Thank you for this opportunity to introduce myself! I am the independent candidate for the State House District 61 seat. I am running because I want to serve this district and I have a proven record of leadership on the issues that are important to us. I'll start with a little background:
I was a member of the Colorado General Assembly from 2005-2010. My professional experience is in water and natural resources management, and my husband and I have a cattle and hay operation near Gunnison. While I was in the House I worked on a number of key natural resources issues and took a particular interest in the budget process. In 2009, I became an independent because I believed I could better represent my constituents if I were not tied to either party, especially on fiscal matters. I served for one year as an unaffiliated member of the House, and in November of 2010 I ran as an independent write-in candidate and narrowly lost the seat. What I learned from this experience is that you can get good work done in Denver as an independent and that an independent can compete in elections.
Partisanship during this campaign season is alive and well. I have recently become the target of very negative mail pieces and radio ads containing false information about my record. The radio ad says that I didn't support coverage for mammograms when I was in the Legislature - the fact is that I voted "yes" for legislation in 2009 that mandated insurance coverage for breast cancer screening (HB09-1204). The ad goes on to say that I ran a bill that would allow insurance companies to deny coverage for mammograms. What really happened was that I ran a bill in 2010 that required legislative staff to estimate the costs to consumers of new mandates, the bill had no effect on coverage for mammograms. Hearing this ad was difficult for me because my mother survived breast cancer due to the fact that she got regular mammograms - so I am a big supporter of early screening. The contributors to the PAC funding the ads include two education groups (Education Reform Now and the Public Education Committee), several labor unions, a committee called America Votes and the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. This is one of the reasons why I am unaffiliated - I don't support the use of personal attacks, slander and misinformation to get candidates elected.
I think that the 47.6 percent of voters in Summit County that are unaffiliated are using their registration forms to express their dissatisfaction with the current system. But if we want our system to get better, we need to try a different approach - I don't think things are going to improve on their own. Some steps that could be taken include electing nonpartisan candidates that we feel are qualified, and voting for the person we think would do the best job. And, we should fix the laws that disenfranchise third party and independent candidates: including the one that limits non-major party candidates to half of the contribution amount that major party candidates can accept.
If you would like to get more information on my record please check out my website at www.kathleen
curry.org. I believe that this election is about more than who will represent House District 61, it is also about improving how our system is functioning. If you elect me you will get a Representative that will work hard on the issues that are important to you and is committed to putting you first instead of partisan politics. Thank you for your consideration!
Kathleen Curry is the independent candidate running for state House District 61. She resides in Gunnison.