Colorado State Representative Candidates
Candidates listed in order they appear on ballot. These responses were not edited for grammar, punctuation, or spelling and were truncated if they exceeded the specified word count.
State Representative District 14

John Foley (D)

Shane Sandridge (R)

  • Candidate chose not to participate in survey.

David Thompson (L)

  • Candidate chose not to participate in survey.

State Representative District 15

John Pyne IV (D)

  • Candidate chose not to participate in survey.

Dave Williams (R)

  • Candidate chose not to participate in survey.

Mike McRedmond (L)

  • Candidate chose not to participate in survey.

State Representative District 16

Andres Pico (R)

  • Candidate Information

    Candidate Name: Andres G Pico District: HD-16 E-Mail: pico4council@gmail.com Website: Pico4Colorado16.com Phone 719-640-8451 Education: BS in Business Administration, MA International Relations, MA National Security Affairs Occupation: Retired

  • What are your qualifications for this position?

    I am a retired Naval Flight Officer with significant operational and staff experience in large and complex organizations and have led departments. I’ve also retired from a second career in industry during which I was a project manager and led project teams and competed for contracts. That background combines both government and private sector experience. I have also served two terms on City Council and the Utility Board and so bring a mix of solid experience covering business and government. During my time on City Council the impact of state legislation on local governments and businesses and I can take that perspective to the legislature. Working with the city and industry we’ve expanded business opportunity along the Powers corridor and the airport commercial business park. This is a record of success.

  • What are the two most pressing issues facing your district and how will you address them?

    Bringing people back to work during the current pandemic in a manner that is safe and can enable people to restore and maintain their livelihoods. I will work to remove artificial barriers and ensure a level playing field for companies and individuals while ensuring safety and access to medical care. Expand business opportunities for businesses and jobs through open and fair free market initiatives. A strong and vibrant economy is what ensures individual freedom, prosperity and opportunity. It is a strong economy that provides the tax base to fund government programs and build infrastructure. I will work to expand free market opportunities for all of our citizens and ensure that Colorado is able to recover from the pandemic and is positioned for the future.

  • What should the state's budget priorities be and how will you fund those priorities?

    Public Safety and the transportation infrastructure are the two most critical functions of state government. The priorities of the state funding should be focused on these first and other programs rank ordered in terms of urgency and whether the state should even be involved. I would expand public private partnerships that leverages private investment which is a formula that has worked very well.

  • What is the role of the state in the provision of affordable and universally designed housing?

    The state should ensure that builders and construction companies have the opportunities to expand the supply of housing. In order to lower the cost of housing, more units need to be available. There can be various state incentives and programs to encourage lower cost housing options are built. In Colorado Springs, we have used various programs to encourage affordable housing construction with some success although there is a long way to go yet. I would not impose mandates on builders because that usually backfires by shifting costs and in the end reduces the supply. The builders need that economic incentive to build homes across the spectrum of housing needs. The state should not be involved in setting design standards, that is a local responsibility.

  • Are you in favor of the Colorado legislature adopting legislation that gives businesses the right to refuse service of customers when such service conflicts with the business owner’s religious beliefs?

    Yes, to a limited extent for a valid religious exemption in that a business owner should not be compelled to actively participate in a function in conflict with their religion. Religious Freedom is freedom only if it is for all. I do NOT believe that any business owner should be able to refuse standard services such as retail or commercial products and services.

  • What will you do to bolster systems and increase access to essential services for traditionally underrepresented and underserved communities, including public transportation, health care, and job training programs?

    These are areas that do need additional funding and access. I have and will continue to support public transportation where there is a need and budgets can be accommodated. Transit is a public service. I support additional job training and placement programs to assist people who are transitioning between jobs. I would reduce health care insurance mandates to ensure more options at lower costs are available and I would allow individuals to deduct health premiums just as employers do.

  • What changes should the state make to law enforcement funding or law?

    The state has specific areas in law enforcement but most law enforcement is at the local level. The state has a responsibility to set and enforce standards and to establish the laws. The legislation passed the last session was far reaching and I would like to see how well that works before proposing further changes. I would change the law to ensure that the state law enforcement exemption is eliminated so that all state agencies are held to the same standards that local law enforcement is. I would copy the C/S Law Enforcement Transparency and Accountability (LETAC) at the state level in order to ensure that there is an independent review of policies and procedures with recommendations for any needed changes submitted to the Legislature and Governor.

  • What role does a vibrant and well-funded arts and cultural sector play in the overall vitality of our local/regional economy?

