U.S. Senate candidate Q&A

Cory Gardner

Republican Party

AGE
46
RESIDENCE
Yuma
PROFESSION
U.S. Senator
EDUCATION
Unanswered
FAMILY
Unanswered
EXPERIENCE
Unanswered

Why are you seeking public office?
In the past 6 years I’ve helped move the Bureau of Land Management headquarters to Colorado, got funding for the Arkansas Valley Conduit to ensure 50,000 Coloradans have access to clean drinking water, secured millions to repair I-25 and I-70, and passed the most sweeping conservation legislation to protect our national parks in the last 50 years. But there is so much more we can do for Colorado. I’m seeking reelection because I hope to build on these accomplishments and continue to find common sense solutions that drive Colorado’s economy, protect Colorado’s public lands, and rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.

What will your top three priorities be if elected?
We’re experiencing an economic crisis as a result of the coronavirus. Keeping people safe, supporting small businesses, and getting Americans back to work must be our continued focus. Prior to COVID-19, Colorado’s economy saw record job growth, wage increases, its lowest unemployment rate in history, and an outdoor recreation economy that employed 229,000 workers while adding $11 billion to the economy annually. Working together, we can return to that economic climate and ensure that every Coloradan is safe and healthy.

Should the Affordable Care Act be replaced? If so, what would you replace it with?
Both Democrats and Republicans want to replace the Affordable Care Act. While my opponent wants to replace it with a socialized healthcare system that will kill millions of jobs and rip private insurance away from the vast majority of Americans, I believe we can find bipartisan solutions that protect people with preexisting conditions, allow people to buy health insurance across state lines, build on the successful innovations such as telemedicine, and lower the cost of prescription drugs. I’ll continue working across the aisle to establish a free-market system that works for the American people.

Do you support a ban on fracking? Why or why not?
No. Colorado’s oil and gas industry contributes billions in state and local tax revenue, funds our local school districts and state infrastructure projects, and employs over 230,000 Coloradans. There is no place on Earth with more rigorous environmental safeguards and technological know-how than the United States. I’ve made it my mission in Congress to bolster public funding to advance science and innovations that help us reduce emissions while supporting Colorado’s vibrant clean energy industry. I support an all-of-the-above energy strategy because high paying jobs, affordable energy, and funding for our schools and roads have never been more important because of the coronavirus pandemic.

What, if anything, should the federal government do to improve the economy?
Even prior to the pandemic, there was high demand for qualified and skilled workers across several different sectors, but not enough people with the necessary skills or qualifications to fill that demand. We need to encourage both economic and workforce development across the state. That’s why I’m leading bipartisan legislation that incentivizes minority participation in STEM learning and helps college grads pay off their loans. Additionally, we need to cut taxes and keep Colorado’s rural communities in mind when bringing forward legislation that focuses on making Colorado more economically resilient.

Do you support further federal restrictions on firearms? If so, which restrictions?
I’m a strong supporter of 2nd amendment rights. The horrific acts that have plagued our country and our state are nothing I take lightly. The country needs to act to prevent these tragedies from happening again. I worked closely with Sandy Hook Promise to introduce the STANDUP Act to ensure our youngest and most vulnerable have access to mental health services in their communities. I also passed the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act so that when Coloradans are experiencing a mental health crisis, they need only to remember 9-8-8 to access immediate and specialized help.

John Hickenlooper

Democratic Party

AGE
68
RESIDENCE
Denver
PROFESSION
Geologist, Brewer, former Denver Mayor and Colorado Governor
EDUCATION
Wesleyan University (BA); Wesleyan University (MS)
FAMILY
Married to Robin Pringle Hickenlooper and father to Teddy
EXPERIENCE
Former small business owner, mayor, and governor

Why are you seeking public office?
When I took office as Governor, Colorado ranked 40th in the country in job creation, but together we built the number one economy in America. When Colorado was facing historic floods, wildfires and mass shootings we put people ahead of politics and solved problems. Working together, we expanded access to health care to half a million Coloradans, fought climate change with “gold standard” air pollution regulations and signed gun safety measures into law. I will bring that same leadership to change Washington, end this pandemic, and help us build back better than before.

What will your top three priorities be if elected?
This pandemic has underscored the importance of health care. When I get to the Senate, I will protect health care coverage for Coloradans with pre-existing conditions and fight to lower health care costs. When we emerge from this pandemic, we will not only need to build back our economy, but we’ll need to build back stronger, by building an economy that works for small businesses and workers instead of only the largest corporations. Climate change is an existential crisis, and in the Senate I’ll work to promote renewable energy, reinstate the air and water protections Cory Gardner and Donald Trump rolled back, and finally pass the bipartisan CORE act to protect Colorado’s public lands from oil and gas drilling.

Should the Affordable Care Act be replaced? If so, what would you replace it with?
I support protecting and strengthening the Affordable Care Act. As Governor, I helped implement the law, expanding health care coverage to 500,000 Coloradans. Their coverage could end if President Trump and Senator Gardner’s dangerous lawsuit to overturn the ACA succeeds. As senator, I will fight every day to protect coverage for the 2.4 million people with pre-existing conditions in our state and make sure that everyone can get covered. Colorado deserves a Senator who is committed to bringing down the cost of health care, who will reduce the cost of prescription drugs, and end surprise medical billing.

Do you support a ban on fracking? Why or why not?
Climate change is the defining challenge of our time, and our state is on the front lines of this crisis, with shorter winters, catastrophic floods and wildfires, and continued air pollution. While Colorado continues to lead on combating climate change despite the Trump Administration’s destructive rollbacks of environmental protections that Senator Gardner has supported, we must do more. My climate plan calls for moving away from carbon emissions and making fracking obsolete in the transition to a 100% renewable energy economy with net-zero emissions.

What, if anything, should the federal government do to improve the economy?
We are facing the economic crisis of our generation because the President, enabled by Senator Gardner, failed to take the threat posed by COVID-19 seriously. To address our economic crisis, we need to provide additional financial relief so that the state and local governments, school systems, hospitals, and small businesses that have been overwhelmed by this pandemic can begin to rebuild. These aren’t new ideas and yet for four months, Cory Gardner has let dust gather on a bill to provide relief to the families and small businesses that need it most.

Do you support further federal restrictions on firearms? If so, which restrictions?
The epidemic of gun violence is a deeply personal issue for me. As Governor, after the tragic mass shooting at the Aurora movie theater, I took on the gun lobby and signed into law landmark reforms on gun safety that required background checks for gun sales and banned high-capacity magazines. Washington has failed to act on these issues for years because Senators like Cory Gardner are in the pocket of the gun lobby. As your Senator, I would fight passionately and tirelessly for a range of common-sense gun violence prevention policies including universal background checks.

Raymon Anthony Doane, Daniel Doyle and Stephan “Seku” Evans have not returned the questionnaire.

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