Who am I?

I am a full-time working husband and father. I've been married to Kelly for almost 20 years and look forward to fifty or so more. We have three children and one grand-daughter with another on the way.
I have a B.S. in Mathematics with a minor in physics. I was a software engineer for a defense contractor but left after becoming disgusted with the waste I was seeing every day. I've been with the Colorado Department of Corrections for sixteen years with the last six years as a Case Manager.
I don't have great personal wealth or political party connections. What I do have is a desire to see my government be better and to do my part to make is so. One day I'll want to be able to tell my kids that I did everything I could to leave them a better world.
I see this Congress as the worst in my lifetime and possibly in our nation’s history. I'm the kind of person that is not satisfied with just complaining about something when I have the ability to try and make it better.
I was born and raised in Colorado but spent part of my early childhood in Jamestown, NY. The education I received there about the founding of our country has always stayed with me. Its part of why I felt compelled to serve in the military after high school. I served for four years in the 101st Airborne Division. After my first semester of college I was recalled to active duty for the first gulf war, Operation Desert Storm.
My desire for public service is part of why I went into corrections. It’s also why I served four years on my local school board. Today I see a Congress that has forgotten our nation’s history and the lessons of our forefather’s. A Congress that is more concerned with one-upping the other side than with working together to solve problems and move our country forward. I see a political system where candidates are chosen by their ability to raise large sums of money and without regard to intelligence or fealty to the legacy left to us by Washington, Jefferson, et al. A system that rewards name calling and divisiveness.
I live in a country where we are all supposed to be equal. Yet it is in this country where the measure equality is too often determined by the size of one’s bank account. The middle class is dwindling. Basic rights like health care, education and even the ability to put food on the table are being deteriorated by a government that listens first, and most, to those who have the money to be heard. It is something we all complain about. It is something I must try and do something about. I live in country where Bill Clinton and Barack Obama can start life full of disadvantage and become President. Don’t tell me I can’t make it to Congress.

Why am I running?

When I was nine years old I watched the election of a peanut farmer and listened to Cronkite speak about the wonder of our peaceful transition of government. I was young, but I was inspired.
Lincoln’s description of government of, by and for the people isn’t just a slogan to me. I view it as the greatest legacy ever given since the first time mankind developed an organized society. It’s a legacy that is worth fighting for and one that we must all do our part to protect.
This congress has forgotten the legacy our founders left us. They don’t value or honor the sacrifices that made America what it is today. That’s why I’m running.
My current congressman is the epitome of one who has forgotten our heritage and fails to honor the sacrifices that made America what it is today.
Because somebody like me isn’t supposed to be able to win a race like this, the benefits of winning will reverberate across the nation. Imagine the message that will be sent when the 4th CD voters stand up and declare that they will no longer be manipulated by gerrymandering. Imagine the message to Senators and Representatives of both parties when they realize that we still have an America where, after enough frustration, there is no such thing as a “safe” seat.
I’m not so arrogant as to believe that I alone am the lone savior of our forefathers’ legacy. I am hopeful enough to believe that there are enough people left in this country who value this legacy as much as I do. While I’ll be working my tail off until November to get enough people to believe in me it all starts with getting people to believe WITH me. I need people to believe WITH me that our country is still the same one where a peanut farmer became president. I need them to believe WITH me that if Bill Clinton and Barack Obama can start life where they did and become president, then I can become a U.S. Representative. I need them to believe WITH me that we have a legacy worth fighting for and we all have something we can do to fight for it. I’m doing what I can. What are you doing?

