Colorado Capitol Report

Colorado Chamber Interviews 45 Candidates Seeking Election to the Colorado Legislature

Colorado Chamber Interviews 45 Candidates Seeking Election to the Colorado Legislature

A primary role of the Colorado Chamber of Commerce (CACI) is to protect and improve the state’s business climate which includes helping to elect pro-business legislators to the Colorado General Assembly.

Loren Furman and Colin Larson

Every two years, the Chamber’s lobbying team and its members that have invested in its Political Action Committee, interview new legislative candidates and vote on whether the Colorado Chamber of Commerce will endorse and provide campaign support to each of those candidates. During the last two weeks, the Colorado Chamber’s lobbying team and its members interviewed 45 candidates with back-to-back, 30-minute interviews.  Candidates were asked to respond to a variety of policy questions ranging from energy, health care, employment issues, agricultural issues and other policy areas.  Over 60 companies and it’s representatives participated in the four-day process who represent a wide array of Colorado industries that operate across the state.

After each interview of the candidate, the Chamber’s lobbying team and its members hold an extensive discussion of each candidate and vote to endorse or abstain on an endorsement of the candidate.

In preparation for the interviews, the Chamber lobbying team prepares a highly detailed report that analyzes each legislative race and includes critical information for evaluating each candidate such as voter performance in past elections, party registration in each legislative district, a candidate’s profile and the most up-to-date fundraising by each candidate.  A  questionnaire was also sent to each candidate and responses were reviewed during each interview.

Loren Furman and Shane Sandridge

The next step in the interview process is a review of the endorsement recommendations of the candidates by the Chamber’s Executive Committee and final approval by the Board of Directors.  This step also includes recommendations by the lobbying team of endorsements of legislative incumbents.  Legislative incumbents are evaluated on their voting records for the prior two legislative sessions, and are considered for an endorsement and campaign contribution depending on that voting record.

Under Colorado’s campaign finance laws, a legislative candidate’s political committee can receive a maximum of $400 from a political committee like CBPAC over the two-year election cycle.

“The candidate-interview process we conduct is an exhaustive process and provides an opportunity for our members to acquaint themselves with new candidates who are seeking election to the Colorado legislature.  This is the most effective way of determining which candidates are truly pro-business and will support the interests of the employers that fuel Colorado’s economy.” Loren Furman, Colorado Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of State & Federal Relations.

For more information about the Chamber’s candidate-endorsement process, please contact Loren Furman, Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, at 303.866.9642.

The following candidates were interviewed:

Dennis Hisey (R-SD 2)Skinny Winkler (R-HD 34)
Robert Rodriguez (D-SD 32)Janice Rich (R-HD 55)
Alex Valdez (D-HD 5)Christine Jensen (R-SD 20)
Colin Larson (R-HD 22)Lisa Cutter (D-HD 25)
Eric Montoya (IND-HD 31)Kerry Tipper (D-HD 28)
Rob Woodard (R-SD 15)Thea Chase (IND-HD 54)
Kit Roupe (R-HD 17)Shane Sandridge (R-HD 14)
Pat Mcintyre (R-SD 11)Olen Lund (R-SD 5)
Yadira Caraveo (D-HD 31)Kristina Alley (R-HD 28)
Arthur Erwin (R-HD 24)Matt Soper (R-HD 54)
Emily Sirota (D-HD 9)Brianna Buentello (D-HD 47)
Shannon Bird (D-HD 35)Rochelle Galindo (D-HD 50)
Tim Geitner (R-HD 19)Mike Thuener (R-HD 50)
Monica Duran (D-HD 24)Paul Jones (IND-HD 59)
Tony Sanchez (R-SD 22)Dave Rose (D-HD 56)
Rod Pelton (R-HD 65)Julie McCluskie (D-HD 61)
Marc Snyder (D-HD 18)Maile Foster (IND-HD 18)
Julie Gonzales (D-SD 34)Rico Figueroa (R-HD 31)
Mark Baisley (R-HD 39)Mike Mason (R-HD 61)
Toren Mushovic (R-HD 3)Rod Bockenfeld (R-HD 56)
Don Bendell (R-HD 47)Mary Elizabeth Fabian (R-HD 18)
Sonya Jacquez-Lewis (D-HD 12)Dylan Roberts (D-HD 26)
Kyle Mullica (D-HD 34)

The Colorado Chamber of Commerce is the registered trade name of The Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry (CACI).