Endorsements

Conservation Colorado

Conservation Colorado

We work to protect Colorado’s climate, air, land, water, and communities through organizing, advocacy, and elections. We are at the front lines working to protect the air, land, water, and people across our state. For over 50 years, we’ve worked with communities statewide to ensure that our quality of life and our environment are protected. We work to elect pro-conservation leaders to public office and then hold our decision makers accountable to move Colorado forward in protecting our environment.

State Senate

State Senator, District 8

  • Democrat
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    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 12

  • Electra Johnson is a decorated architect in Colorado Springs and has worked on architectural projects all over the state and country. She is running to end the unbroken streak of failed Republican leadership in the district. Johnson stands for protecting Colorado businesses, fighting climate change, and equal and affordable education for all. She is the progressive voter’s clear choice for District 12.

    Incumbent State Sen. Bob Gardner is a lawyer and longtime legislator in both the state senate and house. He believes in backward ideas like opposing red-flag laws to keep guns away from criminals and still opposes gay marriage, which the Supreme Court settled long ago. Voters should not reelect Gardner.

    Also running is Libertarian candidate Zechariah Harris. He has made no public statements about his positions, and it’s presumed his platform aligns with the party, which would be another backward step for the district.

    Electra Johnson

    Electra Johnson is a decorated architect in Colorado Springs and has worked on architectural projects all over the state and country. She is running to end the unbroken streak of failed Republican leadership in the district. Johnson stands for protecting Colorado businesses, fighting climate change, and equal and affordable education for all. She is the progressive voter’s clear choice for District 12.

    Incumbent State Sen. Bob Gardner is a lawyer and longtime legislator in both the state senate and house. He believes in backward ideas like opposing red-flag laws to keep guns away from criminals and still opposes gay marriage, which the Supreme Court settled long ago. Voters should not reelect Gardner.

    Also running is Libertarian candidate Zechariah Harris. He has made no public statements about his positions, and it’s presumed his platform aligns with the party, which would be another backward step for the district.

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 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 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 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.

State Representative, District 25

  • Democrat
  • Incumbent State Rep. Lisa Cutter is running for reelection in District 25. She’s held the seat since 2019; before that, she owned her own small business, a public relations and communications consulting firm. Cutter has an eye toward environmental legislation, mental health and education services, and a more transparent government. Cutter is a vocal advocate for bipartisanship and working with anyone who will put politics aside to do what’s best for Colorado. Among her legislative accomplishments is the Moving Colorado to Zero Waste bill, which was converted into a study committee she chairs. She also co-sponsored a mandate for schools to now include behavioral-health-related absences as excused.

    Cutter is active in community engagement both online and off and believes in encouraging civil discourse among her constituents with pandemic-conscious events like “Virtual Community Coffees” and virtual town halls. Her stances span a wide range of issues — from holding that reproductive care is fundamental for women and families to asserting we must address environmental racism and injustice to promoting the voices of those facing LGBTQ discrimination.

    With her solid track record, Cutter is the clear candidate of choice in District 25.

    She faces Republican Donald Rosier, a civil engineer and former Jefferson County commissioner. Rosier seems to have some bona fides for the Statehouse, but he isn’t acknowledging the present we’re facing with the pandemic. One of the few things he has talked about is supporting “economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” but he makes no mention of what that means specifically. He doesn’t speak to education, public health, or any number of economic issues related to the pandemic. Cutter, by contrast, has a long list of COVID-19 resources for everything from government updates to ways for small-business owners and unemployed workers to find financial help and how students and their families can access emergency food programs. Stick with the proven leader, Cutter.

    Lisa Cutter

    Incumbent State Rep. Lisa Cutter is running for reelection in District 25. She’s held the seat since 2019; before that, she owned her own small business, a public relations and communications consulting firm.

State Representative, District 26

State Representative, District 27

  • Incumbent State Rep. Brianna Titone took office in 2019 and has brought her scientific background in technology and geology to public policy. As a scientist, Titone will listen to the facts and data when it comes to COVID-19.

    As the first openly transgender woman to be elected to office in the state, she has fought tirelessly against anti-LGBTQ bills and ending discriminatory, draconian policies against marginalized groups. She’s notable for equity concerns on things like improved transportation infrastructure and access, equity in per-pupil public school funding, and advancing technology access for all with increased broadband. And with her background in the sciences, it’s no surprise she’s sponsored climate action bills to reduce pollution, to protect water quality, and to boost energy efficiency.

