Colorado gubernatorial candidates list agendas
Associated Press Writer
Vail, CO Colorado
PARKER, Colo. – Citing their business experiences, GOP candidate Scott McInnis and Democratic Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper promised Tuesday to reduce burdens on Colorado businesses if they win the gubernatorial election in November.
Hickenlooper referred often to his job managing a restaurant, while McInnis, a former congressman, recounted his family’s experiences in the cattle industry.
Dan Maes, who is challenging McInnis in a GOP primary, says he wasn’t invited to take part in Tuesday’s forum.
Hickenlooper said state employees have not had raises in two years, but they also haven’t faced the layoffs that hit many businesses.
“This is where you need business experience,” he said, promising to bring outside business managers to help reorganize state government.
McInnis said Democrats who controlled the governor’s office and Legislature hurt businesses by increasing fees, eliminating tax breaks and increased regulations, driving away four of the state’s 11 Fortune 500 business headquarters.
“This has been the coldest season for businesses that we’ve had for years,” McInnis said.
The two gubernatorial candidates told business leaders at the Douglas County Business Alliance that state government can do a better job managing its resources.
Hickenlooper said Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter, the man he wants to replace, has had “limited success” establishing a new energy economy with more environmentally friendly jobs, and he warned it will take time for those programs to become successful.
He also said the state is getting a bad rap for Republican attack ads that imply Democratic policies have cost the state jobs.
He said the ads will stop “if enough people speak out and say they won’t stand for it.”
McInnis said Colorado has a lot of problems, but he said that isn’t the whole picture, including a large number of jobs being created in aerospace and tourism.
“I’m very optimistic about the future of Colorado,” he said.