With the November 8 general election day nearing, members of the Trail-Gazette found it important to allow Estes Park residents some insight into what ballot office election items will mostly pertain to them.
Though there are over 20 federal, state and county offices included on the ballot, the three that are perceived to have the most impact are the ongoing candidate races for Colorado Governor, Secretary of State, District Two Representative to the 18th United State Congress, State Senator for District 15 and House of Representatives race for District 49.
As can be seen on the ballot, each of these office positions has candidates ranging from various parties, but since none other than Democratic or Republican candidates have been elected in recent history, it seems most necessary to only break down nominees from those two parties.
The Democratic candidate for the Governor position will be incumbent Jared Polis, who took over office in 2019. Paired those that he has already established, Polis is pushing five centralized issues: affordability, environment, safety, education and freedoms.
As part of Polis’s safety policy, he seems to hold a priority on improved law enforcement, mental health care and drug addiction program investment. Polis also speaks a great deal on controlled gun safety and cracking down on fentanyl distribution in the state of Colorado.
The other two subjects proven essential throughout Polis’s last term exist within his affordability and freedom issues. Polis stands for a women’s right to have an abortion, as well as the right to use or refuse contraceptive care throughout Colorado.
Affordability-wise, Polis is responsible for capping prescription drug costs, cutting small business taxes and diminishing Colorado social security taxes, which he stands by in full support and looks to further implement if re-elected.
Polis’s Republican opponent Heidi Ganahl is running on issues of a similar subject matter as Polis, though she has different planned strategies of execution. Ganahl’s four major priorities stand for safety, freedom, family and rural Colorado.
While part of Ganahl’s family objectives holds much priority on mental health care and the fentanyl crisis, as does Polis’s, Ganahl considers herself pro-life – with an exception for horrid instances – and plans to repeal Polis’s late-term abortion law if elected.
Ganahl also holds Polis’s implementation of the Green New Deal – a deal based on renewable energy – at fault for the rise of cost in natural goods over the past year. Ganahl promises that if elected, she will put money back in Colorado residents’ pockets by cutting the gas tax in half and putting energy employees back to work.
Secretary of State
Current Colorado Secretary of State, Jena Griswold, serves as the Democratic candidate for the position, while her opponent, Pam Anderson represents the Republican party. As Secretary of State nominees, both candidates have issues based heavily on voter election efforts: a hot topic in recent years.
Griswold promises to boost voter rights, safety, access and cybersecurity efforts to ensure elections are conducted fairly and securely.
Anderson’s plan, on the other hand, concerns initiatives that attempt to increase voter participation and drive election transparency on the office’s half. One of the ways Anderson plans to accomplish these matters is by explaining and improving the number of operational assignments and audits done by the secretary’s office.
The common thread between Anderson’s and Griswold’s beliefs on the current state of election voting in this country is that they both see a need for improvement in one way or another.
District 2 Representative
As this race determines the congressman representative for Larimer County’s district, the race for the District 2 Representative to the 118 U.S. Congress could heavily pertain to Estes Park residents.
As the Democratic candidate, incumbent Joe Neguse has already made efforts in conservation and climate action efforts that have dealt with Rocky Mountain National Park and wildfire mitigation.
Along with this sort of action, Neguse has also done extensive work within the renewable energy realm and has made efforts to benefit small businesses throughout the district.
These strides are evident in Neguse’s MicroCap Small Business Investment, in which underserved small businesses receive federal resources.
Neguse’s opponent, Republican elect Marshall Dawson, has issues less compatible with Neguse and closer in comparison to what the Governor nominees are running for. Two of Dawson’s primary issues come in the way of law enforcement cracking down on fentanyl peddlers, as well as contributing more funding toward school safety efforts.
In his policy statements, Dawson explained that he would work with both Democratic and Republican representatives in an attempt to curb the ongoing fentanyl crisis in Colorado. Dawson would also like to push for added resources and support given to those working the Southern Border of the United States to better prevent the deadly drug from entering our country.
State Senator – District 15
The two candidates up for election in Senate District 15 – Estes Park’s district – are Republican incumbent Rob Woodward and Democratic nominee Janice Marchman.
Three of the key issues that Woodward and Marchman are both pushing revolve around affordability, education and supporting small businesses. While Woodward’s take on increased affordability sticks mainly to lowering the ongoing rising costs of housing in Colorado, Marchman’s is more broad – including lower costs of medication, housing, and an overall lowered cost of living.
Aside from these issues, Woodward has also placed a priority on public safety, water and road mitigation; while Marchman has placed her attention on reproductive rights , LGBTQ rights, veterans’ supports and seniors’ supports.
House of Representatives – District 49
The two candidates up for election in House of Representatives District 49 – Estes Park’s district – are Democratic incumbent Judith Amabile and Republican nominee Kathryn Lehr.
Like most other candidates in these office races, Amabile and Lehr have a common ground on lowering the cost of living for Colorado residents and making housing more affordable. Aside from this area of agreement, the two candidates have shown their attention to different issues.
Amabile has placed a huge stress on improved access to behavioral health services for those with mental illnesses and addiction struggles. She has also shown attention to climate change, wildfire mitigation and the ongoing water crisis in Colorado.
Lehr has shown interest in improved crime reform polices, education and abortion. Lehr believes that the increased expansion of abortion in Colorado will make it an “abortion tourism” state and that they have stripped full term babies of derivative rights.
Along with these candidates listed, a person may find any candidate they would like by going to Ballotpedia.org and selecting the chosen office race they would like.
Ballot Issue 6E
Aside from the office candidates, one will see the numerous amendments, propositions, questions and issues that fill the ballot. Located at the bottom of the ballot – Ballot Issue 6E concerning the 3.5% lodging tax increase is the only issue pertinent to all Estes Park residents. If passed, the lodging tax increase will be imposed upon the purchase price paid or charged for rooms or accommodations within the district with generated revenue contributing to workforce housing and childcare improvements throughout Estes Park.
With the voter-specific ballots being mailed to voters on Monday, Oct. 17, those registered should be receiving theirs soon. If a person hasn’t registered to vote or is registered but would like to see a sample ballot before theirs arrives, they can do so by visiting www.Larimer.Gov/Clerk/elections/Current-elections/2022.
For all things election information, one can go to www.Larimercounty.gov/clerk/elections.