    Titone’s policies and record combined make her an unequivocal progressive choice.

    Challenging her for the seat are Vicki Pyne and Cory Schaeffer. Pyne is an Arvada small-business owner, and this is her third time running to represent District 27. Her website has an issues page, but she seems to hold only one unrelated to the pandemic: that she “understands” about health care. It’s her pandemic stances that are concerning, though. Her push is to allow businesses to open without public health restrictions and to force schools to do the same. Her social media page is full of many anti-science ideas about the coronavirus, especially her endorsement of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson saying that there’s no proof the lockdowns protected people and “probably” caused more deaths based on no real information. This limited foresight and dismissal of reality are not what anyone wants for representation.

    The other person on the ballot, Schaeffer, has little online presence apart from his name being listed among the Libertarian Party of Colorado’s slate of candidates. What Schaeffer wants to do or what he believes in is a blank, other than his assumed agreement with the Libertarian Party platform. That’s not what Colorado needs. We recommend that the people of House District 27 reelect Titone.

    Brianna Titone

    Incumbent State Rep. Brianna Titone took office in 2019 and has brought her scientific background in technology and geology to public policy. As a scientist, Titone will listen to the facts and data when it comes to COVID-19.

State Representative, District 28

  • Incumbent State Rep. Kerry Tipper is running for reelection to a second term in District 28. As an attorney, she has represented victims of consumer fraud, discrimination, and civil rights violations. She also has worked with survivors of both human trafficking and domestic violence and helped hard-working families facing evictions and wage theft. Before taking office as a representative, Tipper was an assistant attorney general representing state agencies.

    During her first term, Tipper has sponsored bills to protect Coloradans from excessive medical debt as well as one to give local governments the authority to better regulate nicotine products for minors. She helped pass legislation to create a Census outreach program to ensure that every Coloradan will be counted in 2020 and was instrumental in passing a bill to have insurance cover treatment for infertility as it was reported that 1 in 8 Colorado families struggle with fertility issues.

    Tipper has proven to be a progressive voice and deserves your support in this race.

    Her main challenger for the seat is Republican candidate Pete Roybal, who is currently the president of the board of directors for the Lakewood Veterans Foundation. Roybal served as a Lakewood city council member until 2019. Voters should be aware that a formal complaint was filed against Roybal for accepting a personal loan for campaign use in 2011 — a clear violation of state campaign and finance rules. Little is advertised about his 2021 political priorities, likely due to his sudden placement on the ballot after the withdrawal of former candidate Marijane Paulsen.

    Libertarian candidate Amara Hildebrand is also on the ballot but appears to have no campaign website nor a social media presence. Her report of expenditures she filled for August shows no campaign donations or expenditures. We can only assume Hildebrand is relying on a generic Libertarian platform. She is not a viable challenger to the recommended candidate, Tipper.

    Kerry Tipper

    Incumbent State Rep. Kerry Tipper is running for reelection to a second term in District 28. As an attorney, she has represented victims of consumer fraud, discrimination, and civil rights violations.

State Representative, District 29

  • Lindsey Daugherty is running for House District 29 to succeed term-limited Democratic State Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp. Daugherty has everything it takes to be a strong progressive voice in the Colorado House. She has worked since 2013 in her own law firm specializing in family and juvenile law, and she regularly volunteers her services to help underserved communities.

    Daugherty’s campaign easily exemplifies her image as a forward-looking progressive. She has an explicit aim to work for LGBTQ people at the Capitol and stands firmly with the Black Lives Matter movement. She names access to abortion and affordable contraception as “absolute rights.” Daughterty’s views on the environment line up with the Green New Deal, aiming to boost a transition to renewable resources and investing in industries to create sustainable-energy jobs for years. And she holds that increasing funding to establish quality public schools will benefit not just students but educators, who are often paid far too low, as well.

    In a great underscore to her progressive credentials, Daugherty has received endorsements from well-known U.S. Reps. Ed Perlmutter and Joe Neguse. Daugherty has easily earned a recommendation to represent District 29.

    The Republican candidate vying for District 29 is Vanessa Warren-Demott. The northern Jefferson County resident says on her website that she supports mental health and transportation but offers very little detail about what she wants to do. Voters should be aware, however, of her relaying stories spouted by the QAnon conspiracy movement. In July, Demott was caught spreading the completely false Wayfair conspiracy theory that “overpriced” items on the furniture store’s website are named after missing children the company wants to sell. This ignorance of the truth is absolutely what progressives don’t want in office.

