Vail Daily letter: Donovan for state Senate
All of us in Colorado Senate District 5 are faced with a real and important choice when our ballots arrive in the next few days. For those of us that affiliate with a party, the choice may seem easier, but I want to encourage my fellow Republicans (I’ve been registered since voting for Jerry Ford in 1976) and any right-leaning independents to think twice before filling in the box based on party.
Full disclosure: Kerry Donovan, the Democratic candidate, is a good friend of mine. I got to know Kerry while we served together on the Vail Town Council. Here’s what I can tell you about my friend Kerry that you won’t get from one of those obnoxious mailers that keep clogging your mailbox
Kerry Donovan is smart, very smart. I have no doubt that she will be able to grasp the complexities of the issues she will face in the Senate without relying on lobbyists to do the thinking for her. She does her homework and is both thoughtful and conscientious. As a consequence of her preparation, Kerry does not make knee-jerk decisions; she listens, can be persuaded by reason and, more importantly, by facts.
Kerry is moderate. I know our side is trying to paint Kerry as some kind of crazy liberal, but it’s just not true. Kerry is a civil, mature realist. She understands that reasonable people can disagree on important issues. For Kerry, it is not personal, nor should it be. She can disagree without being disagreeable. Don’t we need more of that in government?
Kerry comes from a place of real integrity. She is genuine and open. She has no hidden agendas and, if it’s not obvious from her campaign, she is not in anyone’s pocket.
If that’s not enough to convince you to vote for Kerry, keep in mind that for those of us that chose to live in Western Colorado, geography trumps ideology. I can’t emphasize this enough. We need representation in Denver that grew up with, and understands, the issues facing communities that live and die on outdoor recreation. Our issues are very specific to our communities, whether its recreational water diversions, dealing with the Forest Service on access, or perhaps most importantly for many of us, what the hell to do about I-70. We need a representative that understands these issues from the inside. Kerry does. She is a gun toting, powder skiing local dedicated to public service. She is of, and from, the mountains and we need her to get our collective backs in the Senate.
Those reasons alone should be more than enough for you to vote for Kerry, but what I’ve seen of her opponent is unnerving on a lot of levels. I don’t know Don Suppes, but I have every reason to believe that he is a nice guy and loves his family. He has been the mayor of a town in far western Colorado with a total budget that is tiny in comparison with the budget that Kerry grappled with during her years on the Vail Town Council. In short, I question his experience.
Because I’m a Republican I get a lot of mailers from the Suppes campaign, a lot of these mailers are, frankly, disturbing and embarrassing to a lot of us moderate Republicans. I can’t understand why he is seemingly working so hard to get me, and a lot of you, not to vote for him.
I haven’t seen or heard any discussion of the issues that face our recreation-based communities from Suppes. This is probably because he hasn’t done anything to even begin to understand our communities. The bulk of the mailers I have received from his campaign are very negative, and some are downright insulting. I am especially disturbed by a mailer I received from his campaign taking issue with “Vail’s elites.” I can’t say for sure, but think he’s talking about us. And by us, I mean all of us that live and work in communities supported by tourism and recreation. How could he even think about sending this to someone with a mountain ZIP code?
This brings me to another concern; I’m pretty sure “elite” is a right-wing code word for something. I don’t know what he is calling us, but I guess I’d like him to come out and say it. His mailers also include frequent references to “rural values.” I don’t know what “rural values” are, but given some of the rumors surrounding his campaign, it’s not a stretch to see the phrase as another code word. Who is his campaign trying to appeal to with code words like that? Clearly not those of us in the recreation-based communities.
The bottom line is that Suppes campaign pretty clearly doesn’t think it needs the votes from a whole lot of our communities. I couldn’t vote for him even if I didn’t like who he was running against.
The great news is that you have a wonderful alternative that will aggressively represent our interests. When the ballot arrives in the mail (it’s an all mail-in election), open it up and fill in the blank for Kerry Donovan.
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