What do candidates think? Ask them

There’s one straightforward way to find out what candidates running for elected office think about various issues: ask them. While the Q&A exchanges that frequently occur during candidate forums can be enlightening, it’s even better to have candidates commit their responses to writing. That way they can express their opinions in their own words, and the record remains intact without any possibility of subsequent interpretation of what was or wasn’t said.

To that end, this issue of the Business Times includes election coverage with responses to questionnaires sent to six candidates from Mesa and Delta counties running for the Colorado Legislature. Thea Chase, an independent from Palisade running for election in House District 54, faces Matt Soper, a Republican from Delta. In House District 55, Republican Janice Rich faces Democrat Tanya Travis. The Senate District 7 race pits Democrat Chris Kennedy against Ray Scott, the Republican incumbent.

Many other candidates will appear on the ballot, of course, among them candidates running to become the next governor of Colorado and represent the 3rd Congressional District in Congress. In terms of setting policies and making laws that affect local businesses and individuals, though, state legislators wield considerable influence. Moreover, there are arguably closer connections between state legislators and their constituents than those between governors and congressmen and their much larger constituencies.

The Business Times asked the six candidates running for the Colorado Legislature the same five questions. Those questions were, again, straightforward, but also pertinent. It’s important to know why candidates seek election, why they believe they’re qualified and what they expect to do if they get in office. Some of the candidates answered the questions more succinctly than others, but their responses offer insights regardless of the length.

Thanks to the candidates who took time from their campaigns to respond to the questionnaires and share their viewpoints and plans.

Now it’s up to voters to fulfill responsibilities that couldn’t be more critical — to research the candidates and the issues and make informed decisions.

They can start by reading the responses to the candidate questionnaires in this very issue. Want to know what those candidates think? We’re glad you asked.