    A vibrant and well funded arts and cultural sector is of great value in attracting business and tourism. The arts add to the economic and social vitality. Funding, however, should primarily be privately supported with limited government funding unless the voters vote on a specific tax measure to support the arts, such as the tourism taxes in place in many cities.

  • What, if anything, should be done to increase access to voting for all eligible voters?

    I believe that access to voting is very well established already with mailed ballots. The automatic voter registration for drivers’ licenses is already in place. I support multi-lingual voter registration drives to ensure that every eligible voter has the opportunity to vote.

Stephanie Vigil (D)

  • Candidate Information

    Candidate Name: Stephanie Vigil District: CO House District 16 E-Mail: info@stephanievigil.com Website: stephanievigil.com Phone: 719-297-3210 Education: Pikes Peak Community College Occupation: Campaign staffer and community organizer

  • What are your qualifications for this position?

    I’m running to represent HD16 in our State Legislature because perspectives like mine need to be present where our laws are being made. I was a long time essential worker and grew into a community organizer after going into long-term recovery from a former disability. I lived to fight another day because a few lifesavers came through for me just in time, and I know that for every case like mine, thousands of others never get to tell their story. These are terrible odds! We can do so much better for ourselves and each other, rather than permitting essential resources like healthcare, housing, and transit to be left largely to the whims of volatile markets. I bring an intimate acquaintance with what’s broken in these systems of support, and how we can craft them to put people first and build a healthy and thriving society.

  • What are the two most pressing issues facing your district and how will you address them?

    Housing affordability and availability were already pressing issues, even before Covid-19 took a toll on so many household incomes. The first critical step to doing something about housing affordability is to accept that developers and investors are not naturally inclined to build affordable units, and that government intervention is needed. We’ve made some strides in this direction in the last couple of sessions, but more is needed, particularly to protect renters. On the flip side of this are the low wages of those whose work we’ve finally begun to recognize as “essential.” If we don’t get action on a $15/hr minimum wage at a federal level, I’m prepared to go to work for it here in Colorado.

  • What should the state's budget priorities be and how will you fund those priorities?

    Funding education and better pay for our teachers can’t be put off any longer. When I hear from teachers in my district, it’s about low pay. These are the folks educating Colorado’s children. We cannot attract and retain excellent teachers with unlivable wages. Now as we all know, because of TABOR, our legislature cannot raise a tax, or even retain a surplus, without it going to the ballot. Assuming that remains intact, we’ll need to appeal to the people directly to fund what’s being asked. Funding other priorities, at the moment, unfortunately means taking the funds from something else or

  • What is the role of the state in the provision of affordable and universally designed housing?

    There is more than one good answer to this, which is good news for a state struggling to find solutions for a growing population! Providing public land outright to builders specifically to develop affordable units is one solution, as well as expanded tax credits for larger complexes that provide more units per project. And also some more indirect measures, such as granting local governments the ability to set housing policy that makes sense for their own communities, whether it’s stabilizing rents or requiring a certain ratio of affordable units in every project.

  • Are you in favor of the Colorado legislature adopting legislation that gives businesses the right to refuse service of customers when such service conflicts with the business owner’s religious beliefs?

    I am not. When you open a business that’s ostensibly open to the public, you sign up to serve the public without unlawful discrimination against customers. This idea that religious belief entitles someone to sidestep laws that others are expected to follow, with their personal religion as a defense, doesn’t make for a better society. It’s also quite a stretch to fit this in the definition of “free exercise” of religion, and I doubt that its proponents would appreciate being on the receiving end of it themselves.

  • What will you do to bolster systems and increase access to essential services for traditionally underrepresented and underserved communities, including public transportation, health care, and job training programs?

    In addition to the housing issue, public transportation is another priority for underserved communities, and for anyone concerned with traffic congestion, pollution, and carbon emissions. We need to rethink the common view of public transportation as a last resort, something that’s only for needy residents, and instead imagine a system that we’re all proud of and happy to use. Otherwise there continues to be an unwritten assumption that public services aren’t actually for everyone, and fosters the temptation to save money by cutting them; this costs us more in the long run than making sound investments in our shared future.

  • What changes should the state make to law enforcement funding or law?

    Simply put, we spend an outrageous amount of money policing and incarcerating our population, particularly Black people who are routinely racially profiled and policed more aggressively. If this is all supposed to be keeping crime at bay, it doesn’t seem to be working if there’s always this need for continued, and even increased, police and prison funding. Being “tough on crime” needs to include being tough on poverty, tough on slumlords, tough on wage theft, tough on environmental destruction, and tough on all the exploitation and abuse of ordinary people that leads to the problems they’re being punished for. I’d like to see us build beyond the good work of SB20-217, and put more money into harm reduction efforts than on punitive measures.

