunities for the area by way of fighting to make sure good jobs remain at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden and ensuring the completion of the VA Medical Center in Aurora for the benefit of veterans in the Rocky Mountain region.

    Another focus of his has been gun safety. As vice chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, he has supported requiring universal background checks and reinstating the federal ban on assault weapons. He also introduced legislation to address the gaps in federal gun policy by clarifying and expanding existing federal prohibitons related to mental health and other common risk factors in gun violence tragedies.

    Perlmutter worked to secure passage of the historic Dodd-Frank Act, which placed much-needed regulations on Wall Street and big banks and established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Other fights he has taken on include comprehensive immigration reform, a sweeping investment in America's infrastructure, and the preservation of Social Security and Medicare.

    According to Georgetown University’s index, Perlmutter is one of the most bipartisan members of Congress. He is the preferred candidate in this race.

    The Republican candidate he faces is Casper Stockham, who has previously run to represent the 1st and 6th Congressional Districts. His platform is that of the generic conservative Republican these days, which goes along with his parachute campaign style. He is “100% pro-life and supports President Trump’s effort to defund Planned Parenthood.” He is against “red flag” laws that keep guns away from domestic abusers and suspected violent criminals. He thinks Obamacare is “a disaster.” And he is a strong supporter of Trump, “loves his record and results,” and thinks that Trump is “winning for all of us.” These positions take us backward, not forward. We suggest voting for Perlmutter.

    Ed Perlmutter

    Incumbent U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter is running for reelection in Colorado’s 7th Congressional District. The lifelong Jefferson County resident has been active in his representation of this district since 2006 and is well-known for his relentless brand of door-to-door retail politics. He’s held over 100 constituent meetings in local food markets — events that he calls “Government in the Grocery.”

    His main priority since taking office has been improving opportunities for the area by way of fighting to make sure good jobs remain at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden and ensuring the completion of the VA Medical Center in Aurora for the benefit of veterans in the Rocky Mountain region.

    Another focus of his has been gun safety. As vice chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, he has supported requiring universal background checks and reinstating the federal ban on assault weapons. He also introduced legislation to address the gaps in federal gun policy by clarifying and expanding existing federal prohibitons related to mental health and other common risk factors in gun violence tragedies.

    Perlmutter worked to secure passage of the historic Dodd-Frank Act, which placed much-needed regulations on Wall Street and big banks and established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Other fights he has taken on include comprehensive immigration reform, a sweeping investment in America's infrastructure, and the preservation of Social Security and Medicare.

    According to Georgetown University’s index, Perlmutter is one of the most bipartisan members of Congress. He is the preferred candidate in this race.

    The Republican candidate he faces is Casper Stockham, who has previously run to represent the 1st and 6th Congressional Districts. His platform is that of the generic conservative Republican these days, which goes along with his parachute campaign style. He is “100% pro-life and supports President Trump’s effort to defund Planned Parenthood.” He is against “red flag” laws that keep guns away from domestic abusers and suspected violent criminals. He thinks Obamacare is “a disaster.” And he is a strong supporter of Trump, “loves his record and results,” and thinks that Trump is “winning for all of us.” These positions take us backward, not forward. We suggest voting for Perlmutter.

State Board of Education

Board of Education, 7th Congressional District

Board of Education, 1st Congressional District

  • Lisa Escárcega knows how important schools are for kids. Escárcega says her teachers kept her on track when she was a kid in the foster care system. That helped push her go to college on a scholarship and then encouraged her to get her master’s degree in school psychology and even continue on to a doctorate in school psychology. The schools helped her achieve her dreams, she says, and she wants to give back. We strongly recommend voting for Escárcega.

    Running for the seat as a Republican is Sydnnia Wulff, an activist and attorney. Her only known public statement included her saying that a vote for her was a vote “to continue supporting the only qualified candidate, President Donald Trump.” The state board of education is more important than hurling political propaganda, so don’t vote for Wulff.

    Also on the ballot is Alan Hayman, a Libertarian Party officer in Denver. He has no publicly stated education policy positions to speak of, but his Facebook page has posts making light about watching conspiracy theory videos. If he has no policy ideas about the one thing involved in this job, he cannot be supported.

    Lisa Escárcega

    Lisa Escárcega knows how important schools are for kids. Escárcega says her teachers kept her on track when she was a kid in the foster care system.

Board of Education, 3rd Congressional District

  • Mayling Simpson is a retired public and environmental health professional in Steamboat Springs. Simpson spent her career educating people on public health and helping set up health education in public schools across the world. Having been a teacher at both the high school and college levels, she has a lot of experience in and around education. Someone who knows directly how classrooms work is somebody who can really help on the state school board and is the progressive voter’s best choice in this race.

    Republican candidate Joyce Rankin is a former teacher and small-business owner. She supports using public taxpayer funds for private school education, taking much-needed funds away from public schools that really need the money. We recommend giving support instead to Simpson.

    Mayling Simpson

    Mayling Simpson is a retired public and environmental health professional in Steamboat Springs. Simpson spent her career educating people on public health and helping set up health education in public schools across the world.

University of Colorado Board of Regents

CU Regent, 2nd Congressional District

  • Callie Rennison has been a strong progressive leader in higher education for many years. A first-generation college student, she worked as a statistician before becoming an instructor, professor, and prominent voice of change at universities in the Midwest and Colorado. Her work has focused on victimization and violence against women and people of color with a particular interest in victims’ interactions with the criminal justice system. Rennison has served the University of Colorado as the associate dean of faculty affairs, director of equity, and Title IX coordinator and has participated in numerous public panels and boards. In her leadership roles, she proved her ability to successfully navigate various institutional levels and bring people together in discussing contentious issues. Rennison is committed to making college more affordable and accessible to low-income students, ending sexual assault and discrimination on campuses, and striving to make diversity and inclusion a priority among students, faculty, and staff.

    In the wake of recent changes to Title IX under Betsy DeVos, Rennison has pledged to work harder to ensure survivors are supported. Importantly, she champions accountability and transparency as key factors in combatting the businesslike model of CU’s institutions that centers around “returning investments” instead of prioritizing learning and a holistic higher education.

    Running against her are Republican Dick Murphy and Libertarian Christian Vernaza. Murphy is a longtime financial consultant who served as a deputy state treasurer from 2003 to 2004. He has made few public statements on his own policy positions, and his campaign website serves as a personal resume detailing a career in investment banking and management rather than a true statement of platform.

    Vernaza is a car sales associate in Fort Collins and a first-time Libertarian candidate for office. He has not made any public statements about his own positions on the issues, so it can only be assumed he supports the Libertarian Party of Colorado’s position to completely privatize education. For that reason, we cannot recommend voting for Vernaza.

    Rennison is the clear progressive choice for regent in this district.

    Callie Rennison

    Callie Rennison has been a strong progressive leader in higher education for many years. A first-generation college student, she worked as a statistician before becoming an instructor, professor, and prominent voice of change at universities in the Midwest and Colorado.

CU Regent, 6th Congressional District

  • Ilana Spiegel is a highly experienced and well-respected grassroots organizer, columnist, and public education advocate. A mother and a former public school teacher, her platform emphasizes accessibility in higher education, opportunity, affordability, and inclusivity. Her history as a staff developer, coach, and consultant demonstrates that she will follow through on her promise to “fight for Colorado students and families.”

