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Our View: Primary elections

Saturday, Jun 4, 2022 5:00 AM

Primary elections are a starting line. We want candidates who work closer to the center - at least sometimes across the aisle - not at the extremes. No fringe politics for the base. We realize a lot can happen between the primaries and the general election in November. What we hope for are races that include thoughtfulness, civility and reasonable ideas. For now, we offer some high - and low - points along with our endorsements.

- Editorial board

Democratic Party

Congressional District 3

Congressional District 3 is the only contested race on the Democratic primary ballot and that individual would challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert or state Sen. Don Coram in November.

* Soledad Sandoval Tafoya is a social worker, community organizer and activist in Pueblo. Tafoya is the daughter of immigrants and a CSU Pueblo graduate, the first in her family to attend college. She has advocated to improve schools, for those with lower incomes and veterans.

* Alex Walker has an engineering degree and lives in Avon, which is no longer in District 3. Walker would remove judges and politicians from decision-making on abortion, which he believes is between women and their doctors. His to-do list includes voting rights, health care and green jobs.

* Adam Frisch owns a residential design and building firm, is a former Aspen city councilor and member of the city’s financial review board. Frisch has a substitute teacher’s license, has worked to increase housing and pass a sales tax to benefit schools.

* Our Pick: Frisch for his business experience and civic participation. His breadth of accomplishments give a sense of maturity.

Republican Party

U.S. Senate

The winner will challenge U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet.

* State Rep. Ron Hanks is a U.S. Air Force veteran who held intelligence and anti-drug positions. Hank’s in his first term as and lives in Canon City. Hanks believes an emphasis on climate change is a Democratic effort to set controlling policies and that the 2020 election was stolen. He attended the rally that preceded the insurrection at the Capitol and is an ally of Tina Peters.

* Joe O’Dea is a large projects construction executive and events venue owner. O’Dea was born in Denver and left CSU to start his own company. O’Dea supports abortion that includes parental notification and would not be taxpayer-funded. Yes, humans contribute to global warming, he says. He does not believe the 2020 presidential election was stolen. O’Dea has support from well-known Colorado Republicans, including former senators Ben Campbell in Ignacio and Hank Brown.

Our Pick: Joe O’Dea is an easy choice.


The winner will have a tough time beating Gov. Jared Polis with his proven practical record.

* Greg Lopez has much experience as former Parker mayor, city manager, state director of the Small Business Administration and president of the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Lopez is an Air Force veteran and owned a public relations firm. He would emphasize training teachers in weapons use and put abortion on the state ballot. To increase rural influence in state politics, he’d do away with “one person-one vote” and give counties representatives, from three to 11, based on voter turnout. Small rural, Republican counties would score high in that scheme, which would surely attract Supreme Court attention.

* CU regent Heidi Ganahl. Ganahl has created advocacy nonprofits and is a strong proponent of school choice, saying funding should follow parents. She would work to make Colorado more affordable. Rather than return TABOR refunds to taxpayers, Ganahl would use them to reduce income tax rates. She’d also lower the state gasoline tax with proceeds from a stronger state economy, especially energy development. She opposes abortion with exceptions for health, rape and incest. Ganahl would also establish school building safety criteria and accountability.

Our Pick: Heidi Ganahl for her innovative spirit.

Secretary of State

Winner will face incumbent Jena Griswold.

* Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters received the top line from the party assembly. Peters is well-known for secretly entering her own office with an accomplice to analyze 2020 election results and for her association with election deniers. Peters has been indicted and she is barred from overseeing this election. In no way should Peters lead Colorado’s election procedures.

* Mike O’Donnell has led business development funding organizations in Kansas and Colorado, following his arrival in the U.S. in 2000. He is Australian-born and university-educated. O’Donnell would clean up Colorado’s voting lists, which he claims include non-citizens and those underage. He’d reinstate business fees rather than general tax revenues to support the secretary of state’s office.

* Pam Anderson spent eight years as Jefferson County’s clerk with 110 employees. Anderson was president of the state clerks’ association when the Legislature passed reforms that gave Colorado its reputation for thorough, transparent and well-run elections. Anderson serves on several civic boards and has clearly made good election management a priority. She has a master’s in public administration.

Our Pick: Pam Anderson ought to be the Republican choice.

The Congressional District 3 race between U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert and state Sen. Don Coram is significant. This race needs more space than we can give here. Watch online and for Wednesday’s print edition for our endorsement.

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