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RESTORE THE BALANCE CD3 CANDIDATE OVERVIEW

Restore the Balance (RTB) is a bipartisan group of citizens that united to oppose extremism and restore issues-based civil discourse to our politics. RTB sent questionnaires to the six candidates seeking election in the primary election for the Third Congressional District of the U.S. House of Representatives. The RTB questionnaire sought to determine their knowledge and experience, commitment to RTB’s seven principles, as well as their opinions on a broad scope of issues, particularly election law integrity. Only two candidates, Mr. Curtis McCrackin and Mr. Russ Andrews, responded to the questionnaire. (Their answers and the questionnaire are included at the end of the synopses.) This poor candidate response made our usual numerical questionnaire scoring impossible. Accordingly, voters will have to rely on our candidate synopses below, drawn from the two completed questionnaires, candidates’ campaign websites and materials, their public statements, and their social media activities.

 

 

CANDIDATE SYNOPSES

Russ Andrews

Mr. Russ Andrews completed the RTB questionnaire. He is a resident of the Roaring Fork area and has lived in western Colorado for 30 years. He has served as a volunteer in his community in a variety of ways, and has worked as a financial adviser for 36 years and graduated from a military college with a degree in marine engineering. He identified illegal immigration, inflation and the economy, and beetle kill as key issues in CD3, and offers solutions to address them. If elected, he outlined a plan to find common ground with all members of Congress to identify opportunities to co-sponsor legislation. He advocates for eliminating the Departments of Education and Energy, block grants to all welfare programs, and withholding funding from sanctuary cities. Mr. Andrews does not believe the 2020 presidential election was stolen but he implies that mail-in ballots and ballot boxes adversely impacted the election results. He advocates for in-person voting on election day with hand counting and required government-issued IDs in order to vote. He states that January 6, 2021, was a riot incited by a few bad actors. He signed the RTB pledge. RTB believes Mr. Andrews’ candidacy merits careful consideration and encourages voters to research his website for more specifics on his policy ideas.

 

Ron Hanks

 

Mr. Ron Hanks, a longtime resident of the Eastern Slope, claims to have established residency in Grand Junction following the decision of Ms. Lauren Boebert to abandon CD3 for a more politically hospitable district on the Front Range. Mr. Hanks stated that there are thousands of enemy forces now in the U.S. coming through illegal immigration. Mr. Hanks rejects the results of the 2020 election and intimates that Colorado election laws enable election fraud. He introduced legislation in Colorado to eliminate mail ballots and advocates that voting be done in person on election day only. Mr. Hanks was present in Washington during the January 6, 2021, attacks on the US Capitol. RTB deems Mr. Hanks to be an extremist and opposes his candidacy.

 

Jeff Hurd

Mr. Jeff Hurd, a native of Grand Junction where he has practiced law for many years, has earned a reputation as a capable and respected lawyer. He has been very engaged in civic and professional organizations. Mr. Hurd professes a desire to unite Republicans across the political spectrum. His top concerns for CD3 are: Border security, jobs, working families, energy, water, and agriculture. Specific ways in which he would address these issues are not apparent. He supports providing aid to Ukraine. Mr. Hurd declined to participate in our survey and has not signed the RTB pledge. Mr. Hurd participated in a candidate forum to a group of 100 attendees at Colorado Mesa University where we had a chance to assess his responses. We are disappointed that Mr. Hurd declined to participate in our questionnaire and thus declined the opportunity to share his thoughts with our members. RTB believes that Mr. Hurd would represent CD3 well. However, we encourage voters to research his policy positions.

Curtis McCrackin

 

Mr. Curtis McCrackin completed the RTB questionnaire. His answers were a model of candor. In some instances, we would have appreciated more elaboration in his responses. Mr. McCrackin signed the RTB pledge and believes that the 2020 election results are legitimate. He states that Colorado election laws have appropriate checks and balances and provide fair results. Mr. McCrackin states that inflation, education, and division, lack of transparency/trust are key issues facing CD3. Additionally, he indicates that tax reform, energy and water are also relevant issues for CD3. Mr. McCrackin supports providing aid to Ukraine. RTB believes that Mr. McCrackin would represent CD3 in an honorable manner. We encourage voters to research his policy positions.

 

Stephen Valera

 

Mr. Stephen Valera is a resident of Pueblo County. He identifies himself as a “Freedom Fighter” and common-sense conservative. In 2022, Mr. Valera lost in a close election for the State Board of Education from Colorado’s 3rd Senate District. He was later appointed to the State Board of Education in January 2023 to fill a vacancy. He was previously board president of the Chavez Huerta Prep Academy, a charter school in Pueblo. He served in the military, including two deployments in Iraq. He states clearly that he supports Donald Trump’s freedom agenda: Fix the boarder mess, lower the cost of living, create more American jobs. He favors building the wall, reforming asylum laws, punishing sanctuary communities and hiring more immigration judges. He supports a balanced budget amendment, more school choice, including charter schools and ending the woke agenda. He will defend the 2nd Amendment and is 100% pro-life. Because Mr. Valera refused to respond to RTB’s questionnaire, we were unable to learn his perspective on such matters as bipartisan cooperation, the events in Washington on January 6, 2021, or Restore the Balance’s seven principles of political discourse and conduct. Based only on Mr. Valera’s public statements and his own campaign materials, RTB expresses strong reservations about his candidacy for CD3.

 

Lew Webb

Mr. Lew Webb is a resident of La Plata County. Mr. Webb feels the rural conservative values of the area are slipping away. He states he is a common-sense patriot. Mr. Webb has built and supports a mountain retreat that serves missionaries, struggling pastors and church groups. Mr. Webb lists several policy concepts on his website including Building the Wall, and Keeping Families Safe. Mr. Webb is featured in an Our American Century video, in which he states he stands with former President Trump. Because Mr. Webb has refused to respond to RTB’s questionnaire we were unable to learn his perspective on such matters as bipartisan cooperation, the events in Washington on January 6, 2021, or RTB’s seven principles of political discourse and conduct. Based only on Mr. Webb’s public statements and his own campaign materials, RTB expresses strong reservations about his candidacy for CD3.

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