First-time candidates run to represent Highlands Ranch, Douglas County

Posted

With Highlands Ranch’s current state House Representative Kevin Van Winkle setting his sights on a Senate seat, three other Douglas County residents have announced campaigns to fill the House District 43 opening.

Kurt Huffman and Robin Webb are running as Republicans and Robert Marshall is the singular Democratic candidate. Hoffman and Webb will face off in the June 28 primary. 

Colorado Community Media reached out to all three candidates to interview them about their campaigns. Webb did not respond to emailed interview questions or speak to CCM. 

All three candidates would be first-time representatives.

Huffman, a Highlands Ranch resident, has spent the past four sessions volunteering at the Colorado statehouse and has also been through the Leadership of the Rockies Program, a training for potential GOP candidates. His experience in the statehouse pushed Huffman to run when the HD43 seat opened up.

“I realized that we had nobody coming out of Douglas County as Republican that had any experience in the house and I was the only one, I thought, that could pull us together as a team and make sure we don’t make rookie mistakes and, hopefully, get our voice up to leadership,” he said. 

Huffman said his top priorities are restoring and protecting personal freedoms, encouraging parent voices and choices in education, and addressing crime rates. Though pandemic restrictions have been rolled back, Huffman said he is concerned about returning restrictions and future executive orders.

“I can’t say as a legislator that we’re going to be successful in never having these kinds of mandates again, but I can assure you I will fight the hardest to make sure our county commissioners have local control,” he said.  

Huffman also disagrees with recent moves by legislators to reduce bonds and penalties for low-level crimes, as well as the legislation to codify reproductive rights in Colorado law. He opposes  gun control measures, would like to ban critical race theory and ban safe injection sites.

However, as Republicans are currently the minority party, Huffman said he would focus on ideas that have bipartisan potential. For example, he would like to see more supports for students with learning disablities, whether that’s through charter schools or public school reform.

“I have those relationships on both sides of the aisle,” he said. “There are a number of Democrats that I’ve worked on past bills with and they know I’m straight-forward, they can trust me and that I work towards what’s best for the people of my community.”

Huffman said he is determined to represent Highlands Ranch values and believes his experience and education will help make him successful.

Also a Highlands Ranch resident, Marshall, who has a background in law and finance, as well as 28 years of service in the US Marine Corps, said he decided to run to restore responsible leadership and represent the interests of Highlands Ranch and Douglas County. 

“I have quite a few big ideas that I want to do, but the biggest thing is just having some integrity and sanity in government,” he said. “If Douglas County and Highlands Ranch don’t have someone in the Democratic Caucus room looking out for their interests, their interests won’t be looked out for.”

Marshall said he would focus on education, public safety and environmental policies. He said more could be done to support teachers, such as classroom supply stipends and higher pay, as well as invest in vocational training. 

Marshall is also suing the Douglas County School Board, alleging directors Mike Peterson, Becky Myers, Christy Williams and Kaylee Winegar used serial meetings to evade quorum rules so they could privately discuss removing former Superintendent Corey Wise. 

Additionally, Marshall supports expanding mental health care programs, including in jails. Marshall sees mental health care as part of the larger public safety conversation and freeing up police to focus on crime. 

“Our jails and law enforcement have become the de facto mental health systems in the state … so taking it off their plate would just be a gigantic boost in their ability to go after criminals and it would help everyone else,” he said. 

He also noted he’s more moderate than other Colorado Democrats and thinks the current bond system is too lenient. His moderate views extend partially to addressing climate change, he said, since he would like to research more alternative energy sources. He also supports investing in fire mitigation, public transportation and protecting water.

Marshall said as a representative he would be willing to work with anyone and everyone to make positive progress.

“I’m a big believer in incrementalism,” he said. “If you can move the ball forward, that’s fantastic. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

In the Colorado Senate District 30 race, current Rep. Van Winkle, a Republican from Littleton, is running against Democrat Braeden Miguel, of Highlands Ranch.  Current SD30 Sen. Chris Holbert, the minority leader, resigned his seat earlier this year and was term-limited. 

To register to vote or check voting status, go to www.coloradosos.gov/voter/pages/pub/home.xhtml.

Colorado Legislature, kurt huffman, robert marshall, house district 43, Colorado house race

Comments

Our Papers

Ad blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.