Why are you seeking public office?
I am a Physician Assistant and a mom, I got into this race because we need more healthcare voices making legislation to improve access and cost. One of the things I am most passionate about is being a voice for my community. Local elected officials make the most impact on your day to day life and it’s important they be accessible and willing to talk with all voters, regardless of political affiliation.
What will your top three priorities be if elected?
My top priority will be making sure we come out of the pandemic safely. We need leaders who will focus on data and facts to evaluate any treatments that become available and prevent a second surge.
Secondly, I will focus on healthcare. We must work to make sure Coloradans continue to get the care they need and expand our access to mental health.
Lastly, I will focus on our public schools. Colorado ranks among the bottom for our public education funding. We need to ensure our public schools are well funded and our teachers are paid what they deserve.
Do you support some type of public option health insurance or Medicare for All at the state level? If so, which and why? If not, why not?
COVID-19 has made it more apparent than ever that access to healthcare is vital. We have many Coloradans who don’t have the access to the affordable care they need. The Public option that was introduced was an excellent way to help provide coverage for these patients and I support this. I do feel that a Medicare for All option is just not doable at this point. Expanding coverage and lowering costs can be achieved without a Medicare for All plan, and would allow people to keep an insurance plan that they can afford and meets their healthcare needs.
Have your views on policing and racism in Colorado changed this year? If so, how?
Listening and understanding is how I plan to represent our community in Highlands Ranch. When countless stories are shared about the disparities people of color face with their interactions with law enforcement, it’s important that we work to understand why this is happening. My views have certainly changed this year. I have come to better understand the role that implicit racism plays throughout our society. Knowing and understanding my own implicit biases has become more important in my daily life and I know that it will help guide my decision-making as the next State Representative for House District 43.
Do you place a greater importance on addressing climate change or preserving Colorado’s oil and gas industry? What steps would you take on these issues as a lawmaker?
We are seeing effects of climate change that are already irreversible. We are going to continue to experience droughts and severe wildfires if we don’t act very quickly. Whatever legislation gets introduced needs to take into account the job losses that would be associated with it and be sure that we are providing adequate job change avenues for those that will be affected.
Should Colorado consider any new gun laws? If so, which do you support?
Coloradans know all too well the toll that gun violence has taken across our communities. I support the actions taken by the state legislature to expand background checks, limit high-capacity magazines, and create the Extreme Risk Protection Order. Respecting second amendment rights and creating safeguards to reduce unnecessary violence do not have to be mutually exclusive. If elected, I would support a mandatory three day waiting period for firearm purchases.
Kevin Van Winkle has not returned the questionnaire.