    Ryan Van Gundy is a veteran and engineer in Wheat Ridge and the Libertarian candidate in this race. He has no specific public policy positions apart from running as a Libertarian. Someone who doesn’t tell you how they want to govern or legislate is someone we don’t think you should vote for.

    Lindsey Daugherty

    Lindsey Daugherty is running for House District 29 to succeed term-limited Democratic State Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp. Daugherty has everything it takes to be a strong progressive voice in the Colorado House.

State Representative, District 30

  • Incumbent State Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet is an acclaimed author and co-founder of the Journey Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to storytelling and empowering unheard voices. Michaelson Jenet’s time as a state legislator has been a testament to her long-standing support for progressive issues. She was elected in 2016 with President Barack Obama’s endorsement and has focused her attention on improving access to mental health care, education, economic development, and veterans affairs.

    Michaelson Jenet has led the effort to expand mental health care in Colorado, sponsoring numerous bills that allow for better access, including one that allocates more spending for behavioral health during the pandemic. She also helped write legislation that prohibited anti-LGBTQ “conversion therapy” for minors, introduced a bill that lowered the age for behavioral health care services, and established the Office of the Behavioral Health Ombudsman.

    Michaelson Jenet’s work in education has also helped to improve Colorado schools and make them more safe; she passed an act in 2018 to expand the benefits of free lunch and served as chair on the School Safety Committee following the 2019 shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch. Her work has been recognized by various media outlets including PBS and CNN.

    She is the choice for the progressive vote in this district.

    Challenging Michaelson Jenet’s bid for reelection is Kerrie Gutierrez, who is an Adams County resident, Republican activist, and former paralegal. Gutierrez’s public reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic and public health orders has been deeply concerning. She accuses government leaders of “failing” the economy by not letting businesses and schools open up without precautions in place and seems far more concerned with how oil and gas companies are being affected by the virus instead of families and children. Gutierrez is the epitome of short-sightedness in politics, and progressives should not vote for her.

    Dafna Michaelson Jenet

    Incumbent State Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet is an acclaimed author and co-founder of the Journey Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to storytelling and empowering unheard voices.

State Representative, District 31

State Representative, District 32

  • Since 2017, State Rep. Adrienne Benavidez has represented District 32, and she is running for a third term. Over the last four years, she has consistently sponsored progressive legislation. Specifically in this session, she worked to improve the protection against air toxics emissions and also sponsored the bill to replace Columbus Day with Frances Xavier Cabrini Day, making Colorado the first state to name a state holiday after a woman.

    Benavidez has recently prioritized issues concerning Black Lives Matter and the way police violence should be addressed in Colorado. She also banded with fellow Latino and Black Caucus members to celebrate the Supreme Court’s action against the Trump administration on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, saying its end “would have destroyed the lives of thousands of Colorado families” and calling on Congress for immediate permanent protections.

    As the majority co-whip of the Democratic caucus, Benavidez has proven to be a leader with progressive values who deserves reelection. She is the clear choice for District 32.

    Her main challenger is Republican candidate Tony Caputo. Caputo has openly expressed his disdain for the LGBTQ community, especially marriage equality. Some of his priorities are protecting freedom of speech from “political correctness,” pushing forward pro-gun policies, and seeking privatization of government departments and functions. Caputo’s campaign does not serve the diversity of Colorado nor promote equity, and as such, we cannot recommend a vote for him.

    Also on the ballot is Jason Chapman, a Libertarian. He seems to have disclosed no public stances on any policies, much less those that pertain to District 32, as he lacks a campaign website or any discoverable political social media presence. Stick with the strong and experienced voice and give progressive support to Benavidez.

    Adrienne Benavidez

    Since 2017, State Rep. Adrienne Benavidez has represented District 32, and she is running for a third term. Over the last four years, she has consistently sponsored progressive legislation.

State Representative, District 33

  • Democrat
  • Incumbent State Rep. Matt Gray has represented District 33 since 2017. A former deputy district attorney and public finance attorney, he has many years of experience working with local governments. Gray’s recent legislative efforts have focused on government efficiency and public finance, and he has served on the finance committee. His recent work has also addressed residential oil and gas drilling; he has repeatedly advocated for homeowners who oppose fracking in their communities and schools. Gray has also been fighting for paid family and medical leave for several legislative sessions.