    Spiegel’s organizing led to the creation of the Standards and Assessment Task Force, where she worked with stakeholders on legislation to improve standardized testing in Colorado. Spiegel also spearheaded groups such as Taxpayers for Public Education and SPEAK for Cherry Creek to oppose a conservative-majority school board in Douglas County that threatened the vitality of public education. Spiegel organized and spoke at a 2017 teach-in to educate the public about and protest an ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) conference where Betsy DeVos was a speaker.

    Her fierce advocacy and organizing work proves she will stand for progressive values by fighting rising tuition, encouraging academic freedom, and making higher education more accessible and diverse.

    She faces Republican Richard Murray and the Unity Party’s Robert Worthey. Murray is an attorney from Highlands Ranch and frequently refers to his desire to run for regent because of his “double buff” status. While he does say that he’s worried about the cost of college, he seems to have more ideas about how to make CU’s football team better than he does about the cost of higher education. We think voters should not vote for Murray.

    Worthey is a music teacher and former Green Party candidate for the 6th Congressional District. He is now running with the independent Unity Party, whose platform mostly reflects a Republican or conservative agenda. He seems to have no published policy positions or public statements reflecting what he would do once he’s in office.
    We recommend voting for Spiegel, a candidate whose agenda aligns with our values.

    Ilana Spiegel

    Ilana Spiegel is a highly experienced and well-respected grassroots organizer, columnist, and public education advocate. A mother and a former public school teacher, her platform emphasizes accessibility in higher education, opportunity, affordability, and inclusivity.

CU Regent, 7th Congressional District

State Senate

State Senator, District 8

  • Democrat
  •  

    Karl Hanlon is an attorney and the Democratic candidate to represent District 8. He is a bastion of the Western Slope community, having grown up on a ranch in Jackson County to parents who survived the Great Depression and World War II. He knows the struggles people have in this area and what life is like for regular folks. And with Hanlon’s experience working on water law and environmental issues, he knows that climate change really means something to working people. This is exactly why District 8 needs a change in representation — Hanlon will go to Denver prepared to fight for the people. He is the best choice in this race.

    He hopes to unseat appointed State Sen. Bob Rankin. Rankin, who represented House District 57 before moving into the state senate, says he “share[s] extreme frustrations with our state government that’s controlled by one party with very progressive leadership” with conservatives. However, that progressive leadership was swept into office in 2018 and has already accomplished a lot for the state of Colorado. We don’t recommend keeping Rankin in office.

    Karl Hanlon

     

    Karl Hanlon is an attorney and the Democratic candidate to represent District 8. He is a bastion of the Western Slope community, having grown up on a ranch in Jackson County to parents who survived the Great Depression and World War II. He knows the struggles people have in this area and what life is like for regular folks. And with Hanlon’s experience working on water law and environmental issues, he knows that climate change really means something to working people. This is exactly why District 8 needs a change in representation — Hanlon will go to Denver prepared to fight for the people. He is the best choice in this race.

    He hopes to unseat appointed State Sen. Bob Rankin. Rankin, who represented House District 57 before moving into the state senate, says he “share[s] extreme frustrations with our state government that’s controlled by one party with very progressive leadership” with conservatives. However, that progressive leadership was swept into office in 2018 and has already accomplished a lot for the state of Colorado. We don’t recommend keeping Rankin in office.

State Senator, District 14

State Senator, District 17

  • Sonya Jaquez Lewis is a pharmacist living outside of Longmont and is the current state representative for House District 12. Jaquez Lewis has an extensive amount of experience dealing with the health care system at large, especially the Child Health Plan Plus, where she helped to establish a plan to get health care access for thousands of children across the state. Other priority issues for this one-time president of Boulder Pride are affordable housing and doing whatever it takes to keep fracking out of the community. Jaquez Lewis is the kind of official that progressive voters need in the state senate.

    Battling her for the office is Republican Matthew Menza, a Navy veteran and engineer. His campaign leans heavily on promises of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” He wants to end the “over-regulation” of small businesses during COVID-19. Outside of fueling criticism and outrage about “broken systems” and funding, he doesn’t have many actionable policy ideas.

    We suggest going with the experience and action-taking that Democratic candidate Jaquez Lewis brings to the table.

    Sonya Jaquez Lewis

    Sonya Jaquez Lewis is a pharmacist living outside of Longmont and is the current state representative for House District 12. Jaquez Lewis has an extensive amount of experience dealing with the health care system at large, especially the Child Health Plan Plus, where she helped to establish a plan to get health care access for thousands of children across the state. Other priority issues for this one-time president of Boulder Pride are affordable housing and doing whatever it takes to keep fracking out of the community. Jaquez Lewis is the kind of official that progressive voters need in the state senate.

    Battling her for the office is Republican Matthew Menza, a Navy veteran and engineer. His campaign leans heavily on promises of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” He wants to end the “over-regulation” of small businesses during COVID-19. Outside of fueling criticism and outrage about “broken systems” and funding, he doesn’t have many actionable policy ideas.

    We suggest going with the experience and action-taking that Democratic candidate Jaquez Lewis brings to the table.

State Senator, District 18

  • Incumbent State Sen. Steve Fenberg is a small-business owner in Boulder and has represented District 18 for four years. He has submitted bills to help alleviate student loan debt, protect people from the harmful effects of oil and gas operations, allow all Colorado workers to earn paid sick leave, and ensure our democracy through automatic voter registration. While others are talking politics, Fenberg speaks to and acts on the issues of the day. This is what we want from our elected officials, and progressive voters should reward Fenberg with a second term.

    Seeking to unseat him is Peg Cage, who is the chair of the Boulder County Republican Party. Her platform is solidly along old-school party lines with a big emphasis that “citizens should control government.” But a strikingly distressing bit about Cage is from 2019: The day before the county’s GOP annual dinner, its featured speaker made a statement supporting Hitler’s brand of nationalism, and Cage’s response, published by the Colorado Times Reporter, was only to say that speaker was “pretty bold” and “is her own person.” Someone who’s fine to stand by for that is a clear no all around.

    Steve Fenberg

    Incumbent State Sen. Steve Fenberg is a small-business owner in Boulder and has represented District 18 for four years. He has submitted bills to help alleviate student loan debt, protect people from the harmful effects of oil and gas operations, allow all Colorado workers to earn paid sick leave, and ensure our democracy through automatic voter registration. While others are talking politics, Fenberg speaks to and acts on the issues of the day. This is what we want from our elected officials, and progressive voters should reward Fenberg with a second term.

    Seeking to unseat him is Peg Cage, who is the chair of the Boulder County Republican Party. Her platform is solidly along old-school party lines with a big emphasis that “citizens should control government.” But a strikingly distressing bit about Cage is from 2019: The day before the county’s GOP annual dinner, its featured speaker made a statement supporting Hitler’s brand of nationalism, and Cage’s response, published by the Colorado Times Reporter, was only to say that speaker was “pretty bold” and “is her own person.” Someone who’s fine to stand by for that is a clear no all around.

State Senator, District 19

  • Incumbent State Sen. Rachel Zenzinger was first appointed to the District 19 seat in 2013, lost in 2014, and then returned for the win in 2016. Her original background is as an educator, but she has much experience in government and policy. She served as a council member and mayor pro tempore on the local level in Arvada and knows what kind of problems her constituents face every day. One of her main dedications is to finding bipartisan solutions — a focus that’s led to significant legislation.

