Not long ago, I served as the youngest Mayor ever elected in the history of Colorado, and today it remains one of the greatest honors of my life. Since leaving that office, I’ve found a way to continually stay involved, serve Colorado’s citizens, and push for the betterment of our home and our opportunities.
I’ve fulfilled a commitment to keep the conversation going, and I never stopped listening to entrepreneurs, corporate professionals, job-seekers, elected officials, students, farmers, ranchers, community leaders, homemakers, and tradesmen. I’m proud to have left a footprint in Colorado, from top-to-bottom, and corner-to-corner.
My focus as your Governor will be upon the issues that mean the most to you. Our state geography is as vast as the regions’ economies are varied. As Governor, my job is to keep every citizen in mind, and serve the priorities of each of Colorado’s 64 counties.
Making all Coloradans the beneficiaries of a better state government and close partners of its future success, is my goal as your next Governor!
Economy – Improving All Sectors in All Geographies
Our state’s economy comprises diverse industries such as food and agriculture, ranching, manufacturing, tourism and outdoor recreation, energy and natural resources, craft brewing, recreational marijuana and creative industries. As Governor, I will continually highlight the need for innovation, and drawing new industries to Colorado. But most importantly, I will foster growth by surrounding business in all regions of our state with an environment in which they may not only grow, but also stabilize and sustain themselves to benefit their surrounding communities.
Jobs – Developing Opportunities for All Talents and Abilities
As Governor and chief advocate for Colorado’s citizens, I will double our efforts to promote an environment – within and outside of our state – that creates job opportunities for individuals with varied level of skills and education. A good paying job allows someone to provide for their family and plan for their future. Quality of life is tied directly to the opportunities we seize, how well they fit with our talents, and the degree to which we apply those talents to earn a solid living. I will be a tireless advocate for bringing more jobs and opportunities to Colorado, and am excited to present to you how that will happen in the days and weeks to come.
Small Business – Fueling and Maintaining our Economic Engine
In Colorado, small business is the heart and soul of almost every community and is one of the engines that drives Colorado toward its full potential. Without small business, every Main Street in our state would be a ghost town. The power behind Colorado’s “economic engine” is small business. In fact, a whopping 98% of those “engine components” are small businesses that account for 572,000 business entities employing over 1 million people. Small business creates most jobs in Colorado.
But to reach our full potential on this front, I will do more as Governor to stabilize the “boom and bust” cycle plaguing our state’s small business history. As Governor, my aim is to boost the health and expansion of small business, and develop new small business opportunities in the neglected counties in our state. But I think you would agree: We need to boost innovation, ideas, and expand access to capital funding.
I’ve always believed the 2nd Amendment contains the most powerful 27 words assembled within the Bill of Rights. Some of the world’s greatest preventable tragedies exacted through tyranny, were aided by government policies that seized guns from the citizenry. Chief among the reasons why our population is secure today, can be credited to the 2nd Amendment. We own 88 guns per 100 citizens, and I will always protect the right to keep and bear arms. To mention two areas of key importance to me:
1. National Carry Reciprocity: All states respect another states driver’s license, they should all respect another states concealed carry permits.
2. Allow military personnel to carry concealed or have open-carry on bases, and at recruiting centers: Our men and women in the armed forces have the best firearms training in the world, as do our police. Terrorists have targeted military recruiting centers, and we should trust our military personnel to be armed, as we trust our men and women in law enforcement.
New laws which serve to restrict law-abiding gun owners do not serve Colorado, nor do they serve America. Where crime is concerned, we should faithfully enforce laws already on the books. The highest crime rates in America happen to be in cities that also have the most strict “gun control” provisions: Chicago, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Detroit, New York City, and Los Angeles. The 2nd Amendment is clear, and you can always count on my support to preserve this essential right.
Health Care – A Quality System: Stable and Accessible to All
As Governor, I will work closely with our state’s top health officials, our Congressional Delegation, and others to ensure we work together on the common goal of implementing a quality healthcare system for all of Colorado. Today, our state is watching a national debate whose outcome is uncertain. It could result in a new policy, or remain the same. Each outcome presents specific challenges. As Governor, my priority is to advocate for you wherever this debate leads, including the halls of Congress and the Colorado Statehouse.
Along with being affordable it must be available and accessible through an efficient delivery system, regardless of your zip code. Of Colorado’s nearly 5.5 million residents, approximately 2.7 million of them live outside of the Denver-metro area, in less populous counties throughout our state’s vast 104,000 square miles. It is vital that our rural communities also have the medical facilities necessary to take care of our farmers and ranchers and surrounding citizens. Choices. Ease of access. Efficiency of use. My mission is to do everything in my power to have our state’s healthcare not become a burden to the very people it is designed to help.
Water – Preserving Our Rights, Planning for Our Future
There is an old saying “Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting”. While the history of water in Colorado can be complicated, what matters is meeting our needs today, and the years to come. Water coordination is not just important in our state, but also to the inter-state compacts of which Colorado is a part. As Governor, I will commit to examining every angle that affects the present and future of Colorado’s water. I pledge to conduct a thorough review of the Colorado Water Plan generated by the Colorado Water Conservation Board – and work very closely with them, the Colorado Water Congress, and to listen to the many voices that sit on Colorado’s regional basin roundtables. Looking at innovative water management or water supply projects will be key.
When we take steps to secure our water resources for today and future demands, I will make sure that each step we take together, will be a step up. Since statehood and before, water has been essential to our way of life. Without water, there can be no life. Today, all Coloradans’ need to recognize how essential water is to our homes, health, and property.
Transportation – Safety for Commerce, Our Families, and Tourism
Maintaining and improving the roads in our great state is vitally important to our economy. Every item that is purchased by every Coloradan is delivered by truck, which requires our states roads be kept safe by their maintained condition. The tourist industry in our state also demands that infrastructure be improved with an eye toward healthy commerce and return visitors.
As Governor, I will review and advocate for ideas that I consider to be the best non-negotiable aspects of Colorado’s transportation health. With the current Governor’s 2018 budget sending Transportation dollars to the chopping block, I will never ignore or play politics with transportation. Today, those cuts put our transportation infrastructure and those who reply upon it, behind the proverbial “eight ball.” On my watch as your Governor, this will not happen.