Jared Polis: Eagle County will play key role in state’s blue wave
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Editor’s note: The Vail Daily will introduce readers to candidates for statewide political office as they campaign in the region. In this edition is Democrat Jared Polis, running for Colorado governor. Find more election coverage at vaildaily.com/election.
EAGLE — In a sidewalk stump speech on Friday, Oct. 26, gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis said himself and other democrats will need to do well in Eagle County to win statewide in November.
Polis was traveling through Eagle County with current Gov. John Hickenlooper, Senator Michael Bennett and a host of other Democrats as part of the party’s “Colorado For All” Bus Tour.
Hickenlooper said he expects Polis will be able to accomplish “twice as much, twice as fast,” as his own administration.
“How many people were entrepreneurs, and wildly successful, while they were still in college?” Hickenlooper asked. “That’s not just hard work and sweat, that’s having insight — being able to have a vision of what the future is going to look like — and then acting on it. That’s what (Polis) is going to do.”
‘ENDING PRICING DISPARITIES’
Polis said he is excited to have an opportunity to build on Hickenlooper’s legacy.
“We have a strong economy, and the challenge of the next governor is to make that economy work for everyone,” Polis said.
Bennett made similar remarks.
“If you think we ought to have an economy that works for everybody, not just the people at the top … this starts with this election,” Bennett said.
Polis said if a person receives a three percent raise, but his or her rent costs go up 10 percent, and health care costs go up 12 percent, the raise doesn’t mean much.
“There’s folks in Western Colorado where it doesn’t work,” Polis said. “We’re going to save Eagle County money on health care.”
Polis’ running mate, Dianne Primavera, is longtime health care patients advocate and also visited Eagle on Friday.
“My legacy is I probably passed more legislation to help people prevent, diagnose and treat cancer than anybody in the history of the state capital,” Primavera said. “So I was thrilled when Jared asked me to be his running mate, I know health care is a really important issue up here, it’s a really important issue to every human being, so I can’t wait to work alongside Jared on the many health care issues that our state faces.”
Polis said among his health care goals will be “ending pricing disparities between Western Colorado and the Front Range.”
Polis said he intends to “improve the quality of life for those who are already here, here in Eagle County and Western Colorado.”
PUBLIC LANDS, SCHOOLS
Polis said the greatest driver of economic activity in Western Colorado is public lands.
“We here in Eagle County know our public lands are not only an iconic part of who we are, they’re not only fun for fishing and hiking and recreating, they’re also the driver of jobs and our economy in Eagle County,” he said. “And you know I’ll stand up to this president or any president to protect what keeps Eagle County special, and keep our public lands public.”
Polis described the possibility of public lands being sold off in Colorado as “a very real threat from Secretary Zinke or President Trump.”
“Here in Eagle County and Western Colorado, we can’t afford to elect a Donald Trump yes man like Walker Stapleton,” Polis said.
Polis said in the time he has spent with Stapleton throughout their campaigns against each other, he has tried to communicate to Stapleton the need for better pre-K education in Colorado.
“I have a 4-year-old, and a 7-year-old; Walker Stapleton’s kids are the same age. What I always say to him is ‘Walker, you and I can afford preschool and kindergarten for our kids, what about families that can’t? Why should our kids start out at an advantage over families that can’t afford a strong start?’”
Polis’ bus tour is scheduled to visit Denver, Boulder and Broomfield on Monday, Oct. 29.