    That she’s naturally concerned about education is clear: Last session, she championed a bill to expand adult education and literacy programs. But her priorities are expansive, including investment in public transportation and infrastructure; securing tax credits and grants for affordable housing, particularly for low-income seniors; working to raise the minimum wage as well as delivering relief for businesses struggling during COVID-19; and finding affordable, accessible health care solutions. Groups as various as unions, the state chamber of commerce, environmental organizations, and professional associations endorse her re-election campaign. 

    Zenzinger is an all-around solid candidate for progressives to continue to support.

    Challenging her for the seat is Republican Lynn Gerber, who worked for a long time in Adams County public schools and is a small-business owner. But while she might boast an interest in things like access to quality health care and boosting funding for teachers, progressives need to know that Gerber doesn’t want “socialized medicine” and is an adamant supporter of school choice and the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR). She says she wants to divert budget money to roads, but she wants that money for fixing “inefficient traffic lights” to come from “liberal politicians’ spending.” It’s a lot of conflicting talk without solutions. Meanwhile, Zenzinger has experience acting on the issues and getting successful results.

    Rachel Zenzinger

    Incumbent State Sen. Rachel Zenzinger was first appointed to the District 19 seat in 2013, lost in 2014, and then returned for the win in 2016. Her original background is as an educator, but she has much experience in government and policy. She served as a council member and mayor pro tempore on the local level in Arvada and knows what kind of problems her constituents face every day. One of her main dedications is to finding bipartisan solutions — a focus that’s led to significant legislation.

    That she’s naturally concerned about education is clear: Last session, she championed a bill to expand adult education and literacy programs. But her priorities are expansive, including investment in public transportation and infrastructure; securing tax credits and grants for affordable housing, particularly for low-income seniors; working to raise the minimum wage as well as delivering relief for businesses struggling during COVID-19; and finding affordable, accessible health care solutions. Groups as various as unions, the state chamber of commerce, environmental organizations, and professional associations endorse her re-election campaign. 

    Zenzinger is an all-around solid candidate for progressives to continue to support.

    Challenging her for the seat is Republican Lynn Gerber, who worked for a long time in Adams County public schools and is a small-business owner. But while she might boast an interest in things like access to quality health care and boosting funding for teachers, progressives need to know that Gerber doesn’t want “socialized medicine” and is an adamant supporter of school choice and the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR). She says she wants to divert budget money to roads, but she wants that money for fixing “inefficient traffic lights” to come from “liberal politicians’ spending.” It’s a lot of conflicting talk without solutions. Meanwhile, Zenzinger has experience acting on the issues and getting successful results.

State Senator, District 21

State Senator, District 23

  • Sally Boccella hopes to break a long, unbroken streak of Republican representation in District 23 because Republicans aren’t representing it well on behalf of working families. Boccella wants to go to the state senate to create more economic opportunities for everyone, help equalize broadband access for rural areas, and take action on climate change and conservation. Among all the proactive ideas she supports — from a right to affordable housing to equal pay and Medicare for All — she maintains that watching out for the little guy makes everybody more successful. Boccella is the progressive voter’s clear choice.

    Running against her is Barbara Kirkmeyer. Kirkmeyer is a Weld County commissioner and the former director of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. During all that time, she has never tried to moderate her extreme right-wing positions. She is outspoken in opposing Colorado’s red-flag law to keep guns away from domestic abusers and vows to eliminate “taxpayer funding of abortions.” Plus, a top motto for her lately concerning businesses and schools amid COVID-19 is a hard line of “no more lockdowns.” These kinds of policies aren’t looking out for the people of District 23.

    Sally Boccella

    Sally Boccella hopes to break a long, unbroken streak of Republican representation in District 23 because Republicans aren’t representing it well on behalf of working families. Boccella wants to go to the state senate to create more economic opportunities for everyone, help equalize broadband access for rural areas, and take action on climate change and conservation. Among all the proactive ideas she supports — from a right to affordable housing to equal pay and Medicare for All — she maintains that watching out for the little guy makes everybody more successful. Boccella is the progressive voter’s clear choice.

    Running against her is Barbara Kirkmeyer. Kirkmeyer is a Weld County commissioner and the former director of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. During all that time, she has never tried to moderate her extreme right-wing positions. She is outspoken in opposing Colorado’s red-flag law to keep guns away from domestic abusers and vows to eliminate “taxpayer funding of abortions.” Plus, a top motto for her lately concerning businesses and schools amid COVID-19 is a hard line of “no more lockdowns.” These kinds of policies aren’t looking out for the people of District 23.

State Senator, District 25

  • Democratic candidate Paula Dickerson is a teacher in Adams County with over three decades of firsthand experience not just with the educational system and its policies but interacting with working families on a daily basis. As she puts it, “Caring about children means caring about their families.”

    Dickerson’s mission in seeking the seat, she has said, is to take back the district and make the state reprioritize. A livable wage and paid family leave are absolutely necessary. Particularly as everyone is making adjustments to COVID-19 guidelines and the economy is sliding, she recognizes that working-class women — particularly Black and Brown women — are taking big hits and cannot be left behind. She flatly says the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) must be fixed in favor of a fair tax system. She wants to find a way to provide health care for all, something that’s imperative for everyday families.

    With an approach that’s at the ready to make the changes necessary for a more equitable system all around now and in the future, Dickerson is the clear choice for progressive voters to support.

    She is taking on incumbent State Sen. Kevin Priola. Priola is a longtime state politician in Adams County, having previously served as the state representative for District 56 before being elected to the state senate in 2016. Like several other Republicans this fall, he has the reputation of being a bipartisan legislator except on certain issues that really matter when it comes down to daily life. Priola is a strong supporter of TABOR and is committed to protecting human life “beginning at conception and ending at natural death.” While Priola may hold the experience card, a fresh voice like Dickerson’s that’s ready to speak up for fairer systems and rights for everyone would be a welcome change for progress.

    Paula Dickerson

    Democratic candidate Paula Dickerson is a teacher in Adams County with over three decades of firsthand experience not just with the educational system and its policies but interacting with working families on a daily basis. As she puts it, “Caring about children means caring about their families.”

    Dickerson’s mission in seeking the seat, she has said, is to take back the district and make the state reprioritize. A livable wage and paid family leave are absolutely necessary. Particularly as everyone is making adjustments to COVID-19 guidelines and the economy is sliding, she recognizes that working-class women — particularly Black and Brown women — are taking big hits and cannot be left behind. She flatly says the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) must be fixed in favor of a fair tax system. She wants to find a way to provide health care for all, something that’s imperative for everyday families.

    With an approach that’s at the ready to make the changes necessary for a more equitable system all around now and in the future, Dickerson is the clear choice for progressive voters to support.

    She is taking on incumbent State Sen. Kevin Priola. Priola is a longtime state politician in Adams County, having previously served as the state representative for District 56 before being elected to the state senate in 2016. Like several other Republicans this fall, he has the reputation of being a bipartisan legislator except on certain issues that really matter when it comes down to daily life. Priola is a strong supporter of TABOR and is committed to protecting human life “beginning at conception and ending at natural death.” While Priola may hold the experience card, a fresh voice like Dickerson’s that’s ready to speak up for fairer systems and rights for everyone would be a welcome change for progress.