  • What role does a vibrant and well-funded arts and cultural sector play in the overall vitality of our local/regional economy?

    This is the kind of funding that always comes back to us when we invest it, and we’re smart to spend on this. For one, we want artists to stay here and contribute to the vibrancy of their community, not be forced to leave looking for paid work. Additionally, public art has a way of promoting a sense of belonging and community pride that reduces vandalism, theft, and other petty crimes that contribute to neighborhood decline. An enriched environment is associated with improved quality of life by virtually every measure, and is worth every penny we put toward it.

  • What, if anything, should be done to increase access to voting for all eligible voters?

    Thankfully we do such a good job with this in Colorado, and I hope to see our system eventually adopted nationwide. I do think we could use more dropboxes in some rural and low-income areas. As a side note, I’d like to encourage readers to please vote no on the misleading Amendment 76 initiative. Non-citizens do not have the ability to vote in Colorado, though citizens do have a protected right in our Constitution with the words “every citizen,” which this amendment would replace with “only a citizen.” It’s not a necessary edit unless someone is planning to introduce additional

John Carl Hjersman (L)

State Representative District 17

Tony Exum (D)

  • Candidate Information

    Candidate Name: Tony Exum District: House District 17 E-Mail: exum3672@comcast.net Website: tonyexum.com Phone: 719-661-4910 Education: Palmer High School; University of Southern Colorado, BS in Social Science Occupation: Firefighter

  • What are your qualifications for this position?

    Since I’ve been living in southeast Colorado Springs for more than 65 years, I have a deep understanding of what makes our community so great, and what struggles we face. I have served this community for over 40 years, as a volunteer basketball coach, an umpire for youth softball, and as a firefighter. And after retiring as a Battalion Chief of the Colorado Springs Fire Department, I continued my public service by running for office. Together with my fellow legislators, I worked to help make Colorado Springs, and our state as a whole, a better place to live. Now, I’m ready to continue my work here in our community and up at the Capitol, to help make Colorado Springs the best city it can be.

  • What are the two most pressing issues facing your district and how will you address them?

    Jobs: Coloradans are hard workers. Still, as we bear witness to an ever changing and increasingly competitive job market, many people willing to work can’t find employment, and those who are employed aren’t earning enough money to survive. Investing in job training opportunities means creating more jobs. This is especially true for those without four-year degrees and for our veterans returning home from their service. Infrastructure: Colorado is a growing, opportunistic state which is attracting more new residents each year. As such, it’s taking some of our community members twice, even three times as long to get to and from work each day, and more traffic means more damage to our roads. The county and city cannot forget about SE Colorado Springs when considering infrastructure improvements. We need improved roads, bridges, and sidewalks, as well as investment into community spaces such as parks.

  • What should the state's budget priorities be and how will you fund those priorities?

    The state legislature needs to prioritize funding to issues Coloradans care most about: education, infrastructure, housing, and healthcare. Because of TABOR, tax increases are decided by Coloradans at the ballot box. Now more than ever, Coloradans need to keep as much of what they earn as possible, so it’s a smarter move to look for sources of funding that do not involve trying to raise state income tax. For example, as long as we protect public ownership of infrastructure, public-private partnerships can be an excellent source of revenue.

  • What is the role of the state in the provision of affordable and universally designed housing?

    Creating and sustaining quality affordable housing is of high importance in my district. That’s why as the Representative of HD17, I fought to protect rent and heating assistance for low-income seniors, as well as to cut property taxes on small businesses and homeowners. We also need to address the issue of wage stagnation. Housing and renting prices are increasing at rates that far surpass the average person’s yearly salary increase, and many people are barely able to make their mortgage or rent payments each month. With more money in their pockets, Coloradans can have a secure place to live while also reinvesting their extra income into our economy through purchase of goods and services.

  • Are you in favor of the Colorado legislature adopting legislation that gives businesses the right to refuse service of customers when such service conflicts with the business owner’s religious beliefs?

    As a man of faith, my religion is important to me and a prominent aspect of my life. In fact, it is because I am religious, and because I have faced discrimination because of the color of my skin, that I am against the idea of people using their religion as an excuse to be bigoted. I believe it is critical that we continue to fight to protect our first amendment rights, and I believe our community should be a safe, inclusive place for everyone.

  • What will you do to bolster systems and increase access to essential services for traditionally underrepresented and underserved communities, including public transportation, health care, and job training programs?