    Before becoming a representative, Gray served as vice chair to the Adams County Youth Initiative and chair of the Broomfield Board of Equalization, ensuring homeowners aren’t over-taxed. His work in the House also has a marked emphasis on transportation, and he has fought for regional funding equality.

    Gray is the best progressive candidate to represent this district.

    Mindy Quiachon, a conservative activist in Broomfield, is taking on Gray in this election. Quiachon is much like other Republicans on the ballot this cycle: She talks about grand ideas like supporting the economy but has no vision when it comes to specific ideas about problems she wants to solve. What’s worse is her criticism of things like stay-at-home orders and mask mandates — things we know for a fact protect people from COVID-19. A candidate without ideas is someone looking for power for no reason. Voters should instead reelect Gray.

    Matt Gray

    Incumbent State Rep. Matt Gray has represented District 33 since 2017. A former deputy district attorney and public finance attorney, he has many years of experience working with local governments.

State Representative, District 34

  • As the only nurse in the Colorado General Assembly, incumbent State Rep. Kyle Mullica has been on the “frontlines of the coronavirus fight” both via his role as a legislator and as an EMT and nurse. In his time as a legislator, Mullica has been a leading voice on public health and protecting working families, introducing bills to curb vaping and youth nicotine use, lower prescription drug costs, and increase the number of nurses in Colorado schools.

    Among Mullica’s other priorities are fighting for working families by ensuring livable wages and collective bargaining rights, better access to reproductive care, support for DREAMers, sustainable energy solutions, and more. Mullica vows to continue his progressive work in an immediate way by fighting for a smart and “just” economic return from the coronavirus pandemic and pushing forward health care reforms.

    Mullica is the best candidate to continue bringing progressive values to the capitol on behalf of House District 34.

    His opponent, Republican Mark Bromley, is an electrician living in Northglenn. His website boasts his support for quite a backwards agenda. He’s against vaccinations, police oversight, reforming the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), red-flag laws, and gun safety in general as well as the repeal of the death penalty in Colorado. On top of all of that, he also spreads a lot of disinformation and pro-Trump propaganda. A vote for Bromley is a vote against progress in Colorado.

    Kyle Mullica

    As the only nurse in the Colorado General Assembly, incumbent State Rep. Kyle Mullica has been on the “frontlines of the coronavirus fight” both via his role as a legislator and as an EMT and nurse.

State Representative, District 35

  • Incumbent State Rep. Shannon Bird is seeking a second term representing District 35. She has longstanding experience in business, financial negotiations, and local government. Before becoming a representative, she served on the Westminster City Council, where she created an internship program and secured funding for infrastructure improvements at schools.

    Bird’s legislative work to date has focused on fiscal policy, education financing, and economic development, and she is the vice chair of the House finance committee. She has also been a strong advocate for public education, particularly fair and equitable funding for schools in all neighborhoods. To help working individuals and families, Bird sponsored bills this term easing credential and licensing transferability in fields ranging from electricians to midwives and another on extending workforce development programs. She also supports DREAMers, affordable housing, and pairing law enforcement with behavioral health specialists for response calls — plus she regularly convenes virtual town halls and socially distant meetups with constituents.

    She is the best candidate to lead her district forward in fighting for progressive values.

    Challenging her for the seat is Republican Roger Lehman. As of the start of September, he appeared to have not spoken to the media or even created a website or social media pages explaining his campaign or his personal policy positions. If Lehman isn’t going to put his voice on any issues, then he should not be Statehouse-bound.

    Shannon Bird

    Incumbent State Rep. Shannon Bird is seeking a second term representing District 35. She has longstanding experience in business, financial negotiations, and local government.

State Representative, District 36

  • Incumbent State Rep. Mike Weissman is running for a third term in District 36. He has been a progressive voice the last four years and has the record to prove it. On his extensive, bilingual campaign website, he backs a wide range of issues — from evidence-based criminal justice reform to transparent government to bringing Colorado schools out of the bottom of national ranking for state funding. And he has an outstanding record on issues like conservation, battling climate change, and consumer protection.

    Weissman has sponsored bills concerning energy efficiency in new residential construction and changing how police and courts handle criminal defendants with mental health issues. His latest legislative session report is strong in sponsoring measures to boost veteran resources, bring counseling and behavioral health services to schools, increasing transparency in medical bills, investing in public resources like transportation, and more. He also does his best to connect with constituents.

    The plain choice for progressive representation in District 36 is Weissman.

