Candidate Survey Results - September 2022

Updated: Oct 31

Restore the Balance Candidate Questionnaire

Report to Western Colorado Voters

September 13, 2022


Background:

Restore the Balance, as part of our mission to educate Western Colorado voters about the danger of political extremism, developed candidate questionnaires for candidates running for contested offices in the 3rd Congressional District, State legislature, and Mesa County offices.

The scoring, ratings, and endorsements included in this report were determined by the Board of Directors of Restore the Balance, a 501 (c)(4) non-profit corporation . The board members are: Tim Sarmo, Chairman; Bernie Buescher, Secretary; Norma West, Treasurer; Thea Chase; Dennis Kirtland; Steve Mandell; George Orbanek; and Kirk Rider.

On Wednesday, August 17th candidate questionnaires were sent, via certified mail, to fifteen candidates. On August 30, two additional questionnaires were sent to candidates seeking Colorado HD 58.


The following candidates received surveys:

  • U.S. Congressional Representative, Third District: Boebert (R), Frisch (D)

  • Colorado State Senate, District 7: Rich (R), Stahlke (D)

  • Colorado House District 54: Soper (R), Slaven-Emond (D)

  • Colorado House District 55: Taggart (R), Davis (D)

  • Colorado House District 58: Catlin (R), Kuns (D)

  • Mesa County Clerk & Recorder: Gross (R), Waldon (D), Ballard (L)

  • Mesa County Commissioner: Daniel (R), Pink (D)

  • Mesa County Coroner: Havlik (R), Johnson (D)


Candidates were given a deadline of September 13 to respond. They were told their completed questionnaires would be shared with the 2,400 Restore the Balance members, and the media to help citizens make the best decision about whom to support.

Each candidate’s survey responses are posted on the RTB website (below).

Fifteen of the seventeen candidates returned completed surveys.

Matt Soper (R), HD 54 and Marc Catlin (R), HD 58 did not return the survey despite reminders sent to each candidate on 8/30, 9/7 and 9/12.


Candidates were ranked in four categories, using a 6-point scale.

The categories, which were weighted, were:

• Supporting Restore the Balance’s Seven Principles (40%)

• Putting the Public Interest Ahead of Their Party’s Interest (20%)

• Qualified to Serve in the Office He/She Was Seeking (20%)

• Grasp of Issues Facing Western Colorado (20%)


The average scoring was tabulated, and the weighted average scores were assigned to each category for each candidate who responded to the survey. The weighted scores were then translated to a 100 point scale. Candidates who achieved an overall score of 85 or greater were endorsed by Restore the Balance.

As shown on the separately attached Candidate Scoring Rubric, of the fifteen candidates that responded to the survey four were Endorsed, ten were Not Endorsed but Acceptable, and one candidate was deemed to be Not Endorsed and Unacceptable.

The two candidates who did not respond to the survey received a 0 score.


Restore the Balance Endorsements (Scored 85 or above)


• Adam Frisch (D) U.S. House, Colorado Third Congressional District

• Keven Kuns, (D), Colorado House District 58

• Bobbie Gross (R), Mesa County Clerk and Recorder

• Dean Havlik (R), Mesa County Coroner 3rd Congressional District


Scores: Adam Frisch (D) 86; Lauren Boebert (R), 27

In the contest for U.S. Representative of the Third Congressional District, Restore the Balance endorses Adam Frisch. He understands the threat posed by political extremism, acknowledging extremism exists on both the left and the right, and endorsed the RTB pledge early on.

He has differences with his party on energy policy. Recognizing the need to transfer to green energy will take time, Frisch advocates for capitalizing on Colorado’s ability to generate clean energy rather than importing it from foreign countries. Frisch disagrees with the Biden student loan repayment policy. He has a solid plan for addressing inflation.


Colorado House District 58

Scores: Kevin Kuns (D), 87; Marc Catlin, (R), 0 - Did not complete the survey.

In the contest for Colorado House District 58, Restore the Balance endorses Kevin Kuns. He demonstrates a strong understanding of the threat posed by political extremism. He cites specific (and successful) examples of working with Republicans to solve problems. He delivers a strong analysis and a pragmatic approach to the issues of public education, mental health, and teen suicide.


Mesa County Clerk and Recorder

Scores: Bobbie Gross (R), 94, Jeff Waldon (D), 78, Robert Ballard (L), 70

In the contest for Mesa County Clerk and Recorder, Restore the Balance endorses Bobbie Gross. Her work in the Clerk and Recorder's office for the last fourteen years gives her a superior knowledge of how the office should function and an in-depth understanding of where improvements must be made. She takes personal responsibility for restoring trust in the office.

As a nationally certified election administrator she says she has seen nothing that would call into question the results of the 2020 presidential election in Colorado. Her plans to reduce staff turnover, implement the County’s strategic plan through cross-training staff, and expanding service in the motor vehicle office show both a keen grasp of the issues and a practical vision for needed improvements in the office.