    I want to work for reduced college tuition benefits for veterans, as well as job training opportunities for when they return home from service. Our seniors also need the assurance they can live safe, independent lives with access to safety nets when they need them. And we need to actively fight against irresponsible cuts to Medicare. No one should go without their medication because the cost is too high. Additionally, reliable, far reaching public transportation is important so all of our community members can affordably get to and from work and leisure activities.

  • What changes should the state make to law enforcement funding or law?

    As a retired firefighter myself, I know how important police forces are for protecting public safety and security. That’s why I don’t want to overburden police forces with duties which could be handled by other community services. It’s unfair to the police, forcing them to do work outside their scope of duties. So if we can reduce these burdens on police then we might be able to reallocate the extra police budgets towards those community services picking up their proper responsibilities. That sounds like a good idea to me.

  • What role does a vibrant and well-funded arts and cultural sector play in the overall vitality of our local/regional economy?

    The arts are critically important, and they should be a priority in funding decisions, not the first to receive funding cuts. In schools, learning about all of the arts is just as important to nurturing intelligent, happy, well-rounded children as is learning math and having accessibility to sports programs. Creative industries contribute greatly to our economic growth, and the various arts and cultural sectors make our community special, and that makes them worth protecting.

  • What, if anything, should be done to increase access to voting for all eligible voters?

    By utilizing online registration, mail-in ballots which give Coloradans weeks to vote, and by having the ability to preregister at age 16, Colorado already has better accessibility to voting than many other states. Still, there are always ways we can improve. We can increase the number of polling locations, so our community members can easily drop off their ballots if they miss the mail-in deadline. We also need to recognize the diversity of our community and have ballots available in other languages, such as Spanish.

Rob Blancken (R)

Susan Quilleash (L)

State Representative District 18

Marc Snyder (D)

  • Candidate Information

    Candidate Name: Marc Snyder District: House District 18 E-Mail: marc@electmarcsnyder.com Website: snyderforcolorado.com Phone: (719) 233-1272 Education: B.A. in Political Science and B.A. in Economics from Emory University; JD Law Degree from Emory University School of Law Occupation: Attorney

  • What are your qualifications for this position?

    I have served in public office in the Pikes Peak region for more than 20 years, and I’ve learned in that time, from the ground up, what our districts need and how to effectively address those needs in a bi-partisan and community-inclusive manner. I served 12 years on the Manitou Springs city council and, during my 6 years as Mayor there, I lead the city out from difficult times, including the Waldo Canyon fire and subsequent flooding. I have served on over a dozen regional boards and commissions, including the PPACG board (where I was Chair in 2015), the PPRBC (also Chair), the EPC Board of Public Health and the PPRTA board. In 2018, I won election to serve as the state representative from House District 18, and I’m running for re-election to continue representing our local community and its needs in the state legislature.

  • What are the two most pressing issues facing your district and how will you address them?

    We have immediate and long-term needs. Our immediate needs involve recovering from the coronavirus crisis. The virus infected tens of thousands of Coloradans and forced thousands into hospitals. We need to work with our health care system and providers to take care of these people. And the economic disruption hurt not only small businesses, but also many workers at large companies. We must support workers and businesses. Our long-term needs are finding adequate funding for critical education and transportation/infrastructure needs, and countering the growing environmental threats caused by climate change. We need to increase funding for our schools and teachers, and invest in vocational/apprenticeship programs. Addressing our backlog of transportation needs and planning for a sustainable future direction will improve our safety, grow our economy, and enhance our quality of life. And it is of course our moral responsibility to proactively protect our land, water, and air, combatting climate change.

  • What should the state's budget priorities be and how will you fund those priorities?

    My budget priorities and funding preferences are: 1. increased education funding within the current budget, and Gallagher reform for long term sustainability; 2. increased transportation infrastructure funding within the current budget, and TABOR reform for long term sustainability; 3. a healthcare public option available to all Coloradans, creating economies of scale to help reduce costs and improve outcomes; 4. reduced DOC costs through criminal justice reform, utilizing rehabilitative and restorative justice practices, also providing skills training and reducing recidivism; and 5. redirect state economic development funds toward fostering small business sustainability through increasing access to capital and reducing regulatory barriers

  • What is the role of the state in the provision of affordable and universally designed housing?

    The good news is our state legislature has already increased access to affordable housing. In 2019, we passed HB19-1322, which transfers up to $30 million each year from the unclaimed property trust fund into the housing development grant fund, to help buy land and build utilities for affordable housing projects, help low-income buyers get a house by helping with down payments, and help with rental assistance for homeless families, Medicaid clients in nursing homes, family unification, veterans, households below 60 percent of the area’s median income, and survivors of domestic violence. And in 2020, we passed HB20-1410, using $20 million of our federal CARES Act money for two critical services: $350,000 for an evictions defense fund to help people pay the legal expenses of defending themselves in court from eviction proceedings, and the remaining $19.65 million for rent and mortgage payment assistance. We’ve made progress, but we can do more.

