Spotlight on Colorado House District 40 Part II
This is the second half of an article that is part of a series spotlighting several key races across the Denver metro area. House District 40 is a race between 2-term incumbent Representative Cindy Acree and her challenger, retired Overland High School principal John Buckner.
District 40 includes most of Aurora and Foxfield. It runs east of 225 and mostly north of Arapahoe Road. The reapportioned district leans slightly Democrat now although the margin is only a 576 difference between the two parties’ registered voters.
Because My Colorado View is focused on Colorado women and the issues that affect them, the candidates are being asked 6 standard questions, with follow up that focus on their big ideas surrounding women’s issues and any other special areas of focus they want voters to know about.
Representative Acree responded to our interview request and the following are her answers. Mr. Buckner did not respond to requests for an interview. The following are the rest of Acree’s responses:
To read the first half of her answers , please click here.
4) What motivates you to serve in public office?
CA: “I’ve been very motivated to finding health care solutions as I’ve been through a chronic illnesses and a stroke. What I’ve found is that some of those issues have to be addressed through public policy.
Doing for your community isn’t enough when at the end of the day it’s the government that makes the rules. My neighbors and my kids need solid people in office who believe the same way they do, who know what it’s like to live day to day and have to earn a living, pay your bills and then give back to your community.
They want someone they can trust to listen to them and make sure that we solve the issues that we need to solve. Most of those solutions should be solved by the private sector but can’t because the government gets in the way.
There are many consumer protections that we need to have the government step in to provide but it can’t be the government that creates jobs. The government should never be the largest employer in the state because we will never see a rise in income.”
5) What’s your stance on taxes?
CA: “The middle income families who are living on less income are the ones who bear the burden for all the fees and penalties. Department of Motor Vehicles is a perfect example of that. They are paying up to 30%. In many cases, they don’t have the option to itemize the deductions on their taxes.
If we want to change our middle class tax structure, we’ve got to generate wealth. We’ve got to really work on removing the barriers so all these small businesses can grow and hire an employee every year. The higher salaries will enable the states to lower their tax rates. We can only do that by helping companies grow. Part of that is changing the tax code so it doesn’t cost so much to run a business here.
I talk to people every day who are either out of work or know somebody who is out of work or who started a new business because they ran out of options. They’re amazed at how much it costs to run their business. Fee here. Penalty there. Got to get licensed here. If you’re a trade or skills person, you have to get licensed in every community.
We need to change the tax rates for our businesses and all of our citizens. We need to start generating wealth.
My son, who is 17, put it very well when he said ‘Why do you think people came here? Because they had the opportunity to build a business to succeed.’ We need to get out of the way and give everybody that opportunity. It has nothing to do with what kind of family you were born into and everything to do with the opportunity. Let me succeed or fail on my own merit.”
6) In what ways have you/do you support K-12 education?
CA: “We could fully fund education by removing the barriers to our natural resources – wind, water, oil, gas and mining. We have tremendous resources here. Let’s utilize those resources. Let those businesses grow responsibly and use the tax to fully fund education.
Then we make sure that children have the opportunity to go into learning environments where they will be able to succeed. That’s school choice.
Also, provide at the high school level, training skills and trades, much like we do with advanced placement classes, so children can graduate high school with a certificate or a license for something that will help them earn a living.
That solves two problems. It enables us to give employers a skilled workforce and it give children who aren’t going to college or who need to pay their own way to college a marketable skill.
I’m all for kids going to college, but the reality is that we still have a 1/3 of our kids dropping out of school. We need to give them more options.
We live in a state that has many community colleges. There’s no reason that every student who wants to go to college can’t go to college. We’ve just got to make sure our funding stream is reasonable.
And the more money we generate through our natural resources, like Wyoming and Texas, would help us fully fund those opportunities.”
Any final words that people should know about you?
CA: “I’ve lived here 30 years. I raised my kids here. I ran my business here. I’ve been involved in the schools and the healthcare arenas.
I believe, after talking to hundreds and thousands of constituents, that I share the values that are important to making our families survive. I’m not a career politician; I’m a mom.”
Please read more about Representative Cindy Acree at www.cindyacree.com.
Because her challenger Mr. Buckner does include a statement about education on his website, I’ve included it here:
“We need to invest in innovative, cutting edge schools with state-of-the-art classrooms so our kids are prepared to compete in the global economy. As a retired principal, father, and grandfather, I know firsthand that our state’s economic revival depends on our commitment to successful schools. That’s why we need to close corporate tax loopholes, so we aren’t balancing the budget on the backs of our kids.”
Because Buckner has not held public office outside of education, not much background is available from him regarding women’s issues to report.
Colorado Women’s Alliance endorses Acree. The group’s director Debbie Brown gave this statement:
“The Colorado Women’s Alliance gives its unqualified and enthusiastic endorsement to CINDY ACREE. She is truly one of us, a woman who, as mother, community leader, and career woman, understands all of the demanding roles that each of us play. She has the same priorities that we have: to make sure our children get the best possible education, and to keep our families strong by increasing our health care choices and economic security. We appreciate how CINDY ACREE has represented women with dignity and respect; she’ll continue to use her common sense and compassion to represent our values.”