JUSTIN EVERETT

Campaign website: www.EverettForColorado.com

Biography

  • Most conservative and award-winning member of the State House of Representatives from 2013-2018. Known as the hardest working legislator who read all the bills before he voted. Small business owner focused on start-up, growth, and financial management plus arbitration and mediation for businesses. Law Degree (J.D.) with an emphasis in Business Planning. Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) in Finance, Entrepreneurship, and International Business.  

Why do you want this job?

  • We need to bring bold conservative leadership back to represent the district. We need someone who actually will do the job and represent the values of the district. I did that job and did it well for six years. Our current representation does not represent the values of the district. In 2016, I won the General Election by 30%; our current Representative barely won in 2018. We need to keep the District in Republican hands, and I'm the only one who can guarantee that.

Budgeting in tough times 

(Choose one to answer)

> What is one bill you plan to sponsor that won't cost taxpayers anything?

> What new ideas do you bring in a time of budget cuts?

  • During my tenure in the legislature, I served on the Education, Public Health, Appropriations, and Transportation and Energy committees. Education and Public Health are about 75% of the budget. In appropriations, we saw every expenditure of over $1,000. Why am I telling you this?  It's because I have a good handle on where the money is being spent and where the waste is.  We have to have an honest conversation on what we fund in the fastest growing area of the budget — Medicaid. We also have to discuss all of the mandates the State puts on local school districts and new laws that drive compliance costs that the State sometimes backfills. If we're going to talk about budget cuts, we need to look in those two areas that have been sacred cows for many people.  We also need to move to a priority-based budgeting system. What should we fund first?  Fund it! Then move on down the line, when we run out of money funding the State's priorities, we stop funding programs and projects. I believe this is a fresh and honest perspective on the budget.

Perennial budget issues

(Choose one to answer)

> How do we pay for education?

> How do we pay for transportation?

  • We should fund education by cutting the State mandates; this will save local school districts a lot of money.  Also, I believe per-pupil funding should follow the student to the school of their choice.  This will create options for parents. If schools are competing for students, they will have to offer a better education and be more cost-efficient.  The savings will help fund schools.

Issues of the pandemic

(Choose one to answer) 

> Is the state reopening too quickly or too slowly?

> Are health care reforms an immediate priority?

> What are the best steps to rebuilding the economy? 

  • The State is opening way too slowly.  It should have never closed, and we should have focused on protecting the most vulnerable populations.  The solution is to re-open Colorado NOW, with no government restrictions.  Businesses should be able to choose the if, when, and manner they will re-open.  Citizens can determine if, when, and the manner they want to patronize these businesses.  People can make informed decisions for themselves without government interference.  The government should treat us like adults, not children -we can assess and assume the risks ourselves.

Working together

(Choose one to answer)

> What is an idea or approach your primary opponent has proposed that you intend to take to the Capitol?

> Name a current or former legislator from the opposing party you admire, and why.

  • This is a fun question that will get me into trouble.  Someone that I admire from the opposite party was former State Representative Joe Salazar. We agreed on almost nothing; however, his intentions were always pure. He was passionate about his issues, and he was a true believer in everything he fought for. It was never about politics with Joe, and I respect that.  Too many people are down at the Capitol for the wrong reasons: to make a name for themselves, acquire power, as a stepping stone to the next higher office. Joe was never one of these politicians. Of course, I voted no on everything he proposed because he was dead wrong on so many things, but I did admire his purity of purpose.


COLIN LARSON (I)

Campaign website: colinforcolorado.com

Biography

  • I moved to Ken Caryl in 1988 as an infant, went to Bradford Elementary, Deer Creek Middle School, Littleton High School for the International Baccalaureate program and Colorado College where I earned a B.A. Political Science and History.

  • I founded, owned, and managed Atlas Coffees in 2014, which is still in operation today.

  • I was elected to the Colorado State House in 2018 and was the only Republican in Jefferson County to win a contested race that year.

  • I passed more than a dozen bills in my first term including bills to reduce medical costs (HB19-1109 and HB20-1050), cut regulation for small business (SB20-213), address the teen vaping crisis (HB19-1076) Increase access to career and technical training for high school students (SB20-081 and HB19-1008).

Why do you want this job?

  • I care deeply about the community here in South Jefferson County and as a husband and father, I want my daughter to have the same opportunities and community that I had growing up. Through my involvement as a small business owner and numerous community organizations such as Stepping Stones Support Center, the Jason Dahl Scholarship Fund and its Heartland Hero Essay competition, I heard from thousands of constituents and it was so clear that South Jeffco and our priorities had not had effective representation at the state Capitol for several years. House District 22 deserves someone who is involved in the community and responds to constituents and their needs and actually delivers results. It has truly been an honor to serve as your representative for the past two years and I hope to continue that for the next term.

Budgeting in tough times 

(Choose one to answer)

> What is one bill you plan to sponsor that won't cost taxpayers anything?

> What new ideas do you bring in a time of budget cuts?

  • The government-imposed shutdown of economic activity as a response to the coronavirus has caused the worst budget crisis in my lifetime for our state. Since the crisis has been caused by a slowdown in economic activity, the state government should take steps to re-open and reduce regulatory burdens on business to prevent the closure of as many businesses as possible. Unfortunately, this past legislative session saw a lot of short-sighted bills aimed at increasing taxes and regulations, which will have the ultimate effect of causing more closures which will in turn reduce revenue to the state and increase demand on government programs.  While I was able to pass some pro-business legislation (SB20-213) and successfully amend bad bills to lessen the negative impacts (Larson amendment to SB20-205), I would have preferred to see legislators take a more long term view and pass legislation to remove barriers to rehiring and add more flexibility.  I was the only legislator in the House to introduce a comprehensive plan to address the coronavirus and its impacts on our economy.  It can be viewed on my webpage for those who are interested.

Perennial budget issues

(Choose one to answer)

> How do we pay for education?

> How do we pay for transportation?

  • From 2010 to 2020 the state budget grew from $21.4 to $30.3 Billion (and that is after an over $2 billion reduction this past year) and yet the legislature has chosen to prioritize other programs over education and transportation funding year over year.  We need to do a better job of prioritizing how our new revenues are spent and ensure our states tax and regulatory policies encourage economic growth. 

Issues of the pandemic

(Choose one to answer) 

> Is the state reopening too quickly or too slowly?

> Are health care reforms an immediate priority?

> What are the best steps to rebuilding the economy? 

  • There are several steps we should be taking to open up our economy and restore confidence so that our state can return to a functioning economy. As I’ve stated before, I was the only legislator in the House to release a comprehensive plan to address coronavirus and I encourage anyone who is interested to view it on my webpage. 

Working together

(Choose one to answer)

> What is an idea or approach your primary opponent has proposed that you intend to take to the Capitol?

> Name a current or former legislator from the opposing party you admire, and why.

  • State Representative James Coleman (who is currently running for the State Senate) and I have worked together on many school choice bills in my first term and I admire him a great deal. James is an amazing man of faith and conviction and cares passionately about his community and ensuring that every child has access to the education that works best for them (a passion he and I share). While I certainly don’t agree with a lot of his policy positions, I always think it is important to work together whenever possible to accomplish important goals like furthering school choice and education equity.

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Managing Editor

Linda Shapley has more than 30 years of print and digital news experience. She was Managing Editor of The Denver Post until 2017, overseeing news operations and coverage.

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