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Midterms in Colorado: Everything You Need to Know

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Midterms in Colorado: Everything You Need to Know

2016 Colorado senate election results broken down by districts; blue being democratic victory and red being republican.

2016 Colorado senate election results broken down by districts; blue being democratic victory and red being republican.

2016 Colorado senate election results broken down by districts; blue being democratic victory and red being republican.

2016 Colorado senate election results broken down by districts; blue being democratic victory and red being republican.

by Jana Seal, Copy Editor

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Colorado: ski destination, pioneer in the legalization of marijuana, home to the mile high city, and swing state. The premise that what happens here in Colorado on November 6th will be a game-changer would be an understatement- as congress becomes more polarized, formerly independent Coloradans are beginning to settle into political parties in attempts to utilize the noncommittal state as a means to flip the house and institute partisan leaders. As the pivotal election approaches, we examine three of the most influential offices up for election, their candidates, and the impact of Colorado nationally.

Two of the most dominant candidates running for the house of representatives are Mike Coffman (R), and Jason Crow (D). Coffman has taken up traditional conservative viewpoints in his voting to defund Planned Parenthood, support of overturning Roe v.s. Wade, and opposition of DACA. He has, however, contradicted this by denouncing President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” border enforcement policy and presenting himself as “a compassionate conservative on immigration”, in the words of Crow. Coffman has voted in favor of civil rights, voting to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, as well as in negligence of the worsening environment by voting against the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases and the enforcing of limits on CO2 global warming pollution. Another prominent issue determining voters’ opinions is that of gun reform, in light of the February 14 events in Parkland, FL earlier this year. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student activists Emma Gonzalez and Cameron Kasky have called for politicians to refrain from accepting NRA money, something that Crow has condemned Coffman for engaging in. Crow has stated his support of the expanse of background checks upon purchase of a firearm and a ban of military grade assault weapons.

Also polarized on the topic of gun reform are Jared Polis (D) and Walker Stapleton (R) , major candidates running for governor of Colorado. Polis, an entrepreneur and former member of the State Board of Education, is in favor of banning the production and purchase of bump stocks, which convert legal weapons into illegal weapons of war. Furthermore, he plans to implement a “Red Flag Law”, which would enable the suspension of access to firearms by individuals that are deemed dangerous by a court. Stapleton, however, takes the stance that the gun violence prevention measures of arming teachers and addressing mental health within the state will work most efficiently. As for education, Stapleton believes that shifting monetary focus from schools to students will best improve the system, while Polis has come out with a more concrete plan to provide free, full day kindergarten and preschool to every community in the state.

Candidates running for attorney general, George Brauchler (R) and Phil Weiser (D), are also polarized on these issues of gun reform, education, immigration, and the environment. Weiser has claimed his support for the banning of bump stocks and military-style assault weapons, while Brauchler remains rooted in his support of the second amendment as it is.They also differentiate when it comes to the legalization of marijuana- Brauchler has opposed it while Weiser is in favor of it in light of marijuana’s taxation benefitting the state. A final, yet prominent, issue lies within immigration. Weiser, the son and grandson of holocaust survivors, denounces the “zero tolerance policy” and is in full support of DACA. Brauchler has not taken as strong of a stance on immigration, remarking that it is a federal issue rather than a state one.

National news organization NBC has noted that the voter turnout in Colorado so far is tremendous. Our state election has the power to flip the house, so being informed should be a primary concern for Coloradans at this point in time. While elections for senators and representatives impact the entire nation, elections for Governor and Attorney General will influence the state’s economic and regulatory status drastically. This midterm election has the power to change the state of the United States for years and years to come, meaning that each independent state matters- especially Colorado. So if you’re eighteen, do everything in your power to make it to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Your vote matters!

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