Mesa County Coroner

Scores: Dean Havlik (R), 94; Meaghan Johnson (D), 79

In the contest for County Coroner, Restore the Balance endorses Dean Havlik (R). His endorsement of the seven RTB principles showed clearly how these principles affect the functioning of the Coroner’s office. As a forensic pathologist, his responses to the survey show a solid grasp of the issues facing the Coroner’s office. His plans to make the office work more effectively by bringing forensic work back to the County instead of contracting out will save time and money.

In 2021 Havlik was named “Professional of the Year,” by District Attorney Dan Rubinstein; While Mesa County Coroner in 2017, Mesa County was one of only 79 counties in the U.S. to receive accreditation of the National Association of Medical Examiners.


Not Endorsed, but Acceptable


Colorado State Senate, District 7

• Janice Rich (R) 70

• David Stahlke (D) 53


Janice Rich’s Legislative record is impressive. Her work with Democrats in co-sponsoring important pieces of legislation has made Colorado a better place to live and work. However, Rich did not endorse the seven principles, saying she does not endorse principles of any “special interest group.”


David Stahlke endorsed most of the seven principles, but on some issues felt there were only two sides, right or wrong. He does not see the possibility of finding common ground without abandoning principle. His grasp of the issues facing Western Colorado and his proposed solutions were considerably weaker than Rich’s.


Colorado House, District 54

Matt Soper (R) 0 - Did not complete the survey.

AliceMarie Slaven-Emond (D) 54


As noted above, Matt Soper did not return a completed survey.


AliceMarie Slaven-Emond is a passionate advocate for rural issues, but her communication lacks cohesion.


Colorado House, District 55

Rick Taggart (R) 73

Damon Davis (D) 84

Rick Taggart’s experience in the Grand Junction City Council provides strong evidence of his qualifications and his ability to work across party lines for the public. He was an early adopter of the Restore the Balance pledge.

His answers to many of the questions are tentative, political and timid, calling into question his willingness to stand up to political extremism.


Damon Davis was a strong supporter of the Restore the Balance principles. His thorough and well thought out responses demonstrate his commitment to putting public interest ahead of party interest.


Mesa County Commissioner

Bobbie Daniel (R) 70

Charles Pink (D) 71


Bobbie Daniel addressed each individual Restore the Balance principle with a thoughtfulness that avoids cliché, though sometimes her answers were too long. Her belief in voting on single-issue bills forces legislators to vote up or down and will make the legislative process more transparent to voters. She has an impressive background with the skills and experience to qualify her for office. On the question of how she would make the office more effective, she used 271 words without even directly answering the question.


Charles Pink’s ideas about improving the county budget were substantive. However, his endorsement of RTB’s seven principles was weak and confusing and his only objection to current county board policy was over allowing marijuana.


Not endorsed and Unacceptable


Lauren Boebert: Score 27

Restore the Balance is a non-partisan organization formed almost one year ago to oppose extremism in all its forms, across the political spectrum from left to right.

Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, in her well-publicized calls to tear down the constitutional wall between church and state, to her support for the January 6 Capitol Hill insurrection, to her clearly articulated answers to a Restore the Balance candidate questionnaire, fuels the forces of extremism. Her two years in Congress are distinguished solely by opposing the principles under which this organization was founded.

Restore the Balance cannot support her candidacy for another term.




2022-09 23 Candidate Survey Report
.pdf
Download PDF • 5.06MB

  • U.S. Congressional Representative, Third District: Boebert (R), Frisch (D)

Boebert, L (CD3)
.pdf
Download PDF • 204KB
FRISCH, Adam (CD3)
.pdf
Download PDF • 260KB



  • Colorado State Senate, District 7: Rich (R), Stahlke (D)

Rich, J (Colorado Senate District 7)
.pdf
Download PDF • 2.83MB
Stahlke, D (CSSenate7)
.pdf
Download PDF • 60KB



  • Colorado House District 54: Soper (R), Slaven-Emond (D)

Slaven-Emond HD54
.pdf
Download PDF • 68KB



  • Colorado House District 55: Taggart (R), Davis (D)

Taggart, R (R) House District 55
.pdf
Download PDF • 60KB
Davis, D (D) HouseDist55
.pdf
Download PDF • 66KB



  • Colorado House District 58: Catlin (R), Kuns (D)

Kuns, K (D) HD 58
.pdf
Download PDF • 78KB



  • Mesa County Clerk & Recorder: Gross (R), Waldon (D), Ballard (L)

Gross, B (R) Mesa County Clerk and Recorder
.pdf
Download PDF • 69KB
Waldon, J (D) Mesa County Clerk and Recorder
.pdf
Download PDF • 63KB
Ballard, R Clerk and Recorder
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Download PDF • 32KB


  • Mesa County Commissioner: Daniel (R), Pink (D)

Daniel, B (R)County Commissioner
.pdf
Download PDF • 198KB
Pink, C (D), County Commissioner
.pdf
Download PDF • 78KB


  • Mesa County Coroner: Havlik (R), Johnson (D)

Havlik, D (R) Mesa County Coroner
.pdf
Download PDF • 86KB
Johnson, Mesa County Coroner
.pdf
Download PDF • 34KB


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