Opinion | Bob Rankin: I’ll work to restore balance to state Senate
Colorado Senate District 8 Republican incumbent
I’m Bob Rankin, your state senator, and I’m running for reelection. I’m asking for your vote and promising to continue to serve you with the same hard work and dedication to principled leadership that I’ve demonstrated in eight years of service to western Colorado.
As an engineering student, U.S. Army officer, systems engineer and corporate CEO, I learned that complex problems don’t have simple solutions. Humans in this age of technology and urban centralization have tended to create more complex solutions to problems of governance and then struggle to make them work by adding more complexity.
Early on in my political life, I chose to offer my unique experiences and talents to help tackle the most complex of government’s problems. I soon found myself working on the state’s $34 billion budget and focusing on education reforms and health care affordability. The result of that focus and those commitments have turned a part-time legislative job into full-time labor. I’ll continue that level of commitment.
Conservatives believe that our state government is beyond redemption and that our only options are to vote “no” and protest. While I share extreme frustrations with our state government that’s controlled by one party with very progressive leadership, I don’t agree with the “only protest” conclusion.
My philosophy and advice to others, honed by my life experiences and institutional knowledge gained from eight years in the Legislature, is that we must work a lot harder. We must work harder to elect competent, capable and thoughtful representatives and senators. We must work harder on every bill and every issue to stop bad laws and amend the details of every bill to protect constituent’s interests and base government on sound principles that have been proven over time. We must work with the majority party.
The state of Colorado is in crisis. We’ve reduced spending for the next fiscal year by 25%. Some of the overspending from the past needed to be eliminated. However, we also cut education and vital services for the truly needy and disabled. We know from past recessions that it will take years to recover. We’re operating under an emergency disaster order that allows the governor to issue unlimited executive orders that override established law. The Legislature has used the crisis to pass new taxation with little direct input or testimony from the public in the Capitol, the people’s house.
So what can be done? What can I do? What will I promise to do as your senator for another term?
I can and will win the general election and keep the Senate District 8 seat. I can muster the resources and campaign to win the election.
I’ll support other candidates by fundraising and coaching as a member of my party’s leadership team to elect a senate majority and restore balance to the state Senate.
I’ll maintain a steady hand and experience that the Joint Budget Committee needs as we recover from the financial crisis. I’ll be the voice of western Colorado on the budget and every bill. I’ve successfully maintained funding for the senior homestead tax exemption and the reinsurance program during the crisis. I’ll insist that rural schools get the extra funding they need.
I’ll insist on the recovery of the economy instead of new taxes as we counter the recession. The progressive Legislature is intent on implanting new taxes to recover school funding and support their priorities. Our forecasters have predicted a 25% decline in revenue. Just a 5% faster recovery would produce more revenue than proposed new taxes.
I’ll work to reduce the cost and improve the accessibility of health care without growing government control, cost and bureaucracy.
I’ll continue as the co-chair of the Education Leadership Council, a bipartisan group of educators and citizens charged with setting a vision for the future of education from early childhood to adult retraining.
I’ll support economic development in rural Colorado and the rebuilding of jobs caused by the loss of the fossil fuel industry in our threatened communities.
I will continue to communicate. I’ve written and published a monthly article for eight years. My votes and views on issues are an open record on my website. Even with the burden of an eight-month schedule in Denver and a vast district, I’ll be in your neighborhood, and if you let me know you’re my constituent, I’ll answer your email.
Bob Rankin is the incumbent for the Colorado Senate District 8 Republican primary.
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