State Senator, District 26

  • Since his appointment to the seat, State Sen. Jeff Bridges has been a legislator that District 26 — and progressives — can be proud of. His ideals are strongly rooted in boosting hard-working families, achieving health care for all, taking responsibility for climate change, and believing that “women’s issues are everyone’s issues.” But Bridges is also keenly aware that you have to reach across the aisle in order to get things done. That’s why he’s so proud of the fact that every bill he’s passed in the legislature has had bipartisan support.

    In his short time in office, Bridges has helped pass legislation to support full-day kindergarten, lower the cost of health care in the state, allow all Colorado employees to earn paid sick leave, and reinvest money in transportation without raising taxes. His accomplishments on working with fellow legislators and in several key committees are numerous, and he’s already looking ahead to what’s next. He plans to seek out things like expanded vocation and continuing education programs and funding and simplifying the tax code so that small businesses can thrive. A fully funded Colorado Water Plan is in his sights as well as increased recognition of reproductive rights.

    Bridges is ambitious but also is getting things done. Progressives should be very comfortable giving him all their support to continue doing good work.

    Taking him on is Bob Roth, a former Aurora city council member who is very active with various nonprofit organizations. His official public policy statements deal largely in generalities on fiscal responsibility, infrastructure, and education reform. But voters should be concerned about his opinions on the coronavirus and law enforcement. He has been very critical about school and business restrictions, saying everything should open back up in favor of easier logistics and economic relief. On police reform, he criticized proposed bans on Aurora police officers using chemical agents, long rifles, and armored vehicles — aimed at curbing police-protester violence — saying the move “handicapped” officers. Moreover, in an August post on his campaign’s social media, he suggests he wouldn’t have supported comprehensive sexuality education in schools, wouldn’t have prohibited conversion therapy, and wouldn’t have passed the red-flag law. This kind of candidate would derail progressive values if in office.

    Also on the ballot is Marc Solomon for the Libertarian Party. He has not made any policy statements widely known.

    Jeff Bridges

    Since his appointment to the seat, State Sen. Jeff Bridges has been a legislator that District 26 — and progressives — can be proud of. His ideals are strongly rooted in boosting hard-working families, achieving health care for all, taking responsibility for climate change, and believing that “women’s issues are everyone’s issues.” But Bridges is also keenly aware that you have to reach across the aisle in order to get things done. That’s why he’s so proud of the fact that every bill he’s passed in the legislature has had bipartisan support.

    In his short time in office, Bridges has helped pass legislation to support full-day kindergarten, lower the cost of health care in the state, allow all Colorado employees to earn paid sick leave, and reinvest money in transportation without raising taxes. His accomplishments on working with fellow legislators and in several key committees are numerous, and he’s already looking ahead to what’s next. He plans to seek out things like expanded vocation and continuing education programs and funding and simplifying the tax code so that small businesses can thrive. A fully funded Colorado Water Plan is in his sights as well as increased recognition of reproductive rights.

    Bridges is ambitious but also is getting things done. Progressives should be very comfortable giving him all their support to continue doing good work.

    Taking him on is Bob Roth, a former Aurora city council member who is very active with various nonprofit organizations. His official public policy statements deal largely in generalities on fiscal responsibility, infrastructure, and education reform. But voters should be concerned about his opinions on the coronavirus and law enforcement. He has been very critical about school and business restrictions, saying everything should open back up in favor of easier logistics and economic relief. On police reform, he criticized proposed bans on Aurora police officers using chemical agents, long rifles, and armored vehicles — aimed at curbing police-protester violence — saying the move “handicapped” officers. Moreover, in an August post on his campaign’s social media, he suggests he wouldn’t have supported comprehensive sexuality education in schools, wouldn’t have prohibited conversion therapy, and wouldn’t have passed the red-flag law. This kind of candidate would derail progressive values if in office.

    Also on the ballot is Marc Solomon for the Libertarian Party. He has not made any policy statements widely known.

State Senator, District 27

  • Chris Kolker is a former teacher and a current financial planner and small-business owner. He previously ran in 2018 for state representative in District 38 and came very close — under 400 votes — to flipping the seat. Kolker has called Arapahoe County home since 1999 and appears to be the kind of person who knows the struggles of everyday life for working families and how the increasing cost of living is making it worse. 

    Among Kolker’s top priorities: funding for Colorado schools, instituting more gun-safety laws, improving transportation quality, and taking action on human-caused climate change. He also is a strong proponent of social justice reform, particularly as to the legislature’s recent sweeping changes to law enforcement accountability, and said it’s “long past time for us to … dismantle systemic racism.” His platform and actions already have endorsers like the Human Rights Campaign, Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, and several unions excited to see him in office, and quite frankly, we are too.

    Kolker is the one progressives should give their support to in this race.

    Vying for the seat on the Republican side is Suzanne Staiert. Staiert has some impressive experience: She is a former city prosecutor for Aurora, the former city attorney for Littleton, and a former deputy Secretary of State. And on issues like education and political integrity, she seems straightforward, if not practically moderate. Staiert wants to say she’s “practical, not political,” but scratch the surface a little, and you’ll find her partisanship coming through. She’s outspoken against reforming our national electoral system, which is clearly broken. She also is a strong supporter of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), which is the primary cause for a number of our budget shortfalls and one of the reasons Colorado is falling behind on education. She definitely doesn’t hit the singingly progressive notes that Kolker does, and he could do more in the office. 

    Chris Kolker

    Chris Kolker is a former teacher and a current financial planner and small-business owner. He previously ran in 2018 for state representative in District 38 and came very close — under 400 votes — to flipping the seat. Kolker has called Arapahoe County home since 1999 and appears to be the kind of person who knows the struggles of everyday life for working families and how the increasing cost of living is making it worse. 

    Among Kolker’s top priorities: funding for Colorado schools, instituting more gun-safety laws, improving transportation quality, and taking action on human-caused climate change. He also is a strong proponent of social justice reform, particularly as to the legislature’s recent sweeping changes to law enforcement accountability, and said it’s “long past time for us to … dismantle systemic racism.” His platform and actions already have endorsers like the Human Rights Campaign, Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, and several unions excited to see him in office, and quite frankly, we are too.

    Kolker is the one progressives should give their support to in this race.

    Vying for the seat on the Republican side is Suzanne Staiert. Staiert has some impressive experience: She is a former city prosecutor for Aurora, the former city attorney for Littleton, and a former deputy Secretary of State. And on issues like education and political integrity, she seems straightforward, if not practically moderate. Staiert wants to say she’s “practical, not political,” but scratch the surface a little, and you’ll find her partisanship coming through. She’s outspoken against reforming our national electoral system, which is clearly broken. She also is a strong supporter of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), which is the primary cause for a number of our budget shortfalls and one of the reasons Colorado is falling behind on education. She definitely doesn’t hit the singingly progressive notes that Kolker does, and he could do more in the office. 

State Senator, District 28

  • Janet Buckner, a current state representative, has long served the people of Aurora and the surrounding area — and now there's a good opportunity to send her to the state senate. Buckner knows what it’s like to have a working family just trying to get by, which is exactly why she sponsored bills in the legislature to help working women get paid what they are owed. She works hard to help keep insurance companies honest, and, as a former educator, she advocates for educators to be paid what they're worth and for students to be set up for success. Buckner has already shown us that she knows who sent her to the legislature, and progressive voters should support her to keep up the good work.