My Goals

When I started this campaign I didn't ask the party what I should run on. Nor did I choose to run on issues just because they are important to me as an individual. I studied this district and I learned about what the citizens of this district need a voice on in Washington, D.C.
I originally had three top issues but, as I'll explain, I'm running on four.
I'm running to protect Social Security from Chained-CPI and to eliminate the payroll limit (scrap the cap) so that the system is both solvent and fair. There are entire towns in my district that are dependent upon the revenue from Soc Sec incomes and they won't survive a cut in benefits. Besides, its just wrong to break that promise with the American people.
I'm running to get Immigration Reform passed. There is no logical reason to oppose comprehensive immigration reform and an abundance of reasons to pass it. It is held up by pure politics. This is damaging our heritage and our economy. My district has a significant need for immigrant labor. There are farmers who might not be planting this year because, in part, they don't have the workers to plant and don't know if they'll have them to harvest.
I'm running on Infrastructure Investment. We are currently experiencing the only time in our nations history that we didn't invest our way out of a significant recession. Wall St has recovered but Main St is still suffering. By investing in infrastructure we create living-wage jobs and break loose the money that is locked up in Wall St vaults. My goal is to target significant portions of the investment into wind and solar energy infrastructure. My district is ideal for wind and solar energy. One of my 22 counties has worked with a Florida energy company to build a wind farm and they are reaping great benefits. Other counties could do the same and the benefit for them all would be even greater if we had the infrastructure that would allow us to sell our energy to other states.
After a few months of running I could no longer run without including our veterans as a primary campaign issue. I'm a vet and I come from a long line of vets. The treatment of our Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans is beyond inexcusable. I'm committed to giving them help instead of rhetoric. Winning this 'red' district is a good way to start. It sends the message that their is a price to pay for neglecting our vets!

My DFA Values

Community, Security and Liberty are three ideas that encapsulate both the benefits and responsibilities of being an American. If one of these ideas is compromised the other two are compromised also. Of the three of these ideas I believe Community is what has most been damaged by the tone of our national politics over the past several years.
My campaign will, at times, point out the damage that the Tea Party has done to our country since 2008. More importantly, my campaign is going to focus on the issues that are important to the voters and stay away from the partisan anger represented by our current political leaders. I am running in a heavily red district and one of the ideas I'll be pushing is that the differences between Washington, D.C. Dems and Reps are not consistent with the smaller differences that exist between Main St. Dems and Reps. By winning this race when conventional wisdom says I can't, I will show that candidates can win by vowing to cooperate and that voters will reject obstruction. I cannot change Washington by myself but the voters of the 4th CD can send a message to the rest of the country. This message will be that party is not the most important affiliation but citizenship is.
As a congressman I will unite my communities by setting up a communication network with every elected official that represents somebody in my district. From the Governor to the dog catcher and regardless of party, if you were elected then I want you in my network so there can be a constant flow of information between my office and the citizens. This is the kind of community that works together to ensure our security and protect our liberty.

My Campaign is People Powered!

I started this campaign the old-fashioned way. I called up local Democrats in the 22 counties and introduced myself. I now have a network of volunteers throughout the district who are working hard to get me elected. With very little money our campaign grew strong enough to win the nomination without any opposition. In the months running up to the assembly there were potential challengers with much more money than I had but it quickly became obvious that our people-powered campaign was too strong for them to challenge. It was this strength that drew my campaign manager, an experienced organizer to seek me out and volunteer (he's now paid). It was this strength that drew the Peter Brown of the BrownMiller Group, a native of this district, to join our campaign. Just since last January I've put about 6000 miles on my car, driving to meet people face-to-face, person-to-person. We'll put on a 'conventional' campaign with the mailers, phone-banking, signage and phone-banking but the strength of our campaign is coming form grassroots that are planted deep.

Voice support

Supporters:

  • Ken Hart
  • Mikel Whitney, CO
  • Joanne Robrahn, FL
  • Saul Barraza
  • Rob Short, CO
  • CYNTHIA SCHMIDT
  • Waneta Boyce, CO
  • Jeffrey Schmidt
  • Harry Hempy, CO
  • Gail Mountain
...and 1 more.


About the Endorsement Process

The driving force behind all DFA endorsements is our members. We recognize that all politics is local and that what is considered progressive in Los Angeles may be very different from what's considered progressive in Louisville. For this reason, DFA does not have a litmus test of specific progressive positions for which a candidate must stand. Our endorsement is heavily weighted based on these questions:

• Will the candidate move the progressive movement forward in their community?
• Does the candidate have substantial support from our local members?
• Do the candidate's positions and policies fit into the broader progressive movement?
• Is the campaign people-powered and the candidate working to win?

If you have questions, or want to let us know about a candidate in your neighborhood, please call us at (802) 651-3200 or email us at [email protected] .

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