  • Are you in favor of the Colorado legislature adopting legislation that gives businesses the right to refuse service of customers when such service conflicts with the business owner’s religious beliefs?

    No. People have a right to freely practice whatever religion they so choose; businesses don’t. Legislation allowing arbitrary discrimination would violate the Colorado and US Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and non-discrimination. Colorado’s public accommodation laws promote a more fair, just, and equitable society. And we must continue to support and protect the good work of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which fights against unjust discrimination. Adopting discriminatory legislation would be a step backwards and potentially lead us down a slippery slope towards outcomes similar to those from the Jim Crow Era.

  • What will you do to bolster systems and increase access to essential services for traditionally underrepresented and underserved communities, including public transportation, health care, and job training programs?

    We must prioritize revitalizing disadvantaged communities by investing in vocational and apprenticeship programs in high schools, so students have the skills needed to succeed. We must improve our public transportation infrastructure system to increase access to jobs and services. We must create a healthcare public option to insert competition into the marketplace and force private providers and insurers into competitive business practices. And we must reform our criminal justice system to become one which does not disproportionately devastate our minority communities. As your state representative I have fought and will continue fighting for these policies, while also demanding measurable results.

  • What changes should the state make to law enforcement funding or law?

    I know how important police forces are for protecting public safety and security. That’s why I don’t want to overburden police forces with duties which could be handled by other community services. It’s unfair to the police, forcing them to do work outside their scope of duties. So if we can reduce these burdens on police then we might be able to reallocate the extra police budgets towards those community services picking up their proper responsibilities. That sounds like a good idea to me.

  • What role does a vibrant and well-funded arts and cultural sector play in the overall vitality of our local/regional economy?

    The arts and culture sector contribute $153.3 million annually to our regional economy. This enhances our quality of life and helps us attract and retain a diverse array of talented individuals. We should all be proud that House District 18 is home to two state certified creative districts! These and other arts and cultural centers make our district a fun, exciting, and vibrant destination for locals and visitors alike. We all benefit from being in a culturally rich community, and I hope everyone can find new ways to participate in Arts Month this October!

  • What, if anything, should be done to increase access to voting for all eligible voters?

    We must guard against and, if necessary, defeat again any legislation denying voter access and voting rights by requiring photo identification for voting and proof of citizenship for voter registration. We must support legislation increasing access to voting, such as motor-voter programs, early registration for 16 year olds, and same day registration. Voting centers and ballot drop-off boxes must be fairly and equitably located, ensuring all communities have equal access. And finally, we must enact additional measures to insure voter access for disadvantaged peoples, such as those with disabilities and the elderly.

George M. Rapko (R)

  • Candidate chose not to participate in survey.

Nathan Foutch (L)

  • Candidate chose not to participate in survey.

State Representative District 19

Tim Geitner (R)

  • Candidate chose not to participate in survey.

Joe Thompson (D)

State Representative District 20

Terri Carver (R)

  • Candidate chose not to participate in survey.

Meg Fossinger (D)

  • Candidate Information

    Candidate Name: Meg Fossinger District: House District 20 E-Mail: megforcolorado@outlook.com Website: megforcolorado.com Phone: 719-257-3759 Education: Graduate of Cheyenne Mountain High School; Bachelors in Sociology, University of Northern Colorado Occupation: I have been in the social work field for nearly 15 years

  • What are your qualifications for this position?

    I have been in the social work field for nearly 15 years, serving the most vulnerable in our community. For the last 8 years, I have been involved in state politics, tracking legislation, and helping teach others how to get involved in the legislative process. I have a thorough understanding of how bills are written and how they are implemented on the ground. Far too often, legislation is written that does not actually serve those it is meant to serve due to the bureaucratic barriers. My goal is to focus on evidence-based policies and programming and to ensure that we are spending our money in ways that match our values and serve our community members.

  • What are the two most pressing issues facing your district and how will you address them?

    Living on the west-side of Colorado Springs is incredibly special; it comes with nearby access to hiking trails and regular visits from wildlife. It is also high-risk for wildfires, as we saw with the Waldo Canyon fire. I support protecting our public lands and open spaces and managing them properly, to ensure appropriate wildfire mitigation. We also must address climate change and I support a just transition to renewable resources and investing in evidence-based mitigation practices. This district contains 7 different schools districts, all of which will be impacted by the state budget cuts to education. I am committed to putting our schools first and working to increase funding to pre-recession levels at minimum. This is not a problem the legislature alone can solve. We also must evaluate TABOR and Gallagher and determine what parts of it are serving us well, and what is not then amending them appropriately.

