Today I announce my candidacy for Congressional District 4. I’m throwing my hat into the ring at a time when the country is as divided as many have seen it in their lifetimes. National polling bears appears to bear this out. But in my one on one conversations, I hear a sense of national unity emerging that is the hallmark of America in times of national stress. We have so many important issues to tackle. Some of them demand toughness, like the nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea, and the continuing concerns about terror threats At home, we have an opioid crisis that is threatening a generation. Access to health care is difficult and costly, especially for low wage workers and people who live in rural areas.
The rising costs of Medicare and Social Security threaten those bedrock programs. Regulations and crumbling infrastructure that threaten our jobs and erode our profits and paychecks. These are challenging times, but America has always risen to the challenges with optimism and grit and emerged as an ever-stronger beacon for freedom. Yes, we must stay grounded in our beliefs, but we simply cannot continue to approach the smallest political difference as if our republic will crumble by finding common ground.
As we watch Congress continue to waste their opportunities to serve the American people, It’s time we acknowledged that not every committee hearing, every floor speech, every meeting with a colleague on Capitol Hill should be seen as line drawn in the sand.
If elected, I’m going to D.C. to advocate on your behalf using lessons I’ve learned negotiating with bankers on Wall Street, state officials here in Colorado, developers, businesses and….perhaps toughest of all….. neighbors at HOA meetings!
Even so, I know there are core principles. First and foremost, that federal bureaucracy ought to be limited and contained from overreach, and that government should serve us, not rule us. Second, as an Air Force veteran, I know war is always the last resort. And that our allies deserve respect while our enemies must be held in check. Third, as a parent, I won’t compromise our children’s future for the sake of today’s political gain.
Does anybody think that we’re not in this together? Because, we’re a family, and like many families, we have our disagreements. But we come together when we most need it, rely upon each other because we know the bond is strong. Like America, district 4 is diverse – we have large cities, towns, small communities, businesses big and small, agriculture, livestock and energy. An example of that diversity is illustrated by the contrast in my announcement today here in the Town of Castle Rock, a community grappling with high-paced urban growth versus Weld County, a national top ten county in agricultural sales. But my background working on policy issues and in business is a strong fit for the diverse demands of this district. Urban areas like Castle Rock need to have someone who can speak to the issues facing fast paced urban growth and understand the needs of small businesses.
At the same time, agricultural areas like Weld County need to have an elected voice in the management of federal land policy and especially agriculture policy. As it stands, out of the 26 Republican seats on the House Agriculture committee, Colorado is not represented but we should be. Voter’s trust in local government far exceeds that of our state and federal governments. Why? Because local mayors and commissioners are in touch with the concerns and priorities of the people they serve.
When I was mayor of Lone Tree, citizen input made all the difference in determining our actions and priorities. And, as I campaign in the district, I’ll be focused on you. I need you to tell me what is happening in your neighborhood, your town, your family. You deserve a candidate who will come to your doorstep or coffee shop to hear what you want. What you need. What you dream of and the role government should play in your life.
- Its true, we need to minimize government in our lives,
- but we also must recognize that our federal government exists as a binding tool of our nation
- providing services like protection of the rule of law, national defense, trade and infrastructure.
Let me give you a couple examples: As a commercial airline pilot, I know that there are federal safety regulations as a result of lost lives that must exist at the national level in order to protect air travel. And as an infrastructure advocate and past chair of the the statewide transportation initiative known as MPACT 64, I understand the vital connection between our statewide transportation infrastructure and the federal interstate system that supports commerce and trade throughout our district.
Some issues rightly belong at the federal level. But I assure you that I will always – ALWAYS- question if a federal program is appropriate… and affordable. After all, taxpayers foot the bill. One of the largest cost sectors of our government is health care. I want to touch on it this morning because of the inability of Congress to pass a reform bill. This will have consequences for years to come. Congress must find a workable solution that balances our compassion as a nation with fiscal sustainability.
My wife, Amy, and my daughter, Paige, are nurses. Their stories of the health care system are a constant reminder to me of the need to find a better way to deliver services quickly and affordably. And there’s no doubt that health care in rural areas is in trouble. We need a better delivery system that is reliable and gives sparsely populated areas the care they need and deserve. Centralized federal programs have proven ineffective. The federal government needs to give the states autonomy in administering health care services.
While travelling around the district, I hope you’ll see that I’m a cautious optimist and a proven problem solver. I am someone who believes that our nation is a beacon of freedom and prosperity because of the shared values of the American people. This is why I’m asking for your trust in representing your voice in Washington.
I know that this trust has been damaged and even lost by many, but I will bear the weight and duty of that trust no less than when I represented you and this country in uniform as a member of the armed forces.
I ask you today for your vote in the June 26th Republican primary for district 4.
Thanks and God bless.