Senate candidates discuss priorities
EAGLE COUNTY — Both candidates running for the District 5 seat in the Colorado Senate — Democrat Kerry Donovan and Republican Don Suppes — are making their first runs for state office. This is the first in a series of emailed questions to the candidates:
What’s at the top of your to-do list after being sworn in?
Suppes: The first priority after being sworn in as your next State Senator will be a focused effort to undo the bad policies that have come about in the past two years. Undoing the unenforceable and unconstitutional gun laws, renewable energy mandates that punish the poorest in our state and burdensome regulation that is costing us all more money will be my top priorities. The Colorado economy is still very fragile, even more so on the western slope. We need to change the bureaucratic culture in Denver and make Colorado a place businesses want to stay and are able to grow.
When we begin the session on Jan. 7 all of Colorado will be watching to see if there is indeed going to be change or if it will be more of the past two sessions that brought us a one-sided view of government and ultimately a pair of historic recalls.
Donovan: My first day will be dedicated to taking the concerns I’ve heard around the district to the floor of the Senate. After being sworn in, the work invested in talking to people on their porches for the past year and half pays off. Reaching out to all the different communities is the best job preparation a candidate can have.
I have heard three primary concerns of voters while traveling around the seven counties of State Senate District 5: education, water and the economy. To address these concerns, my first order of business will be to form a bipartisan coalition of Western Slope members of the Colorado House and Senate to discuss our shared interests and act together when introducing bills or amendments. With a strong bipartisan caucus, we can leverage state resources to attract businesses to the Western Slope and lift up the middle class. This includes consistent outreach to the business community to identify shared and attainable goals for our communities.
As a legislator, I will engage my fellow lawmakers in taking another look at the testing requirements pushed into our classrooms and seek solutions that allow our teachers to do what they do best: teach. Additionally, I will work towards securing additional funding and resources for community and technical colleges.
Keeping our water in the basin where it’s born in is a responsibility I will not take lightly, and I will fight for our right to retain our water and against additional diversion out of state or to the Front Range. This will be crucial as we begin considering Colorado’s Water Plan and, having lived the appropriation doctrine, I will be a strong and informed voice for the various economies that depend on water in our district.