‘Elections matter, and candidates matter’: Jared Polis, Joe Neguse share goals, successes at Eagle County Democrats fundraiser

Democratic candidates for Eagle County positions also presented their platforms

Colorado Governor Jared Polis speaks to a constituent at the Eagle County Democrats fundraiser on Sunday, Aug. 6. Geoff Grimmer, one of three candidates for the District Two Eagle County Commissioner seat, stands in the background.
Zoe Goldstein/Vail Daily

Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Congressman Joe Neguse both paid visits to an Eagle County Democrats fundraiser on Sunday. Polis and Neguse joined a wealth of inspired, passionate candidates and political leaders that shared their knowledge and messages with a full crowd of Eagle County Democrats over barbeque and ice cream in the Brush Creek Pavilion.

Polis and Neguse spoke about the work they have been doing for Colorado and the United States with the support of Eagle County Democrats, emphasizing the importance of the county’s political participation. “Elections matter, and candidates matter,” said Polis. “So the first thing is, we have great candidates, whether it’s people like Barb (Bynum, mayor of Montrose and Colorado senate district five candidate), Elizabeth (Velasco), Dylan (Roberts), Meghan (Lukens), these are great candidates. And then the campaigns matter. That’s where all of us come in, where you come in, registering people, going door to door, helping candidates financially, where you can,” Polis said.

Polis addressed, as well, the results of a successful election. “In addition to candidates and campaigns, it’s also about results, and getting things done, to improve the quality of life for Coloradans,” Polis said. In his wide-ranging speech, Polis touched on the efforts Colorado’s state government has made and is making in the realms of affordable healthcare, universal preschool, wildfire preparation, climate change, unemployment and job preparation, housing affordability, and the right to choose. “This is something that should be a given, it should be a choice that people have, but nevertheless, we are where we are, and we’re talking about it, and Democrats are on the forefront of making sure people can marry who they love, choose if and when to have children, and we’re going to keep talking about it until we don’t have to talk about it anymore,” Polis said.

According to Polis, under his leadership, the budget for Colorado’s schools has expanded 12 percent, training programs for certain jobs have been made entirely free, and access to abortions has been protected. Going forward, ensuring affordability of housing is one of Polis’ priorities. “We didn’t get everything done that we wanted to the first time, but Representative Lukens and Senator Roberts were very helpful in bringing the Western Slope voice to how we can have more housing that people can afford in the state, especially for the next generation to hopefully be able to buy homes,” Polis said.

Many elected officials and candidates of districts represented within Eagle County were also present, including the mayors of Montrose and Grand Junction, Representative Elizabeth Velasco, Representative Meghan Lukens, and Senator Dylan Roberts. “We have been working hard for you at the state capital to deliver on results. To focus on the policy, to focus on the things that are impacting our state. Trying to stay away from the nasty political debates that you see on T.V., and focusing on issues that impact us here in Eagle County,” Roberts said. “I am so proud to say that we have accomplished some huge things, in investing historic amounts of money in affordable housing to protecting our water and our environment to investing in clean energy and making sure that we can continue to have clean air and clean water in Colorado to working to lower the cost of living, like bills to cap the cost of EpiPens, lower the health insurance costs in Colorado, and ensuring that we are doing everything we can do defend our freedoms within our democracy that are under attack in so many other state legislatures across the country, but not here, in Colorado.”

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Congressman Joe Neguse, who represents Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives, spoke on the changes he has seen in Congress since he was elected in 2019, and the importance of spreading hope and creating bipartisan bonds.
Zoe Goldstein/Vail Daily

Joe Neguse, who has represented District Two in the United States House of Representatives since 2019, praised Eagle County’s Democratic elected officials. “When Shad (Murib, the chair of the Colorado Democratic Party) and your wonderful county party chair Jennifer (Filipowski, the chair of the Eagle County Democrats) and so many others talk about the quality of public servants here in Eagle County being better than the rest, they mean what they say, and I could not agree more. We are lucky to have Elizabeth (Velasco), to have Meghan (Lukens), to have Dylan (Roberts),” Neguse said.

While Neguse described his current work in Congress as “dark days,” for Democrats, with Republicans in control of the House of Representatives, he also lifted and inspired the crowd to continue working for connection across partisan lines. “Fear can be contagious, and it can metastasize, but so can hope. For me, the Democratic party has always been the party of hope. And that, in my view, is our job in the next 15 months. To build hope, to spread hope. The hope that a community, just like this one, can show us the way, building partnerships with each other, with folks that have different world views than our own, who are fundamentally fixated and committed to putting the people first,” Neguse said.

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