City or town of residence: Highlands Ranch
Profession: Small business owner
Campaign website: www.VanWinkleforColorado.com
What makes you the best choice for this office?
It was a tremendous blessing to grow up here in the '80s and '90s and I'm thrilled to raise my family here in Highlands Ranch today. Our amazing community deserves an energetic, hardworking legislator who will go the extra mile to create jobs and provide secure neighborhoods for our families. For the last four years I have fought every day to ensure this remains the very best place to live, work and raise a family.
What can the Legislature do to ease the strain of rising housing prices on Colorado residents?
We need to reform harmful laws passed several years ago that have decimated the front-range condominium market, a market many young couples rely on for their first home purchase. I'll also be working to reign in burdensome regulations, the cost of which get passed on to homeowner and renters in a variety of ways. These are reflected in increased water bills, grocery prices, home building prices, home renovation prices, and so on.
What can be done to ensure the state's transportation system will be able to accommodate continued population growth?
Transportation is a top legislative priority for me. It's ridiculous that the size of state government has doubled this decade while transportation funding remains relatively flat. I believe the Legislature has the responsibility to prioritize funding for roads and bridges. To attract attention to the issue, I attempted to sell the Governor's private plane and put the profits and savings into the roads for the rest of us. I also fought to add greater accountability for CDOT to cut down frivolous waste.
What two issues demand more attention in the upcoming Legislative session than they received in the previous one?
Certainly, transportation funding. Like you, I sit in traffic every day and know our roads and bridges have fallen behind. Meanwhile, Coloradans are taxed enough, our state budget has gone from $15 billion to $30 billion this decade. Our 100 legislators and the next governor must act quickly. Second, the increased cost of living is pressuring all Coloradans. Next year, I'll be fighting for taxpayer refunds prescribed by the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
If elected, what must you accomplish in order for you to consider your term a success?
There are a wide variety of issues facing Colorado today. Republicans in the House are outnumbered 37-28, yet I passed 15 bills this year to increase K-12 funding, cut back on burdensome regulations, and more. My aim is to continue working across the aisle to advance issues important to my Highlands Ranch neighbors, like fixing roads and improving our schools.
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