Residence: Highlands Ranch
Campaign website: www.VanWinkleforColorado.com
What makes you the best choice for this office?
It was a tremendous blessing growing up here in Highlands Ranch, and I’m thrilled to have started both my business and family in beautiful Highlands Ranch. Our community deserves an energetic, hardworking legislator that will go the extra mile to create jobs, improve schools, protect patients and fix our aging roads. In the last two years, I’ve fought for our hometown values and passed 24 bills — all with strong bipartisan support — to improve school safety, to create Colorado’s first new judicial district in nearly 60 years (centered here in Douglas County), expanded telemedicine, cut taxes and increased funding for schools.
If you’re elected, what single issue will be at the top of your agenda?
This year, I sponsored and fought hard to pass a bipartisan bill into law that cut government red tape for small business owners struggling to stay open during Colorado’s COVID shutdown, and who badly need relief so their staff can get back to work. Next year, there will be even more work to safely reopen Colorado’s economy, strengthen our health care system and empower Coloradans to once again earn a good living.
If you’re elected, what must you accomplish in order for you to consider your term a success?
I’m running for a fourth (and final) term to free people from over-taxation and over-regulation, to fix roads, improve schools, and to restore balance to our state government entirely controlled by one political party. We must ease burdens for hardworking taxpayers and struggling businesses, and reign in the out-of-control budget that fails to prioritize the most important things — like teachers, students, senior citizens and safer roads.
What do you see as the most important role of a member of the Colorado House of Representatives?
For me — it’s always been about people — not politics. The people of Highlands Ranch are the boss, not the other way around. I’ll never forget that and it’s the honor of my life to be working for my hometown. It’s not always easy as a Republican outnumbered by Democrats 41-24 in the State House, but it’s vital for representatives to seek balance, and I promise to always fight for the people of Highlands Ranch, for hardworking taxpayers who are too often forgotten, for families, teachers, students, doctors, nurses and seniors.
What new challenges, brought about by COVID-19, do you see affecting the state in the coming years and how will you help address them?
Our state budget is projected to have less money next year — but so will families in Colorado. It’s time to refocus our priorities and “right-size” our state budget to ensure the most vulnerable are not hurt further. I will never vote to balance our state budget on the backs of our children and our seniors. My first budget priority will be to preserve education funding and the senior property exemption. From 2017 to 2019, our state budget revenues increased 25% when our population only grew 4% with student enrollment growing less than 1%. We have the money to boost education spending if we make it our highest priority.
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