Dickey Lee Hullinghorst—Democrat
Making progress: Dickey Lee Hullinghorst is convinced that progressive politics are the solution to the state’s problems. “The Democrats … really have a sense that there are things government can do to help,” she says, adding that it’s important for Democrats to gain a majority in the Capitol. “My concept of progressive government is providing services for the common good,” she says.
Her issues: Providing for well-financed public education, including raising taxes to do so; passing a civil union law; providing college tuition assistance to children of illegal immigrants; and working on environmental issues, such as supporting renewable energy (which she says will have the added benefit of creating new jobs).
Taxes: Hullinghorst is also interested in tax reform, particularly to enterprise zones and tax-increment financing, which she says is unfairly tilted in favor of special interests.
Here’s a curveball: Bill Eckert is a self-described small-government conservative Republican who is also a vegetarian/vegan who believes in hard science over emotion when considering such things as fracking and climate change and who supports the idea of civil unions. A former 34-year employee of Proctor & Gamble in New York, Eckert moved to Colorado in 1998 and is active in the Rotary Club and political circles. “I’m not one that’s going to go by feel-good emotional responses to things,” he says. “I want to be convinced about what’s going on.”
Reason for running: “I’m concerned about Colorado and the issues facing Colorado and how we’re going to solve them,” he says. He’s particularly concerned about the economy and says the state faces hard choices in the months and years ahead. He believes all aspects of government should be examined with an eye toward cutting spending but notes that he’s not in favor of further cuts to education. He adds that he’s not too impressed with the current crop of politicians—whether they’re Republicans, Democrats or independents. “We’re in a fiscal crunch right now, and we need the right people who’ve had experience to make the right decisions,” he says.
YS Endorsement: D.L. Hullinghorst
We were tempted to go Republican in this race because Eckert is such an iconoclastic GOP candidate that he could well provide a needed independent spirit that is usually so lacking in politics, but Hullinghorst has incumbent credentials that we believe will be very important in the coming session. Her progressive politics provided important ballast to the more conservative members of the General Assembly and they serve her district well.