    Karl Stecher is a retired neurosurgeon running for District 28. He only recently espoused any policy positions — one of which is a common Republican preoccupation these days of simply reelecting Donald Trump. Among his other very short statements of interest are helping home-based businesses, backing free choice for schools, and keeping “law and order.” Voters can’t get behind a short-sighted campaign like this.

    Janet Buckner

    Janet Buckner, a current state representative, has long served the people of Aurora and the surrounding area — and now there's a good opportunity to send her to the state senate. Buckner knows what it’s like to have a working family just trying to get by, which is exactly why she sponsored bills in the legislature to help working women get paid what they are owed. She works hard to help keep insurance companies honest, and, as a former educator, she advocates for educators to be paid what they're worth and for students to be set up for success. Buckner has already shown us that she knows who sent her to the legislature, and progressive voters should support her to keep up the good work.

    Karl Stecher is a retired neurosurgeon running for District 28. He only recently espoused any policy positions — one of which is a common Republican preoccupation these days of simply reelecting Donald Trump. Among his other very short statements of interest are helping home-based businesses, backing free choice for schools, and keeping “law and order.” Voters can’t get behind a short-sighted campaign like this.

State Senator, District 29

  • Longtime legislator and incumbent State Sen. Rhonda Fields is practically a force of nature with her fierceness in taking on controversial issues on behalf of “the voiceless and vulnerable.” The current assistant majority leader of the state senate has a number of wins under her belt in education (public school funding, reducing truancy, and expanding early childhood education), criminal justice reform (the recent law enforcement accountability bill, peace officer standards, and victims’ rights), conservation, youth protection, health care, women’s rights, veteran issues, homelessness, and more.

    If it’s not obvious by now, we strongly recommend reelecting Fields.

    Making an attempt to challenge her for the seat is perennial Libertarian candidate Michele Poague. She brags about creating “the original Tea Party” and accuses Democrats of wanting “special treatment” of minority groups. This kind of political philosophy basically speaks for itself.

    Rhonda Fields

    Longtime legislator and incumbent State Sen. Rhonda Fields is practically a force of nature with her fierceness in taking on controversial issues on behalf of “the voiceless and vulnerable.” The current assistant majority leader of the state senate has a number of wins under her belt in education (public school funding, reducing truancy, and expanding early childhood education), criminal justice reform (the recent law enforcement accountability bill, peace officer standards, and victims’ rights), conservation, youth protection, health care, women’s rights, veteran issues, homelessness, and more.

    If it’s not obvious by now, we strongly recommend reelecting Fields.

    Making an attempt to challenge her for the seat is perennial Libertarian candidate Michele Poague. She brags about creating “the original Tea Party” and accuses Democrats of wanting “special treatment” of minority groups. This kind of political philosophy basically speaks for itself.

State Senator, District 31

  • Incumbent State Sen. Chris Hansen is an environmental engineer with a stunning resume working on environmental issues all over the world. Those experiences have given him the motivation to work hard on behalf of District 31. And not only does he work to fight climate change, but he’s also doing things for average working families, like ending the stranglehold of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), fighting against the NRA to keep guns out of dangerous people’s hands, and reinvesting in our public education system. Voters can easily applaud Hansen’s efforts, and reelecting him is a plain yes for progressives.

    On the Republican side for this seat is Doug Townsend. Townsend, an accountant, seems to have one answer for every issue: Let’s ignore it. From the environment (“If the U.S. can’t [reduce emissions], then the State of Colorado certainly cannot do so by itself”) to gun safety regulations (“If you want to protect yourself with a gun, that is your decision”) to civil rights (“Is a government response required or are … cultural forces sufficient to address the needs on their own?”), Townsend just hopes somebody else fixes it themselves. This line of thinking absolutely cannot ever be put into office.

    Chris Hansen

    Incumbent State Sen. Chris Hansen is an environmental engineer with a stunning resume working on environmental issues all over the world. Those experiences have given him the motivation to work hard on behalf of District 31. And not only does he work to fight climate change, but he’s also doing things for average working families, like ending the stranglehold of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), fighting against the NRA to keep guns out of dangerous people’s hands, and reinvesting in our public education system. Voters can easily applaud Hansen’s efforts, and reelecting him is a plain yes for progressives.

    On the Republican side for this seat is Doug Townsend. Townsend, an accountant, seems to have one answer for every issue: Let’s ignore it. From the environment (“If the U.S. can’t [reduce emissions], then the State of Colorado certainly cannot do so by itself”) to gun safety regulations (“If you want to protect yourself with a gun, that is your decision”) to civil rights (“Is a government response required or are … cultural forces sufficient to address the needs on their own?”), Townsend just hopes somebody else fixes it themselves. This line of thinking absolutely cannot ever be put into office.

State Senator, District 33

State Senator, District 35

  • Carlos López is someone who knows southern Colorado well. He was born and raised in Trinidad, started his college education at Trinidad State Junior College, and has served Trinidad on its city council. He knows what this community wants and needs. He’s not interested in playing politics as he’s more interested in the specifics about education funding in the state and the decrease in rural education funding. López is here to help out working folks in southern Colorado, and we recommend electing him to the state senate.

    Cleave Simpson is on the Republican side of this race. He’s a rancher and engineer from Alamosa, and his campaign statements cast a wide net of generalities, mostly on agriculture and land management and a call for rural and urban areas to “unite.” But he hasn’t made any other opinions on issues that affect daily life widely known. It’s hard to support a one-note candidate.

    Carlos López

    Carlos López is someone who knows southern Colorado well. He was born and raised in Trinidad, started his college education at Trinidad State Junior College, and has served Trinidad on its city council. He knows what this community wants and needs. He’s not interested in playing politics as he’s more interested in the specifics about education funding in the state and the decrease in rural education funding. López is here to help out working folks in southern Colorado, and we recommend electing him to the state senate.

    Cleave Simpson is on the Republican side of this race. He’s a rancher and engineer from Alamosa, and his campaign statements cast a wide net of generalities, mostly on agriculture and land management and a call for rural and urban areas to “unite.” But he hasn’t made any other opinions on issues that affect daily life widely known. It’s hard to support a one-note candidate.

State House

State Representative, District 3

  • Incumbent State Rep. Meg Froelich has a long history of activism for women’s rights, children’s welfare, education, community leadership, and environmental protection. Since being appointed to the District 3 seat in 2019, she has co-sponsored and passed bills on issues ranging from public-sector collective bargaining to accountability in law enforcement to expanding Medicaid. She used her position on the Energy and Environment Committee to introduce legislation that efficiently manages Colorado’s natural resources, and she has supported the economic balance of development that complements open spaces. In an interview with the Englewood Herald last year, Froelich said she commended the legislature’s work to ban anti-LGBTQ “conversion therapy” and helping create true ID documents for transgender folks and that she would continue to work on issues like paid family leave and protecting the new full-day kindergarten program.

    Froelich’s experience as a successful legislator, dedication to the people of Colorado, and progressive policy platform make her the preferred candidate in this race.

    Taking her on in this race is Republican Dean Titterington. Titterington is the owner and president of a property management company and a longtime charter school advocate. He recently replaced Bill Klocek as the Republican on the ballot, but Titterington has made no public statements on what he would do if elected to the state legislature. He seems to have no campaign social media presence or even a website. Progressive voters should reelect Froelich to a full term in the Colorado House.

    Meg Froelich

    Incumbent State Rep. Meg Froelich has a long history of activism for women’s rights, children’s welfare, education, community leadership, and environmental protection.

