Endorsements

Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado

Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado

 

Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado works to advance access to sexual health care and defend reproductive rights in the political, legislative, and regulatory space.

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.

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.

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 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 House

State Representative, District 1

  • Incumbent State Rep. Susan Lontine, who has served southwest Denver in the Statehouse since 2015, is an enthusiastic and tireless advocate for progressive values. Her priorities include increasing access to affordable health care, fighting to defend women’s reproductive health, advocating for more funding for public schools, and protecting Colorado’s environment.

    As the chair of the House Health and Insurance Committee, Lontine has spent a lot of time working on issues related to health care access, affordability, and patient safety. Some of her legislation that has been signed into law include bills to increase hospital transparency and accountability, to remove barriers on telehealth access, and to expand dental coverage for pregnant patients.

    Perhaps her biggest legislative achievements are passing a bill that prohibited Colorado law enforcement from holding undocumented immigrants solely on the basis of a request from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as well one that requires school districts that teach sex education to teach about consent and what it means to be in a healthy relationship.

    Progressives clearly can and should support Lontine.

    She is being challenged by Republican candidate and avid conspiracy-theory enthusiast Samantha Koch. Koch regularly espouses coronavirus conspiracy theories including implying that Bill Gates is plotting to use a vaccine to implant tracking devices and that COVID-19 has been overblown by Democrats and public health experts to exert control over people’s lives and defeat President Donald Trump in the election. She also embraces anti-mask views and believes that hydroxychloroquine is a known cure for COVID-19.

    Koch’s theories aren’t limited to coronavirus: She has promoted numerous QAnon-linked theories, the debunked theory that Wayfair is literally selling children, and the urban myth that “antifa and professional anarchists” leave pallets of bricks for protesters to throw during marches. Koch also helps run a Facebook group supporting a driver who struck a Denver protester with her car. Progressive voters should avoid Koch on the ballot and probably in the community as well.

    Susan Lontine

    Incumbent State Rep. Susan Lontine, who has served southwest Denver in the Statehouse since 2015, is an enthusiastic and tireless advocate for progressive values.

State Representative, District 2

  • Incumbent State Rep. Alec Garnett has represented central Denver’s District 2 since 2015 and is running for reelection. Serving as the House majority leader since 2019, Garnett has played a large role in decision-making and setting priorities during the last two extremely productive legislative sessions. Under his leadership, the legislature enacted the most sweeping reforms to oil and gas laws in the last 60 years, put Colorado on a path to reduce carbon emissions by 90% by 2050, established universal free full-day kindergarten for all Colorado families, created paid sick leave for all Colorado workers, repealed the state’s death penalty, and much more.

    Garnett has focused specifically on working with his colleagues to improve the lives of middle-class families across Colorado, help more high school and college graduates find stable employment, and provide the best education possible for Colorado’s kids.

    A strong advocate for stricter gun laws, Garnett co-sponsored the 2019 Extreme Risk Protection Order Bill, otherwise known as the Red Flag bill, that gave law enforcement an important tool to keep our community safe, but Garnett understands there is more work that needs to be done on this issue.

    Garnett believes accessible government is one of the most important things in a democracy and always strives to make it as easy as possible for his constituents to get in touch with him. He also holds town hall meetings constantly and is a regular presence at every in-district event you can think of. Garnett is a hard-working representative and an effective leader who is passionate about making Colorado a better place to live, work, and raise a family. He is definitely the progressive voter’s best choice in this race.

    Running against Garnett is Republican Victoria Partridge. Partridge, who has worked as a flight attendant for 16 years, is a proud supporter of Donald Trump. She has asserted one-party Democrat rule has not worked out for Colorado and that we need to have more Republicans in elected offices throughout the state. Her platform says that she promotes using the free market to bring down the cost of housing and making sure Coloradans have a choice when it comes to health care — clearly issues that most Coloradans care a lot about — but on The Steffan Tubbs Show, Partridge lamented that under Democrat rule “homeless people have more of a say” than she does. Keeping Garnett in office over this point of view is a must for Denver voters.

    Alec Garnett

    Incumbent State Rep. Alec Garnett has represented central Denver’s District 2 since 2015 and is running for reelection.

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 7

State Representative, District 8

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 14

  • Democrat
  • John Foley, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, is running on a platform of protecting and caring for Colorado’s communities and improving our economy.

    Foley has been outspoken about the rise of white supremacists and hate groups in Colorado and seeks to continue to take them on as a legislator. He wants to pursue commonsense gun safety laws, health care that’s more affordable, increased vaccination rates, criminal justice system reform, and strengthening schools’ STEM programs. Of particular concern is how the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) has held back the state’s economy, even hindering the response to the COVID-19 crisis, and he vows to roll back its effects.

    Progressive voters don’t need to look hard for reasons to support Foley’s ambitious goals and elect him as their next District 14 representative.

    He is challenging incumbent Republican extremist State Rep. Shane Sandridge. During the 2020 legislative session, Sandridge sponsored a slew of anti-LGBTQ legislation that would have allowed bans and refusal of services based on sexual orientation or gender identity and criminalized doctors who treat transgender minors. He also sought to prohibit abortions from the moment of conception without exceptions and opposed a law aimed at boosting vaccination rates. It’s no surprise his anti-science agenda extends to the COVID-19 pandemic as he has asserted the public health orders to wear masks violate “the Constitution and our liberties.” These stances combined with a history of telling law enforcement not to bother with risk protection at a rally with Three Percenters and Proud Boys are simply outright dangerous. Sandridge has to go.

    Also in the race is Libertarian David Thompson. Thompson as of mid-September had no campaign website and no discoverable social media presence.

    John Foley

    John Foley, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, is running on a platform of protecting and caring for Colorado’s communities and improving our economy.

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.

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.