By ZACK GLOSSER
Former Colorado State Treasurer Cary Kennedy visited campus on Tuesday for a town hall sponsored by the Colorado College Democrats. Kennedy is the mother of a current CC sophomore, and her husband is an alum. She is running for Governor of Colorado but first needs to win the highly contested Democratic primary. The event had a large turnout with a mix of CC students and local Colorado Springs residents. “It is a great primary race this year which makes it hard to make a choice. I do like Cary because she has a lot of experience working for Colorado,” said local resident Martha de Ulbaari.
Kennedy has been a part of Colorado’s leadership team for the past decade, not only as State Treasurer, but also as the Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Mayor of Denver. She is the only candidate in the Democratic primary who has won a major statewide election. “We are proud of the progress that we have made as an innovative and forward-looking state. We are a model for the rest of the country, and we have built one of the fastest growing economies in the nation,” said Kennedy. U.S. News ranks Colorado the best state for the economy, following Kennedy’s four-year term as Treasurer.
Kennedy’s message resonated with junior political science major Sarah Turi, “I am definitely going to vote for her.” Cary Kennedy’s platform for governor is, “If we invest in our people, manage our money responsibly, and protect the Colorado we love, we can ensure that everyone here can benefit from our progress.”
Kennedy continued to stress key issues in Colorado like Colorado’s taxpayer bill of rights (TABOR). “I always say the first rule of holes is if you are in one, stop digging. TABOR keeps digging our hole deeper,” said Kennedy. Currently, TABOR limits how Colorado uses the money collected by taxes. Because of TABOR, Colorado is unable to invest in education, which Kennedy has claimed make half of Colorado school districts shorten the school week to four days and lead to crumbling school buildings. Kennedy was responsible for managing taxpayer’s money and is very familiar with TABOR and its flaws. She has stated that her priority as Governor will be to fix the education system in Colorado, which requires comprehensive TABOR reform.
Kennedy’s second priority as Governor would be to keep healthcare affordable and accessible to all Coloradoans. She stated, “I am the only candidate in this race that has proposed offering a public option so that everyone in Colorado will have the opportunity to purchase public health insurance.” 1.4 Million residents in Colorado are on Medicaid. Kennedy explained that a greater access to public health insurance would allow the state to negotiate lower costs across the board as well as a lower premium.
Kennedy’s third priority is protecting Colorado and combatting climate change. During her visit to CC, she said, “We will meet the emissions reductions targets in the Paris Climate Agreement with or without the help of Washington.”
“I am running for Governor for a reason. I have no interest in going to Washington.” Kennedy has a love for the state of Colorado and states she wants to focus on in-state issues rather than, what she calls, “the divisiveness in Washington.” Kennedy said, “What happens in Washington stays in Washington.” The audience reacted positively to this emphasis on putting Colorado’s priorities above party politics. Kennedy continued to stress that every race down the ballot is crucial and will affect Colorado in the future. “It is important we stay informed on a local level because it doesn’t get as much attention,” said sophomore Chris Maurice.
Kennedy closed with, “I am running for governor to continue this great work to continue the prosperity that we see in this state. I have spent my career tearing barriers down, and that is the work I will continue to do as your governor.” Kennedy did not dodge students’ questions, as she iterated why she is the right person for the job.
“This was a chance to learn about an impressive candidate for Governor,” said senior Steven Ortega, co-chair of CC Democrats.
CC Dems is hosting many candidates for all positions throughout the ballot before the Democratic primaries. Join CC Dems this Monday to hear from congressional candidate Stephany Rose Spaulding.