  • What should the state's budget priorities be and how will you fund those priorities?

    The number one priority should be to ensure that the basic needs of its residents are being met, to include access to food, affordable housing, medical care, education, and safety. There is no question that funding is difficult, especially right now. We must go line by line through the budget and ask ourselves if programs are meeting the needs of the community, effective, and then identify where they fall on our priorities list. For example, the State Fair had no public events this year, but their budget was $9,841,606 for a decrease of only $135,099 from 2019.

  • What is the role of the state in the provision of affordable and universally designed housing?

    Housing falls into a basic need for all people residing in the state. I support creating public-private partnerships to address the sky-rocketing cost of living and I think it is important that the state invest in increasing the number of affordable units and to prevent homelessness. Additionally, we must decrease the stigma around housing vouchers and partner with landlords to increase access for those on waivers. By following evidence-based practices, we can decrease the number of homeless, support families staying in their homes, and provide the necessary housing stability which allows people to thrive.

  • Are you in favor of the Colorado legislature adopting legislation that gives businesses the right to refuse service of customers when such service conflicts with the business owner’s religious beliefs?

    No. I believe discrimination in all forms is dangerous and should not be tolerated or legalized.

  • What will you do to bolster systems and increase access to essential services for traditionally underrepresented and underserved communities, including public transportation, health care, and job training programs?

    Each of these issues impacts a person’s opportunity and upward mobility. I support increasing public transportation, ensuring that everyone has access to affordable health care, and investing in additional private-public partnerships with our workforce centers. There is no one answer that will solve the issue of access, but by bringing those impacted to the table along with those that can resolve the problem, we can create solutions that meet our community’s needs.

  • What changes should the state make to law enforcement funding or law?

    Unfortunately, law enforcement has become the babysitters of our society instead of being able to focus on their job of addressing criminal behavior. I support an audit of the calls that law enforcement is receiving and identifying who could better respond to some situations. I also support investing in evidence-based community programs that decrease recidivism rates and allow non-violent individuals to remain in the community instead of our over-populated jails. By addressing the over-criminalization of non-violent offenses, the increase in law enforcement responsibilities, and the over-incarceration of non-violent offenders, we can significantly decrease law enforcements budget and promote community safety.

  • What role does a vibrant and well-funded arts and cultural sector play in the overall vitality of our local/regional economy?

    In addition to attracting visitors and providing residents with opportunities to experience a variety of activities, our art and cultural institutions literally save lives. They allow for us learn from one another, share our experiences, and connect on an interpersonal level that cannot be achieved through other means. Artists are the canary in the coal mine, and our art and cultural institutions serve the same role. We are all well-served by ensuring their financial stability.

  • What, if anything, should be done to increase access to voting for all eligible voters?

    Colorado has one of the best election systems in the nation. With ballots mailed to every voter, drop boxes and voting locations easily accessible, and ballots checked to confirm identity upon receipt, we can rest assured that our system is secure and that voters are able to safely cast their ballot. One change we can make is to have automatic voter registration for qualified individuals when they get their State ID/Drivers License.

Judy Darcy (L)

  • Candidate chose not to participate in survey.

State Representative District 21

Mary Bradfield (R)

Liz Rosenbaum (D)

  • Candidate Information

    Candidate Name: Liz Rosenbaum District: HD21 E-Mail: ElectLiz2020@gmail.com Website: www.LizRosenbaum.com Phone; 719-661-5108 Education: Pikes Peak Community College, Social Sciences, Anthropology Regis University, Secondary Education, Social Sciences, Economics

  • What are your qualifications for this position?

    I founded the Fountain Valley Clean Water Coalition in November 2016 and maintained action items and then used coordinating strategies between government agencies, NGOs, elected officials, and residents for equitable legislation. We held monthly meetings to educate ourselves on what PFAS chemicals were, learned we did not have laws protecting our drinking water systems so we worked on creating legislation to protect ourselves and others across Colorado, protect our firefighters exposed to the toxic firefighting foam, and we had the broader goal in mind to create ways to prevent other contaminations, too. I taught our coalition members and residents how to lobby their elected officials with written and verbal testimonies. I am here with a people first, through empowerment and participation at all levels type of representation.

  • What are the two most pressing issues facing your district and how will you address them?