State Representative, District 4

  • Born and raised in the community she now represents, incumbent State Rep. Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez is running for her second term in the Colorado House. Her experience serving her community includes time as an advocate for domestic violence survivors, a youth counselor, and a caseworker. In addition to serving as a state representative, she is the director for the Denver Collaborative Partnership, where she works with youth who have had contact with the juvenile justice system and their families to make sure their needs are met.

    Gonzales-Guiterrez believes quality education is the most effective path to equity and opportunity and must be accessible and affordable from early childhood through college. She has passed legislation that will make sure kids are taught the history of American minorities in public schools as well as legislation to increase student loan regulation.

    Some of the other bills that Gonzales-Gutierrez played a critical role in passing include the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, prohibiting employer discrimination on the basis of gender; a bill to make sure defendants’ cases are handled expediently, cutting down the wait time for those who cannot afford bail; and the sweeping police reform bill signed into law this June that enhances accountability, integrity, and transparency in law enforcement.

    Gonzales-Gutierrez’s pursuits have also included advocating for affordable housing by pushing to develop housing trusts and expand tax credits, championing legislation that combats climate change by holding polluters accountable, and working to ensure health care is accessible to those who need it most. She is the clear progressive choice and deserves reelection to the Colorado House.

    On the ballot also is Republican Grant Price. Price appears to be a Denver resident and an estimator at a pipe company. His campaign website as of early September featured only a contact form and zero personal information, much less any policy stances. He has no profile completed on the state’s GOP website and no discoverable social media presence.

    Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez

    Born and raised in the community she now represents, incumbent State Rep. Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez is running for her second term in the Colorado House.

State Representative, District 5

  • Democrat
  • Incumbent State Rep. Alex Valdez is running for what would be his second term representing District 5. He is a self-described “environmental warrior” who started a grassroots residential solar company several years ago that is now one of Colorado’s largest. In his first term, Valdez has already passed legislation focused on boosting renewable energy use, establishing more public protections from toxic air emissions, and increasing the number of electric vehicle charging stations in Colorado.

    The environment is not the only issue Valdez champions. He’s committed to an inclusive Colorado and currently serves as the chair of the LGBTQ Caucus. He was instrumental in passing a bill for easier, prescription-free access to life-saving HIV prevention medications. Valdez also carried a bill that prohibits people convicted of animal cruelty from owning an animal. His other top priorities include universal access to affordable health care, housing affordability, and an education system that prepares students for the jobs of tomorrow and pays teachers a fair wage.

    Valdez is clearly the candidate for progressive voters.

    He faces Republican Jonathan Woodley, a sergeant in the Colorado Army National Guard who ran unsuccessfully for the Denver City Council in 2019. He has a typical pro-Trump platform — evident on his campaign website with pledges for the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), school choice, the Second Amendment, to ban abortion, and “law and order.” Woodley’s social media posts have downplayed the threat of COVID-19, and he opposes mask mandates. Also on his campaign Facebook page, he posted support for counter-boycotting the NBA — which skipped games recently in protest of continued police violence against Black Americans. It is imperative Woodley not be elected to office.

    Also running for this seat is Unity Party candidate Joe Richardson, who runs a mail-order business and served for two years as a Downtown Denver Ambassador for the Business Improvement District. He does not have a campaign website or a social media presence.

    Alex Valdez

    Incumbent State Rep. Alex Valdez is running for what would be his second term representing District 5. He is a self-described “environmental warrior” who started a grassroots residential solar company several years ago that is now one of Colorado’s largest.

State Representative, District 6

  • Incumbent State Rep. Steven Woodrow, who was appointed to the District 6 seat earlier this year after a vacancy, is a strong progressive who has been described by fellow legislators as a “fierce advocate for the voiceless” and a “tireless public servant.” He’s familiar with going toe-to-toe against powerful interests with a career as a consumer protection attorney. Already in his first few months in office, he has co-sponsored highly relevant bills on repealing Colorado’s death penalty, allowing state employees to collectively bargain, and kick-starting comprehensive police reform.

    The Democrat has said he will prioritize expanding economic opportunity by pushing for universal access to health care, equal pay, paid family leave, fair taxation, and affordable housing. He is working to gain support in the legislature to make publicly funded state House and Senate races a reality to get special-interest money out of politics, and he is passionate about ensuring a high-quality education is accessible to all children and increasing teacher pay. His campaign motto is to leave Colorado “better than we found it,” which he applies to many different issues but especially the environment.

    Woodrow is a clear choice in this race.

    He is running against Bill McCaleb, an engineer with over 38 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. McCaleb’s public stances indicate he’s a more moderate Republican. However, his positions in favor of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), against additional gun safety measures, and against moving to a national popular vote reveal why he’s not who progressives want in office.

    Also on the ballot is Jeffrey Kennedy Crowe for the Libertarian Party. He does not appear to have a widely known platform.

State Representative, District 9

  • Incumbent State Rep. Emily Sirota, who was first elected to the statehouse in 2018, has been described by former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb as a “progressive with strong roots in her community and deep experience in government, social work, and education.” Before joining the legislature, she helped run an early learning center; worked for the Colorado Progressive Coalition, where she organized support for paid sick leave policy; and has been an aide to a U.S. senator, a congressman, and a governor.

    In her first term, Sirota passed critical legislation to end tax breaks for special interests to help fund K-12 education and give relief to working families, enact sweeping reforms to early childhood programs as well as mandating the teaching of the Holocaust and genocide in public schools, place contribution limits on campaigns for county elections, and have Colorado join the National Popular Vote Compact. Sirota also carried a bill for a task force to analyze how much money Colorado could save by going to a health-care-for-all system.

    Sirota is the clear progressive choice.

    Challenging her for the seat is Republican Larry Braig, a retired Denver firefighter who is running on a typical conservative platform. He fully supports the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) and protecting the Electoral College instead of moving to a national popular vote. Most disconcerting, however, is a July post Braig shared on his campaign Facebook page saying that the Black Lives Matter movement “supports black genocide” because it favors abortion rights and “supports white supremacy” because “it only addresses when a white man kills a black man” and not “black on black crime.” With this racist line of thinking, we strongly recommend against voting for Braig.

    Also on the ballot is Libertarian Wes Pinchot. His platform is widely unknown.

State Representative, District 10

  • Democrat
  • Incumbent State Rep. Edie Hooton has been an effective progressive leader since she was first elected in 2016. The longtime Democratic activist has focused much of her efforts on reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and growing the renewable energy sector, ensuring equal access to a quality education, and finding commonsense ways to create good-paying jobs.

    Hooton, who is the majority caucus chair and vice chair of the Energy and Environment Committee, was instrumental in several bills last session aimed at serving those in need, including adding information about safe haven laws — which allow parents to relinquish a newborn at a fire station or hospital within 72 hours without legal consequences — to the health education curriculum in public schools. She also backed increased protections for mobile home park residents, making medical marijuana legal for children on the autism spectrum, and a consumer protection bill that limited document fees for elderly and new homeowners.

    With her views and a strong track record of getting things done, Hooton is the progressive voter’s clear choice.

