Q&A with Chris Kolker, candidate for state Senate District 27


Party: Democrat

Residence: Centennial

Campaign website: www.KolkerforColorado.com

What makes you the best choice for this office?

Over the last three years, I've spoken to thousands of people in my district about their wants and needs, and they align with mine. Constituents want good schools, mental health care coverage, and to be supported in their work and businesses. I have the credentials to be a state senator because I am a former high school history teacher, small-business owner, and certified financial planner (of) nearly 20 years. My experience in finance will guide us through an economic recovery and maintain our values of supporting public education. 

If you're elected, what single issue will be at the top of your agenda?

The top of my agenda is finding creative solutions to financing our underfunded public schools. Our economy will need a leader in the state Senate who is devoted to helping Coloradans recover … while maintaining the value of, and speaking up for, the most vulnerable and affected in our community, (including) children, people with disabilities, people who are aging, and people who have been traditionally underserved from generational poverty and racism. 

If you're elected, what must you accomplish in order for you to consider your term a success?

My term will be a success when I act in the needs of this district and put their interests ahead of my own with honesty and transparency. 

In light of the pandemic's effect on tax revenue, how can the state Senate ensure K-12 and higher education won't experience widespread layoffs and other budget cuts?

Simply put, we cannot. We, as voters, need to repeal TABOR (the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights) in order to ensure widespread layoffs and budget cuts do not affect our public schools. We must focus on putting our money where our mouth is and reemphasize what we value. Next legislative session may require rethinking of how we fund items in our budget, which is my expertise. We will need leaders, like myself, who are ready to think outside the box. 

As the Denver metro area's population continues to grow, what should the state Senate's top transportation priority be?

When it comes to SD 27, we need to prioritize improving the efficiency of our mass transit system by addressing who is being left out from accessing our current public transportation. As a state senator, I can work with the municipalities to plan our district in a cohesive strategy to address the metro-areas needs from a top-down approach.


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