    Republican Dustin Bishop is also vying for the seat. Bishop’s campaign priorities range from instituting a “flat tax rate for everyone, with no deductions” and revoking daylight saving time in Colorado. Of course, Colorado already has a flat income tax rate, and anyone running for the state legislature should already know that. In a stark stance against gun safety laws, he believes, in his own words, that “Americans have the constitutional right to own guns, and this should not be restricted by the type of gun, or the number of rounds that it can hold.” Bishop lacks the political experience and knowledge to successfully represent Coloradans. Instead, reelect Weissman.

    Mike Weissman

    Incumbent State Rep. Mike Weissman is running for a third term in District 36. He has been a progressive voice the last four years and has the record to prove it.

State Representative, District 37

  • Incumbent State Rep. Tom Sullivan was first elected to District 37 in 2018. After his son was murdered in the Aurora movie theater mass shooting, he became involved in politics by advocating for victims’ rights and testifying during committee hearings for stronger gun safety laws.

    Sullivan’s platform emphasizes supporting and strengthening middle-class families by stimulating a healthy economy, promoting good jobs, and fighting for affordable health care, education, and housing. While in office, he has fought for the working families of Colorado and successfully sponsored a monumental red-flag gun regulation bill signed into law last year. The bill gained strong opposition from Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) and Kristi Burton Brown, vice chair of the Colorado Republican Party, who organized a recall effort against Sullivan. Prominent progressive leaders from across the nation including Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren rallied their support for Sullivan’s agenda, the recall failed, and the bill was signed into law.

    Sullivan deserves to continue to represent this district with the support of progressive voters.

    Challenging him for the seat is Republican Caroline Cornell, who is a career coach and education volunteer in the Centennial area. Her campaign website contains some generic platitudes like supporting the economy, wanting more money for fixing roads, and supporting the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR). But don’t look for any specifics from Cornell. She seems to use her social media pages largely for kids’ entertainment and proving she has door-to-door selfie skills instead of informing people about her specific views. Not only that, but she seems more interested in getting kids out of quarantine than protecting families during a pandemic. If these are the highlights for her to talk and post about in public, then progressive voters should be worried about what Cornell isn’t saying. 

    Tom Sullivan

    Incumbent State Rep. Tom Sullivan was first elected to District 37 in 2018.

State Representative, District 38

  • Democrat
  • David Ortiz’s experience as a military veteran, public affairs professional, community and media liaison, advocate, and lobbyist proves he will fight to make equality of opportunity and economic recovery priorities as a representative for District 38.

    After college, Ortiz volunteered in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and worked at the Houston mayor’s Office of International Affairs and Development. Ortiz was selected to train as a helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army, and he survived a near-fatal crash while deployed in Afghanistan in 2012. He was left paralyzed from the waist down and has dedicated his life as a public servant to advocating for veterans, service members, and people with disabilities. He has successfully helped to secure resources for veteran services, served in numerous leadership positions at nonprofits, and worked as a legislative liaison.

    Ortiz has demonstrated his commitment to progressive issues through his work on several pieces of legislation on higher education, the criminal justice system, mental health, and housing. He is the clear choice in this race.

    He is taking on incumbent State Rep. Richard Champion, an energy businessman and diehard right-wing conservative who toes the party line instead of representing his constituents. Champion was nominated to the seat by a select group of Republican activists after his predecessor joined the Trump administration. He is apparently more angry about stay-at-home orders and mask mandates than about the failed federal response to the coronavirus in the first place. He tends to make up his own facts about reforming health care, resulting in conservative ideas that actually take health care away from people. Champion is the kind of backwards-thinking conservative we don’t want representing us anymore.

    David Ortiz

    David Ortiz’s experience as a military veteran, public affairs professional, community and media liaison, advocate, and lobbyist proves he will fight to make equality of opportunity and economic recovery priorities as a representative for District 38.

State Representative, District 42

State Representative, District 46

  • Serving District 46 since 2015, State Rep. Daneya Esgar is an established leader in the Colorado House and a tireless advocate for Pueblo. Her work as a legislator, news producer, and community organizer demonstrates she will continue to fight for her community.

    Esgar is an outspoken supporter of expanding access to health care, increasing funding for education, promoting economic development, especially in southern Colorado, and fighting for worker’s rights. Her efforts as a member of the Joint Budget Committee helped bring jobs back to the local steel mill. Recent bills include a measure that establishes a Food Pantry Assistance Grant Program and numerous pieces of legislation that address the 2020 budget crisis and fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. As the chair of the legislature’s powerful Joint Budget Committee, Esgar has given Pueblo a strong voice at the table in the state budget-writing process.