    Taking her on is Republican Ken Stickney. Stickney supports vouchers for private schools, is against gun safety legislation because “restrictions on law-abiding citizens do not prevent [tragedies],” and staunchly defends the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR). He also has been vocal with his skepticism of the state and local governmental COVID-19 public health measures, calling them “an overreaction.” In an August 15 column for The Boulder Daily Camera, he insisted that all primary-age students go “back to school now.” We discourage electing someone with these kinds of views.

    Edie Hooton

    Incumbent State Rep. Edie Hooton has been an effective progressive leader since she was first elected in 2016.

State Representative, District 11

  • Karen McCormick is a longtime Boulder County veterinarian who ran against Republican Ken Buck for Congress in 2018 and won over 65% of the local vote. In the community, she has volunteered as an English teacher for the immigrant community, served on nonprofit boards, and is a member of Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

    McCormick has said she is running to advocate for Colorado families by fighting to increase access to affordable health care, expand economic opportunity, and take action to mitigate the effect of climate change. She plans to pursue placing a price on carbon-based fuels at the source of production to accelerate the move to a renewable energy economy and to work to hold industries accountable for polluting our air and water. She also intends to promote LGBTQ rights, reproductive rights, commonsense gun safety legislation, and increased investment in our education system.

    McCormick is the progressive voter’s best choice in this race.

    Vying for this seat on the Republican side is Mark Milliman, and his Trump-like political ideas cross into dangerous territory. He has repeatedly asserted that COVID-19 is a hoax, claims 99.97% of people recover from the virus, and is suing Gov. Jared Polis over mandatory mask-wearing — which he says “will make you sick.” He denies anthropomorphic climate change exists and has shared conspiracy theories on social media questioning the validity of Colorado’s election system. Milliman has dubbed Black Lives Matter a “racist hate group” and leans into the idea that “criminal propagandists run the media.” He must not be elected to this or any office now or ever.

    Karen McCormick

    Karen McCormick is a longtime Boulder County veterinarian who ran against Republican Ken Buck for Congress in 2018 and won over 65% of the local vote.

State Representative, District 12

  • Tracey Bernett, a staunch progressive and longtime community leader and volunteer, says she seeks to represent District 12 with three guiding passions she calls the “Three Es”: equity, environment, and education. Her recent work has been to help analyze policy for State Sens. Faith Winter and Mike Foote, who has called her “smart, diligent, and knowledgeable.”

    Bernett, who served as president of the homelessness prevention nonprofit Outreach United Resource Center, wants to be “a voice for people who don’t have a voice” at the Capitol. Her priorities are to create a public health care option, expand worker protections and access to affordable housing, and unweave systems of racial injustice with meaningful criminal justice reform. For combating climate change, she supports a carbon fee and dividend proposal, incentivizing affordable electric vehicles, and holding oil and gas companies accountable for the environmental damage they cause. She would work to get rid of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) and invest in teachers.

    Bernett’s passion for addressing some of the most pressing issues of our time makes her a candidate progressives can easily support.

    She is running against Republican Eric Davila. As of mid-September, Davila did not have any personal information or policy stances on his under-construction campaign website, and he does not have a discoverable social media presence.

    Tracey Bernett

    Tracey Bernett, a staunch progressive and longtime community leader and volunteer, says she seeks to represent District 12 with three guiding passions she calls the “Three Es”: equity, environment, and education. Her recent work has been to help analyze policy for State Sens.

State Representative, District 13

  • Judy Amabile, a businessperson and committed progressive activist, is running to succeed term-limited Speaker of the House K.C. Becker as the District 13 representative.

    Amabile wants to bring the voice of “the progressive business owner” to the legislature and “foundational change” to a system that for too long has been fixed in favor of the wealthy. Her platform focuses on three main issues: acting boldly on climate change, improving the lives of working people “at the bottom of the economic ladder,” and increasing access to mental health resources to address the rise in homelessness, substance use disorders, incarceration, and suicide. She has ambitious policy ideas like putting a price on carbon emissions to incentivize businesses to cut them, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, transitioning to a single-payer health care system, equalizing internet access, fairness in banking, instituting balanced executive pay, and more.

    Electing Amabile will definitely advance the progressive causes in Colorado.

    On the Republican side for this seat is Kevin Sipple, a co-founder of Eldorado Natural Spring Water. He has a long history of public service and leans on a traditional party platform — he supports right-to-work laws that make it harder for people to form unions, defends the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), and is against abortion rights from “conception to natural death.” Sipple has concerning stances on gun policy and COVID-19. He has advocated for arming school staff, and on the virus, he has strongly criticized health measures and calls on people to “stand up” to the “tyrants.”

    Libertarian Jed Gilman is also on the ballot. He gained attention in May for his own “tyranny” commentary on Tri-County Health Department COVID-19 restrictions where he praised a restaurant for defying public health orders and staying open. His stances on other issues, outlined in a July video interview on Facebook, are as expected for the Libertarian Party.

    Judy Amabile

    Judy Amabile, a businessperson and committed progressive activist, is running to succeed term-limited Speaker of the House K.C. Becker as the District 13 representative.

State Representative, District 17

  • Democrat
  • Incumbent State Rep. Tony Exum, who was first elected to the seat in 2012 after a 35-year career as a firefighter, has been a champion of Colorado working families. As the coronavirus has wreaked havoc on communities, Exum introduced and passed a housing assistance bill that bridged using federal CARES Act funds for eviction defense and development grants.

    Exum believes in high-quality, affordable health care for all and stands ready to take on ways to make health care dollars go further. Another of his priorities has been education. He was part of the sponsoring group behind Breakfast After the Bell, which provides access to nutritional meals for students in schools. This session, he worked on bills to provide emergency assistance to students in state universities and help children in foster care obtain their driver’s licenses. Exum has also focused on investment in renewable energy and protecting public lands, earning him a 100% lifetime score from Conservation Colorado.

    Exum is the clear choice in the upcoming election.

    Two challengers also have eyes on the seat: Rob Blancken and Susan Quilleash-Nelson. Blancken is a retired water treatment specialist with Colorado Springs Utilities. On his campaign website are the usual Republican positions, but what’s overtly missing is his far-right-wing extremist philosophy. In 2016, Blancken was photographed at the Republican state convention running for national delegate wearing a sign describing himself as a Tea Party member. Blancken has also protested gun violence vigils with other gun rights activists, once even trying to get near the lectern of a vigil with a protest sign. Despite a long history of conservative activism, Blancken suddenly stopped talking about his previously held extreme anti-immigration and anti-gun-safety views. Progressive voters beware.

    Libertarian candidate Quilleash-Nelson is a substitute teacher in Colorado Springs. She has previously run for District 17 and ran for the state senate as well. But in all those campaigns and all that time, Quilleash-Nelson has seemingly made no policy statements, public positions on the issues, or even had a website or social media profile to inform people on her candidacy. In a 2012 candidate survey, however, she failed to address a question on the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) while publicly endorsing forcing undocumented graduates of Colorado schools to pay out-of-state tuition for Colorado universities. This is not the kind of representation progressives want in the Statehouse.

    Tony Exum

    Incumbent State Rep. Tony Exum, who was first elected to the seat in 2012 after a 35-year career as a firefighter, has been a champion of Colorado working families.

State Representative, District 18

  • Democrat
  • Incumbent State Rep. Marc Snyder has served District 18 since 2019, having come to the seat after a 12-year tenure as mayor of Manitou Springs. He also has a legal practice in estate law, primarily helping adults and children with disabilities.

