Democrat Michael Bennet has a strong record of delivering to the Southwest. Bennet worked harder than many over 13-plus years with accomplishments that include improving broadband access through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, expanding the child tax credit for a year and securing $4 billion for Colorado River water conservation in the Inflation Reduction Act.
Bennet also has a quiet body of work behind him. Serving on committees, helping constituents, negotiating policy and funding, and co-sponsoring – or putting his touch on – dozens of bills signed into law. Bennet’s holding out hope for his stalled Colorado Outdoor Recreation Economy Act, which would grant protections to roughly 400,000 acres of federal land in Colorado.
And Camp Hale is a national monument in large part to his unwavering dedication.
Along with U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper, Bennet also introduced the Dolores River National Conservation Area and Special Management Area Act in the Senate to protect this glorious stretch.
Whether leading the pack or working behind the scenes, Bennet gets stuff done.
Former Aspen City Council member and businessman Adam Frisch is smart and qualified. Moderate and pragmatic, Frisch is pro-business and pro-energy. He’s running as a Democrat but doesn’t flash that “D” so much. Instead, he leans “unaffiliated.”
We’re ready to have a representative with a work ethic to legislate and prioritize the 3rd Congressional District and all of its constituents.
We can’t keep our own jobs if we don’t do the most basic, required work. We expect the same from our representative.
Frisch is well-suited to represent the 3rd Congressional District. He is eager to log real accomplishments.
In Democrat Gov. Jared Polis’ Colorado, the future is bright, steady. Keeping his promise, Polis capped the cost of insulin; provided free, full-day kindergarten and preschool; and offered more than $1 billion in property tax relief for homeowners and businesses.
Polis’ realization of free kindergarten and preschool was significant, especially in our state that underfunds public education. We agree wholeheartedly that education is the great equalizer in our communities.
During the pandemic, Polis was a rock. He led Colorado through the many unknowns and vetted data, when talk about vaccines, masks and the number of respirators for gravely ill COVID-19 patients was new. He was grounded and showed much leadership.
Polis is all about individual freedoms, unequivocally defending women’s reproductive rights. He pushes government work back to local levels, as much as possible.
And he’s eliminated state taxes on Social Security and encouraged entrepreneurship – making it $1 to start a new business.
Polis is the right choice for governor.
Secretary of State – Pamela Anderson
Republican Pam Anderson intends to eliminate partisanship in this highly professional position. This mission alone – simple and needed – won us over. A nonpartisan approach would best serve voters. As secretary of state, we hope Anderson will restore more voter confidence among all parties.
Anderson has an ambitious agenda – signature verification, voter registration audits, equitable funding streams for elections and more. She also plans to take seriously office employee turnover and implement a citizens’ academy, which explains voting processes and what, exactly, the office of secretary of state does.
Anderson has served as head of the Colorado County Clerks Association, building policies and procedures to safeguard – and make accessible – our election system. She is a former Jefferson County clerk and recorder, and Wheat Ridge municipal clerk, and has had a hand in election reform for 20 years and counting.
We appreciate that Anderson wants to focus on the nitty-grittiness of the process. We see her as the person to take us to this next level of evidence-based elections.
Attorney General Phil Weiser, a Democrat, is one fine lawyer. Thanks to Weiser, our region will receive between $200,000 to $250,000 a year for 18 years from the first round of opioid settlements. This money will provide treatment – in a capacity a local coalition will determine – for Southwest residents who struggle with substance abuse and, possibly, mental health challenges.
He backs the state’s Reproductive Health Equity Act and has worked on cases that range from civil rights, consumer rights and fraud, to public access, health care, pollution and voting rights. Weiser has advanced gun safety measures and addressed the school-to-prison pipeline. He’s passionate about more “emotional intelligence” training for police officers.
Weiser’s also knee-deep studying litigation on the Colorado River compact.
Let’s keep Weiser on the job to finish the good work he’s started.
This race is fairly quiet compared with other hotly contested contests, but it’s becoming more important all the time. The Colorado Board of Education is highly politicized with personal and political agendas blatantly inserted into decisions. Democrat Kathy Plomer is a steady hand, a reasonable person.
Plomer served on the Adams 12 school board for eight years, six of them as president. Plomer’s priorities include academic excellence for every child, respecting teachers, and transparency and accountability. She will expand opportunities for students with pathways to college or the workforce with good paying jobs.
Plomer is student-focused, making her a standout. We need Plomer on our state board of education.
Productive best describes Democratic state Rep. Barbara McLachlan. McLachlan continually punches above her weight, sponsoring bipartisan measures and passing 30 bills. She is a class act, works well across party lines and brings it all back home.
McLachlan serves on three committees crucial to the Southwest: the Education Committee she chairs, and both the Agriculture, Livestock and Water Committee, and the Water Interim Committee.
She’s delivered a range of legislation, much of it around education. The School Finance Act bumped up funding by more than $430 million and put resources into reducing class sizes, increasing teacher pay. Her bills recruited and retained teachers, and backed school safety and youth mental health efforts. McLachlan helped the oft forgotten group, foster youth, attend college.
Small businesses held onto more sales tax revenue. Police officers can now live outside their district in affordable areas. All thanks to McLachlan.
For tribal neighbors, her bills jump-started investigations of treatment of Indigenous people at Fort Lewis College boarding schools and allocated money for a tribal behavioral health facility.
For agriculture, she incentivized food banks to buy from local producers. Her health care initiative provided more dementia training and specified that COVID-19 hospital patients may have a visitor.
McLachlan is the solid, proven, best choice.
Independent Jack Turner advocates for risk-taking in decision-making and moving significant projects along. Turner would reshape a land use planning approval process to be sensitive to developers’ time and costs.
He would risk getting something wrong in order to move ahead, for example, the recreational plan, then construction at Durango Mountain Park (on Ewing Mesa). Let’s get going, Turner says, even on a portion of the property, a small scale.
Turner shows no sign of political ideology. Turner is riding that growing independent wave, one that is disrupting conventional political thinking, and he is doing it with insight, drive and high energy.
Independent Erin Hutchins has been in the La Plata County Clerk and Recorder office for 11 years, nine as elections’ administrator under Tiffany Lee. Hutchins has an accounting degree from Fort Lewis College, has been nationally certified in elections management and maintains the high-revenue motor vehicle books.
If elected county treasurer, we expect Hutchins can better develop office staffing and interdepartmental communication.
With Ballot Issue No. 2A, Durangoans have a real shot at making affordable housing happen. This year, the city predicts it will have about $1.1 million in excess funds for both last year and this year.
After housing, transportation, parking and the arts would get the serious attention funding brings. We can do good things if Ballot 2a passes.
Editor’s note: For more detailed information on endorsements, please search candidates and ballot initiatives on our website.