    Well known for her work on equality, justice, and fighting poverty, Esgar is a strong advocate for worker and LGBTQ rights. A member of the LGBTQ Caucus, she helped pass critical legislation that decriminalized HIV and addressed the gaps between marriage and civil unions. Her organizing work in Pueblo and work as legislator shows that she will continue to pave the path forward and stand defiantly for progressive values.

    Esgar is clearly the progressive voter’s choice for District 46.

    Tossing in bids against her for the seat are Republican Jonathan Ambler and Libertarian John Pickerill. Ambler is a former school administrator who is currently self-employed. His campaign website compares gun safety laws to Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, claims health care reform is “a socialist dream,” spreads misinformation about women’s health, and engages in fear-mongering about the nonexistent “tsunami of socialism.” Ambler seems, across all aspects, to be much more willing to be a Donald Trump bullhorn than a good legislator or leader. Send Ambler and his conspiracy theories home, not to the Statehouse.

    Pickerill is a recent transplant from Indiana and is a columnist for The Pueblo Chieftain. He is against providing mental health services in schools and red-flag laws that protect domestic abuse survivors. He’s also more concerned with emergency executive orders from the governor’s office than he is in seeing Coloradoans protected from the coronavirus. He is also no match for Esgar.

    Daneya Esgar

    Serving District 46 since 2015, State Rep. Daneya Esgar is an established leader in the Colorado House and a tireless advocate for Pueblo. Her work as a legislator, news producer, and community organizer demonstrates she will continue to fight for her community.

State Representative, District 47

  • Incumbent State Rep. Bri Buentello has represented District 47 since she was first elected in 2018. She is a special education, American government, and economics teacher and a mother who has brought strong bipartisan representation to Pueblo, Fremont, and Otero Counties.

    Buentello currently serves as the vice chair of the House Education Committee and is a member of the Rural Affairs and Agriculture Committee. During her time in office, she has sponsored 12 bills in economic development, veterans affairs, education, and agriculture. In particular, her dedicated work in education has led to the creation of a farm-to-school pipeline, the growth of special education teachers and training, and the formation of an apprenticeship program for future educators.

    In 2020, Buentello promises to continue fighting for small businesses, Medicaid, tax reductions for veterans, and keeping PERA solvent while protecting the promises made to employees. Buentello fights for increased access to water for farmers, rural broadband, and has demonstrated her effort to support and strengthen the working families of Colorado by adhering to “blue-collar values.”

    With Buentello’s first legislative sessions demonstrating that she’s an independent voice for Southern Colorado, we believe voters should give her another term in the Colorado House of Representatives.

    Her opponent in this race is Republican Stephanie Luck, an educator and attorney in Penrose. She previously ran for Senate District 2 and lost to now-Sen. Dennis Hisey. Luck’s only specific policy position is being anti-choice. Luck does not seem like the kind of person we need in office. 

    Bri Buentello

    Incumbent State Rep. Bri Buentello has represented District 47 since she was first elected in 2018. She is a special education, American government, and economics teacher and a mother who has brought strong bipartisan representation to Pueblo, Fremont, and Otero Counties.

State Representative, District 50

  • Democrat
  • Incumbent State Rep. Mary Young is running for reelection in District 50. Initially elected by a vacancy committee to replace former State Rep. Rochelle Galindo, Young is a former school psychologist and special education teacher. Her 2020 campaign prioritizes mental health and school safety. Her recent legislation has focused on child welfare, health care, and agriculture. As the vice president of the ARC of Weld County, Young has demonstrated her commitment to helping people with disabilities and her legislative efforts reflect the same. She is a lifetime member of both the Colorado Education Association and the National Education Association, and she currently serves as a Court Appointed Special Advocate in the Weld County Child Welfare system. Young's dedication to the people of House District 50 and her advocacy work prove she is the best candidate to continue leading the district forward on progressive issues.

    Challenging her for the seat is Sean Short. He is a member of the Libertarian Party, and his platform is based in values that claim to protect individual freedom from government interference. He should not be elected to replace Young.

    Mary Young

    Incumbent State Rep. Mary Young is running for reelection in District 50. Initially elected by a vacancy committee to replace former State Rep. Rochelle Galindo, Young is a former school psychologist and special education teacher.