    In our community and across the state we desperately need to fix the funding provided to our public school systems so our teachers, education assistants, bus drivers, and others directly working with our children are paid a fair wage and salary. Our state has underfunded our education system for decades, which has left our teachers the lowest paid in the nation. We cannot continue to let this catastrophe continue anymore, and I propose a house bill to increase their pay with the corresponding adjustments for educators who have received Masters degrees and have not yet been compensated for it due to lack of proper funding. Another piece of legislation I will introduce is a statute of limitation change for litigation from two years to five years for people who have been contaminated. People who have an injury as a result of an auto accident have three years to file a

  • What should the state's budget priorities be and how will you fund those priorities?

    Funding our public education and social services is the majority of our state’s budget. We need to look at the programs no longer working efficiently and adjust or remove them. We need to set up a system for mental health support for all ages of residents in Colorado. The COVID responses and budget adjusting will still need to be carefully monitored and set up. I will continue to do monthly meetings with the residents in HD 21 to make sure the programs and resources work for what we actually need here as well, rural, town, and city needs are all

  • What is the role of the state in the provision of affordable and universally designed housing?

    Our state needs to continue with policies like HB20-1322 which uses our state’s unclaimed property funds to provide affordable housing opportunities, and it goes into effect this coming year. The initial portion of this bill was for seven years but it was cut to only three years. This infusion of cash funding after years of neglect is desperately needed. We need to also provide funding for middle class working families to purchase homes. Under capitalism, housing provision is based on what will make developers, lenders, and landlords rich — not what average people need to survive. That is why we will never get decent, affordable housing for everyone under the free market, we have to elect people from our communities who understand this and work for our working families. I am committed to work on this goal being accomplished for our residents in HD 21 and across the state.

  • Are you in favor of the Colorado legislature adopting legislation that gives businesses the right to refuse service of customers when such service conflicts with the business owner’s religious beliefs?

    A public company is and needs to be available for the public. I support equal justice under the law for everyone in our state and in the country. Refusing equal service to customers based on the owners’ religious beliefs is not reasonable, all Americans — gay people, religiously observant and religiously observant gay people, or people of different ethnicities should not be treated differently.

  • What will you do to bolster systems and increase access to essential services for traditionally underrepresented and underserved communities, including public transportation, health care, and job training programs?

    I will support legislation, policies, and funding to create more safe ways for residents to travel, improved access, and multimodal opportunities. As a health insurance broker I see first hand how lower middle class working families still cannot afford plans on our state exchange at times, the subsidies do help off set the costs, yet their housing costs are taking up too much of their monthly budgets. We desperately need a more equitable solution for health care and insurance for all Coloradans.

  • What changes should the state make to law enforcement funding or law?

    Law enforcement organizations need to recognize the disparities of policing in many communities, lawmakers need to participate in these conversations and create better laws for equal justice for all people. Black Americans being victimized and killed by police is an epidemic, and this has been going on for centuries. We are in a pivotal and critical moment to address this crisis and actually fix it with community conversations and new approaches to protecting all people in our communities.

  • What role does a vibrant and well-funded arts and cultural sector play in the overall vitality of our local/regional economy?

    Our lives would be dull and boring without beautiful art to interpret our lives into a glorious and colorful story. Our communities need robust art programs to bring culture and diversity to our everyday lives. I would like to support more women artists, and have more parts of our history in this state told through art.

  • What, if anything, should be done to increase access to voting for all eligible voters?

    Our state is leading the way in our nation with providing many ways to access voting. Every year more ballot drop off locations are added into the areas, and in our House District 21 we now have three places. Continuing the expansions of drop off locations in new housing areas being built can be done, too. I believe that access to voting is a fundamental right for all Americans and when I see other states remove access or slow down the mailing systems to process ballots, I consider this to be a violation against our democracy. Our population has significantly

Michael Seebeck (L)

  • Candidate Information

    Candidate Name: Michael Seebeck District: State House 21 E-Mail: mike.seebeck@gmail.com Website: https://www.facebook.com/groups/214751856640860/ Phone: 719-464-2120 Education: B.A. Computer Science, B.A. Mathematics, Benedictine College, 1995 Occupation: Software Engineer

  • What are your qualifications for this position?

    As a software engineer, I specialize in understanding and fixing defective processes and untangling other people’s messes. The state legislature is a poster child for that need as it’s a complete mess. As a former member of my HOA Board, I rewrote their Bylaws and Covenants, so I know how to write rules and laws. I have done similar with my party in two states and local levels. I have been a Southern Colorado resident for most of 36 years and the Fountain Valley for most of the past two decades. I’ve seen the growth and growing pains, and I understand what is needed to continue to make the valley the exceptional place it is and can be.

