A Q&A with Colorado GOP gubernatorial candidates

By: Associated Press
June 22, 2014 Updated: June 22, 2014 at 11:29 am
photo - FILE - In their quest to unseat Gov. John Hickenlooper, Republicans are expected to face an uphill battle no matter who they pick as their party candidate in the primaries, Tuesday, June 24, 2014. The four candidates in the race are Tom Tancredo, Scott Gessler, Mike Kopp and Bob Beauprez.  (AP Photos/Files)
FILE - In their quest to unseat Gov. John Hickenlooper, Republicans are expected to face an uphill battle no matter who they pick as their party candidate in the primaries, Tuesday, June 24, 2014. The four candidates in the race are Tom Tancredo, Scott Gessler, Mike Kopp and Bob Beauprez. (AP Photos/Files) 

DENVER — The four Republican gubernatorial contenders in Tuesday's primary answer questions about what policies they'd pursue if elected. Here, they talk about Colorado's economy.

Each responded in writing. Answers were edited for space reasons.


Q: The state economy has been improving the last couple of years. But is there anything more that you think state government should be doing to make sure the economy here continues to grow?

Former U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez: On day one, I will remove all useless anti-jobs, anti-freedom regulation. If a policy isn't about uplifting Coloradans, it's gone. I will empower Colorado businesses to innovate and prosper, without government intervention. While our neighboring states have made themselves more competitive, Colorado has become less competitive. As a result, jobs are going to those states instead. As governor, I will put the welcome mat out for U.S. companies to move to Colorado.

Former Secretary of State Scott Gessler: Our employment rate still lags behind neighboring states, and energy development lags behind Wyoming and North Dakota. We need a governor that will actually cut regulations and unlock business growth. Certain taxes like the business personal property tax hurt Colorado's economic growth. And finally, energy development can provide jobs and income, so we need to support the industry while ensuring safety.

Former state Sen. Mike Kopp: As the Republican leader in the Colorado Senate, I introduced sweeping reforms to cut our bloated regulatory system down to size and immediately trim the state government across the board. These unnecessary regulations aren't just a nuisance; they are costing us jobs.

As governor, I will continue this fight with a goal of cutting the cost of being a regulated business by 25% and I'll cut the cost of state government so it is once again put in the back seat where it belongs. I'll eliminate the business personal property tax and end the practice of driving up energy costs through government mandates. I'll appoint strict constructionist judges to serve on the bench so that our cherished taxpayer protections are secure.

Former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo: Economic diversification is the key to the long-term well-being of the state. We cannot rely on any single industry, including oil and gas, to be the engine of prosperity. I'm keenly interested in limiting the size and scope of government. This most definitely includes reducing the regulatory burden on businesses so they can grow.


Q: With the caveat that as governor you would not have full power to change or undo current laws — unless your party regains control of the Legislature — what policies that have been implemented by the current administration would you most focus on trying to modify or erase?

Former U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez: As governor, it is my duty to serve the people, regardless of who holds the majority in the Legislature. Through strong leadership, I will work to unite our government and pass laws that best serve the people of Colorado.

Our state needs leadership to make us great again. We need someone who will guide policy that's smart for all of Colorado, not just Denver Democrats.

Part of a governor's job is to take leadership early on in the legislative process to help guide good legislation and If bad legislation gets to his or her desk to stop it from becoming law. Governor Bill Owens saved taxpayers millions of dollars by vetoing bad legislation from both Democrats and Republicans

Secretary of State Scott Gessler: Current renewable energy mandates for power companies have dramatically increased utility prices; we should remove those burdensome mandates.

The current Common Core education standards are mediocre and do not prepare our children for an internationally competitive world. We need to end our reliance on Common Core and instead demand more rigorous standards.

I strongly opposed the anti-Second Amendment laws. Those gun regulations did nothing to reduce crime, made it harder for people to defend themselves, and drove good jobs out of Colorado. They need to be reversed.

Former State Sen. Mike Kopp: I will first lay down a firm marker with the Colorado House and Senate in my first address to the Colorado Legislature. I will make it clear as governor my number one priority is to empower individuals, not the government. Therefore, I will veto any legislation that comes to my desk that makes it more difficult to do that.

As for undoing current laws, I will work to overturn the gun control legislation passed by our legislature and signed into law by Gov. Hickenlooper last year. I'll end the state government's labor union created by former Gov. Bill Ritter. In general, I will work to repeal any law that unnecessarily adds to the cost of government, raises fees or advances bloated entitlements.

Former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo: The governor can, and I certainly will, lead the effort to re-establish the principles of the 10th Amendment. This means challenging the overreaching federal government in areas such as education policy (Common Core), Obamacare and regulatory overreach -- for example, the EPA has made rules in areas it does not have authority.

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