Apart from Betsy Markey’s 2008 win, a Democratic candidate hasn’t won Colorado’s Fourth Congressional District since Wayne Aspinall in 1968.
The district has changed, as it must after each census, but Ken Buck won with 65 percent of the vote in 2014.
Enter Chase Kohne and Karen McCormick, both of whom believe the heavily Republican district could be up for grabs this year. But the two Democratic candidates will have to face each other first, and each brings a little something different to the table. Read on for more:
QUESTION: WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST ISSUES FACING CD4, AND THE COUNTRY?
Kohne: Kohne said the U.S. shouldn’t and can’t focus on anything else until it takes care of healthcare. “Many of us, if not most of us, are one accident away from bankruptcy,” he said. Kohne said he’d also focus on rural healthcare, and he lamented the long drive some in the fourth district have to make for care. Kohne said another key issue is energy, and he’d like to see Greeley and Weld County become leaders in renewable energy, a transition he said should start now, before fossil fuels run out.
McCormick: McCormick, likewise, said she’s focused on healthcare. She said people are concerned with high premiums, high deductibles and general unaffordability of the U.S. healthcare system. She said there is also uncertainty in rural areas, echoing Kohne’s point about the long distances between some patients and their providers. She said trade issues are another key topic, with tariffs and potential trade wars scaring producers.
QUESTION: WHAT GOVERNING EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE?
Kohne: Kohne doesn’t have any governing experience, but he said having command in Afgahnistan and the Army Reserves should help. His role in the Army was civil affairs, where he was charged with getting to know local cultures and problems, and working through solutions. Kohne said that work would transition well to government.
McCormick: McCormick also doesn’t have governing experience, but pointed to her 16 years running a small business — a veterinary clinic. She said she learned to listen to people’s problems and work through solutions.
QUESTION: WHAT’S ONE THING YOU AGREE WITH PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP ON, AND WOULD BE WILLING TO WORK WITH HIM ON IN CONGRESS?
Kohne: Kohne said he doesn’t agree with much, but he would be interested in working with the president when it comes to extending the Dream Act, something President Trump has expressed interest in doing. “We’ve gotten to a situation where we’re really far left or really far right,” Kohne said. “When we’re competing, it’s about who wins and who loses; and the voters lose.”
McCormick: McCormick said though she doesn’t agree with the tactics, she is supportive of ongoing efforts to establish a dialogue with North Korea. “Talking is always a better option,” McCormick said. “I would be willing to work (with the president) on that.”
QUESTION: FOREIGN POLICY? KEY ISSUES? WHAT WOULD GUIDE YOU? KOREA/IRAN ETC…
Kohne: Kohne said Congress has fewer veterans than at any time since the post-Vietnam War era. “The president’s never seen a war; he’s never smelled a war; he doesn’t know what one looks like,” Kohne said. Kohne said we need more people in Congress who can be a check on the White House, and he favors diplomacy over war.
McCormick: McCormick said keeping the relationship with U.S. allies strong is important, and it’s where the U.S. really needs to step up. “The more we back out of agreements that we’ve made in the past, and the more we don’t stand strong in a leadership position, others are going to fill that void,” McCormick said.