    In addition to an interest in legislation aimed at protecting vulnerable citizens, Snyder has supported environmental protections, including sponsoring a bill for the legislature to detail the net impact that future legislation would have on greenhouse gas emissions. He has boosted efforts to connect Coloradans with vital housing, health, and education resources via 211 and the Department of Local Affairs as well as those aimed at bolstering small businesses with Energize Colorado grants. Among his other aims are to help the state better manage its natural resources and increasing transparency costs for health care services to reduce cost as a barrier to access to care.

    Synder is the most qualified candidate and should get the progressive vote in this race.

    He faces challengers Republican George Rapko and Libertarian Nathan Foutch. Rapko is a veteran living in Colorado Springs. In the numerous opportunities he has had to campaign and tell people about what he wants to do if elected, his almost singular position is that he wants to get more Republicans into office. And that’s when he even feels like speaking up; he ignores the majority of requests to expand on his single idea. Rapko offers no unique positions and seems only to be seeking office to be in power.

    Foutch is a Colorado Springs resident and has been connected to right-wing militia and vigilante groups. He has said the government has no business making public health decisions to protect people from the coronavirus. Voters should avoid both Rapko and Foutch at all costs and reelect Snyder to another term in the Colorado House.

    Marc Snyder

    Incumbent State Rep. Marc Snyder has served District 18 since 2019, having come to the seat after a 12-year tenure as mayor of Manitou Springs. He also has a legal practice in estate law, primarily helping adults and children with disabilities.

State Representative, District 22

  • Democrat
  • A small-business owner and the wife of a retired police officer, Mary Parker will work with Republicans and Democrats to help our families and small businesses recover. Her push for bipartisanship combined with progressive stances on certain points give her a good shot at resonating with Jefferson County voters and flipping this seat this election cycle.

    Before co-owning a small business, Parker was a manager with Hewlett-Packard for two decades. She spent several years as a court-appointed special advocate and a certified parent educator—roles where she worked to improve situations for abused and neglected children and to help guide parents who want to reestablish custody.

    Key to Parker’s political approach has been to seek a more bipartisan environment. She advocated in The Denver Post for more bipartisanship and choosing what’s best for the people over party politics. This is perhaps most apparent in the balance of being a strong proponent of sensible gun laws while also supporting responsible gun ownership. To this end, she is a member of Gifford’s Colorado Gun Owners for Safety and has noted that the liberties granted by the Constitution must still be exercised for the common good. She has the support of the notable organizations Everytown for Gun Safety/Moms Demand Action and Colorado Ceasefire.

    Among the other positions she has taken publicly are accountability for local law enforcement, increased access to mental health resources, abortion rights, renewable energy and funding for open spaces, Medicaid expansion, and increasing the minimum wage.

    In competitive District 22, Parker is the best candidate to bring progressive values and policy to the legislature.

    The incumbent she aims to defeat is State Rep. Colin Larson, who is also a local business owner in District 22. His campaign website lays out a fairly general conservative platform. He proudly claims his opposition to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) since its introduction and expanding health coverage in the state. He thinks the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) is “perhaps the best check on the growth of government enacted by any state.” Larson is a “champion for defending our Second Amendment rights” and thinks that red-flag laws, which allow law enforcement to temporarily remove weapons from people experiencing crisis, are “bad legislation.” These are the same kind of ideas Republicans and conservatives have trotted out again and again.

    Also running is Margot Herzl, a former music teacher and office administrator in Jefferson County. She is a longtime Libertarian activist in the county and a first-time candidate. Her only overtly stated policy positions are supporting TABOR, term limits for public officials, and opposition to the national popular vote. There is no mention of any views on the myriad other important issues facing the country today, and that kind of limited platform isn’t one that has earned our support.

    Mary Parker

    A small-business owner and the wife of a retired police officer, Mary Parker will work with Republicans and Democrats to help our families and small businesses recover.

State Representative, District 23

  • Incumbent State Rep. Chris Kennedy has served House District 23 since first being elected in 2016. He is a former architectural engineer who left that field to pursue “solving public policy problems instead.” This past session, Kennedy was elected by his colleagues to serve as assistant majority leader of the Democratic Caucus. In his time in office, he has proven to be a communicative representative who has his finger on the pulse of an impressively wide array of issues.

    Kennedy’s top priorities at the end of this year were drawn to immediate needs: police accountability legislation and coronavirus relief measures for both families and small businesses. He has also been vocal in refuting the Trump administration’s false attacks on Colorado’s vaunted vote-by-mail system, emphasizing how accessible and secure our experiences have been. His yearlong efforts have ranged from health insurance transparency and insurance reform to renters’ rights laws and investment in affordable housing. Kennedy has also been a leader in the battle against the opioid epidemic and for lowering insurance premiums and rates across the state. In his public messaging, he has consistently backed doing more to support mental health access, housing assistance, abortion rights, and a number of approaches to battle climate change, such as carbon pollution limits, infrastructure for electric vehicles, and steps toward 100% renewable energy.

    The clear progressive choice in this race is Kennedy.

    Challenging him for the seat are Fred Clifford and Doug Anderson. Clifford is a machinist and Republican activist. Like a lot of other Republican candidates on the ballot this year, Clifford has publicly offered up no ideas of what he wants to do in the legislature. But he does want you to know that he likes the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), which is killing the state’s ability to fund education and transportation like it should. He also doesn’t like red-flag laws, which help protect communities by keeping guns away from violent criminals and domestic abusers. Voters should reject Clifford and his handful of bad ideas.

    Anderson, who is a former Lakewood city council member and a Libertarian, is also on the ballot. He has not commented on his positions to the press or on social media, so all we can say is that he’s supportive of the Libertarian Party of Colorado’s idea to privatize public education in the state. A progressive voter should instead support Kennedy’s experience and proven record.

    Chris Kennedy

    Incumbent State Rep. Chris Kennedy has served House District 23 since first being elected in 2016.

State Representative, District 24

  • Incumbent State Rep. Monica Duran won her first term in the Colorado House in 2018. She started as a grassroots activist who took her fight to the public policy arena. Her priorities are ensuring working families can thrive, improving gender and racial equity, boosting health care access, and providing for safer communities. Another focus is commonsense gun safety laws: In June, she noted in an opinion piece in The Colorado Sun that while the COVID-19 pandemic put off certain legislative measures in the works, she would not give up on a law for the safe storage of firearms.

    As a survivor of domestic abuse, Duran often introduces and supports bills that protect other survivors. In particular this legislative session, she sponsored and passed a bill to make unemployment easier to access for domestic violence survivors and has raised awareness about hidden abuse during lockdown that can take place. She also advocates for the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Duran is also a strong supporter of increased mental health care services and animal rights.

    In this race, Duran is by far the preferred candidate and deserves another term to keep fighting for us in the Colorado House.

    She is being challenged by Laurel Imer, a Jefferson County Republican activist and the former chair of the Trump campaign for the county. Imer is clearly a fan of Trump’s, arguing that we should “end the COVID chaos,” and in a recent campaign press release named Black Lives Matter as a “domestic terrorist group.” She is supportive of Trump’s racist “America First” policy and likes to be in the company of other right-wing racists and conspiracy theorists. Voters in District 24 shouldn’t elect anyone like Imer to the state legislature. 

    Monica Duran

    Incumbent State Rep. Monica Duran won her first term in the Colorado House in 2018. She started as a grassroots activist who took her fight to the public policy arena.