  • What are the two most pressing issues facing your district and how will you address them?

    1. Infrastructure. Fountain Valley has been shortchanged by CDOT for far too long and that needs to be changed by improving our roads and bridges. That’s addressed by reforming CDOT to approach issues on a county-by-county basis in partnership with local governments, and not be Denver-centric. 2. Economic diversity. Fountain Valley’s primary economy is supporting Fort Carson, but it has industrial potential that is untapped that can grow and strengthen the local economy. That is addressed by getting the state government out of the way of local economic development, starting with rolling back and reforming DORA, which is the chief roadblock for the economy both locally and statewide.

  • What should the state's budget priorities be and how will you fund those priorities?

    In no specific order, infrastructure (roads, bridges, firefighting, police), parks and trails, prisons, higher education, and courts. The rest of what the state does, including Pre-K-12 education, are things that should be done locally or not at all, and by restructuring those items or eliminating them, the funds are there for the priorities without raising taxes. The state cannot be everything to everyone, so it should stop trying to be. Instead it needs to focus on a handful of specific things that benefit the most people and do those things exceptionally well. That’s also responsible stewardship of our tax dollars.

  • What is the role of the state in the provision of affordable and universally designed housing?

    “Universally-designed housing” sounds like a bad idea of centralized planning, because individual and family needs will vary. The state legislature simply need to get out of the way and let the counties and municipalities handle it in the manner that best fits their needs. What works in Denver doesn’t necessarily work in Cortez, and vice versa. However, incentivizing developers to build modest Craftsman-style smaller homes, as well as incentivizing “tiny homes,” creates a housing market that people can afford without having to buy tract McMansions on postage-stamp lots in aesthetically-uninspiring subdivisions. Apartments? If housing is affordable, apartments will follow suit to compete for renters.

  • Are you in favor of the Colorado legislature adopting legislation that gives businesses the right to refuse service of customers when such service conflicts with the business owner’s religious beliefs?

    Yes, but only provided that such legislation affords the necessary strong property rights protections that should be for all residents and businesses. The state Public Accommodations Law is unconstitutional and needs to be reformed or abolished, as it violates the individual rights of freedom to contract (or not) and freedom of association (or not) as are enumerated in the state and federal Constitutions. Businesses can refuse customers, but at their own economic peril as it is not a good business practice to do so—INCLUDING over wearing masks during government-manufactured economic crises.

  • What will you do to bolster systems and increase access to essential services for traditionally underrepresented and underserved communities, including public transportation, health care, and job training programs?

    Get the state out of it and let the counties and municipalities address it as they feel necessary for their circumstances. Government-run solutions are only effective when done at the correct level of government, which is closest to the people, and the state level is not that level for almost everything. My own community is underserved in education (Hanover D-28), the state hasn’t done a thing to help, and the current state funding model is not designed to help.

  • What changes should the state make to law enforcement funding or law?

    I come from a family of cops, including my parents. The ideal solution to the current perceived problem of bad cops is to get better cops, and that means they are better-educated; better-trained, especially in ethics and integrity; better screened psychologically at hire; and once hired they weed out the bad cops and get rid of them. Qualified immunity should not be removed except when malfeasance is found by a coroner’s jury (remember those?). When a community gets better cops, they can rebuild community trust. It has started in the Fountain Valley, with excellent results, but there is still far to go. Repeal Red Flag Laws no-knock warrants, off-hours warrants, and expand Make My Day to all of one’s property, family, and guests, because cops can’t be everywhere at once, especially when they’re busy writing speeding tickets instead of addressing actual crime with actual victims.

  • What role does a vibrant and well-funded arts and cultural sector play in the overall vitality of our local/regional economy?

    Art and culture are important, but not at the expense of properly and accurately learning the lessons of history, and art and history go together to understand both. All of it should be privately funded and maintained. When government holds the purse strings, they also hold the censor keys, and that’s unacceptable. With private funding, competition happens and that’s far better. The Fountain Valley needs its own history and art museum, and PPIR needs to be promoted more as a performing arts venue since it has the facilities to be exactly that.

  • What, if anything, should be done to increase access to voting for all eligible voters?

    The current voting system we have in play is well-designed and well-implemented. But three things can be done better. 1. Voting eligibility should be expanded such that if one is a property owner in Colorado that does not live here, they can still vote on ballot issues (not candidates) that affect their property, such as tax increases or jurisdictional changes. 2. Changing the state’s Electoral College allocation from winner-take-all to the Nebraska system will also encourage turnout in Presidential elections. 3. Expanding the Electoral College into the statewide state office elections gives rural Coloradans their voices back in state government.