GOP governor candidate Doug Robinson stops in Eagle to sell his campaign | VailDaily.com

GOP governor candidate Doug Robinson stops in Eagle to sell his campaign

EAGLE — Doug Robinson says Colorado's state government is overdue for a fresh set of eyes — business eyes — on state government.

Robinson is running for governor, and stopped in Eagle on Wednesday, May 30, to kick off a Western Slope campaign swing. The Republican candidate has accomplished all sorts of things in his life, but has never run for elected office before.

That, he says, is a good thing.

Funding education

Take education, for instance. It consumes a huge percentage of the state's budget. Advocates stormed the state capitol this spring, clamoring for more money. However, their placards, signs, three-word chants and social media sound bites did not answer the tough question of where that money would come from.

Robinson has a business-type idea, a carrot and stick approach.

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He says administration costs have mushroomed, and is proposing a dollar-for-dollar match for any school district that moves money away from administration and into the classroom.

That's the carrot.

The stick would come down on districts that perform badly and do not meet student performance standards. The state government might have to take over. It's already happening in a couple states, Robinson said.

"We have to do a better job for our kids," Robinson said.

Road improvements

Robinson spends more time on the road these days than anything not named Firestone, so fixing highways is high on his agenda.

To pay for it, Robinson is proposing asking voters statewide to approve $3.5 billion in bond funding, to be paid off over 20 years.

That's not a tax increase, he says, something that flies in the face of Colorado's TABOR Amendment, which he vows to defend. TABOR requires voter approval for a tax increase, and forces governments to be more efficient and effective, Robinson said.

Gun violence

He's practical about gun violence, he said.

"We must do better protecting our kids. When you send them to school, it's unimaginable that they would not be safe," Robinson said.

He said it's up to Republicans to lead the way on this issue. Robinson suggests three things:

School safety checklists, making sure staffers know which doors are locked, which doors are supposed to be and who is allowed entrance.

Red Flag Law that protects Second Amendment rights, but ensures people with mental health issues would not have access to guns.

Armed people on campus. Maybe it's a law enforcement officer. Maybe an armed administrator or teacher who has been trained.

St. Charles Capital

Robinson co-founded St. Charles Capital, a corporate financial advisor that spends most of its time helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

He and his wife launched Kids Tech, which has helped 15,000 kids acquire tech skills to improve job opportunities

Along those lines, state government can help local industries find talented employees in Colorado to hire.

"Companies tend to look outside the state. We have to do a better job training our kids. That's one of the reasons education is so important to me," Robinson said.

Just this week, client Swiftpage Software, an email marketing software platform, was the part of a merger. It now employs 350 people.

St. Charles helped launch the Boppy Pillow company, a U-shaped pillow that keeps babies from falling off of it. "Now every baby shower has one of those as a gift," Robinson said.

Clear Choice Dental Implant Centers now has more than 30 locations around the country. American Civil Constructors is another success story.

"Along the way I saw issues and did not look to government for answers," Robinson said.

Robinson is tall and lean. He's animated as he speaks to crowds, which are growing bigger as the state primaries draw nearer.

"We want to make the kinds of changes that will help ensure a healthy Colorado well into our future,"

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.