2018 Voting Guide for Colorado Dentists

Kelsey Creehan Featured News

From the Fall 2018 Journal of the Colorado Dental Association

Colorado Dentists at the Polls

The 2018 election is critical for dentistry, as you will be electing the federal and state senators and representatives who will decide key issues for dentistry in upcoming years, including important insurance reform, Medicaid and access to dental care issues in Colorado. The 2018 ballot asks your input on the election of both federal and local officials, as well as several possible changes to the state constitution and statutes (laws). Please take time to educate yourself on this year’s candidates and ballot issues.

Dentists can have a big impact on elections, both through your participation as an active voter and your role as a trusted influencer in your community. Your participation as a voter is noticed and plays a crucial role in dentistry’s overall political influence.

Ballots will be mailed to all Colorado voters starting Oct. 15, and the deadline for submitting your 2018 ballot will be here before you know it – on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Please be sure to do your part and vote!

Voting ChecklistTimeline
qCheck to be sure your voter registration is up to date at govotecolorado.comAs soon as possible and by Oct. 29
qReceive your ballot by mailWeek of Oct. 15-19 (last date to register for a ballot by mail is Oct. 29)
qReview this guide for dental voters 
qMail or drop your ballot at a polling locationStarting Oct. 22 and no later than Nov. 6

CODPAC Supported Legislative Candidates

In 2018, all candidates running for seats in the state legislature were asked to participate in a dental questionnaire and interview process as a prerequisite to receiving Colorado Dental Political Action Committee (CODPAC) or Colorado Dental Small Donor Committee (CDSDC) funding. This process helps to educate candidates on dental issues and ensure that dentistry’s political dollars are wisely invested with candidates who are well aligned with dentistry. Key issues addressed in the 2018 process included improving access to dental care in our state, care options for seniors and school dental screenings. If a candidate chose not to participate in the questionnaire and interview process, they were not considered for an endorsement or contribution.

CODPAC support was given to candidates who demonstrated a good understanding of key dental issues. Support was given in amounts up to $350. CODPAC endorsements (indicated in bold type) were given only to dentistry’s best legislative supporters. An endorsement included contributing maximum CODPAC dollars ($400), publishing the candidate’s name to the CDA membership and engaging local dentists in fundraising and volunteer efforts for the candidate. CDSDC funds (indicated with a *) were only given to legislators who went above and beyond and are dentistry’s best champions. A small donor committee may give a candidate 10 times more than a regular political action committee, like CODPAC. CDSDC reserves these elite dollars for legislators who have a proven dental record, typically legislators who have sponsored key dental bills and exceptionally supported several dental issues over an extended period.

After completing the candidate evaluation process for 2018, CODPAC contributed approximately $24,000 to support friends of dentistry who are seeking seats in the state legislature. An additional $29,000 was contributed by the small donor committee.

Below is a list of legislators supported by CODPAC for the 2018 election.

Statewide Candidates

State Treasurer: Rep. Dave Young (D, Greeley)

Colorado Springs Vicinity

Rep. Tony Exum (D, H17 – Colorado Springs)
Mary Elizabeth Fabian (R, H18 – Colorado Springs)
Tim Geitner (R, H19 – Falcon)
Dennis Hisey (R, S02 – Fountain)
Rep. Lois Landgraf * (R, H21 – Colorado Springs)
Rep. Larry G. Liston (R, H16 – Colorado Springs)
Former Rep. Kit Roupe (R, H17 – Colorado Springs)
Marc A. Snyder (D, H18 – Colorado Springs)

Denver Metro

Dr. Michael Woods (right) delivers a CODPAC check to Monica Duran (D, H24 – Wheat Ridge

Rep. K.C. Becker (D, H13 – Boulder)
Rep. Susan Beckman (R, H38 – Littleton)
Shannon Bird (D, H35 – Westminster)
Rep. Jeff Bridges (D, H03 – Greenwood Village)
Rep. Janet Buckner * (D, H40 – Aurora)
Yadira Caraveo (D, H31 – Eastlake)
Rep. James Coleman (D, H07 – Denver)
Sen. John Cooke * (R, S13 – Englewood)
Rep. Jessie Danielson (D, S20 – Wheat Ridge)
Monica Duran (D, H24 – Wheat Ridge)
Julie Gonzales (D, S34 – Denver)
Rep. Matt Gray * (D, H33 – Broomfield)
Rep. Chris Hansen * (D, H06 – Denver)
Sen. Chris Holbert * (R, S30 – Parker)
Rep. Edie Hooton (D, H10 – Boulder)
Rep. Dominique Jackson (D, H42 – Aurora)
Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet (D, H30 – Commerce City)
Rep. Chris Kennedy * (D, H23 – Lakewood)
Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp (D, H29 – Arvada)
Colin Larson * (R, H22 – Littleton)
Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik (R, S24 – Thornton)
Kyle Mullica (D, H34 – Northglenn)
Rep. Toren Mushovic (R, H03 – Greenwood Village)
Sen. Tim Neville (R, S16 – Littleton)
Rep. Brittany Pettersen * (D, S22 – Lakewood)
Kerry Tipper (D, H28 – Lakewood)
Alex Valdez (D, H05 – Denver)
Rep. Kevin Van Winkle (R, H43 – Highlands Ranch)
Rep. Mike Weissman (D, H36 – Aurora)
Rep. Faith Winter (D, S24 – Westminster)
Rep. Cole Wist (R, H37 – Centennial)

Dr. George Gatseos (right) delivers a CODPAC check to Sen. Ray Scott (R, SD7-Grand Junction).

Northern Colorado

Rep. Jeni Arndt (D, H53 – Fort Collins)
Rep. Perry L. Buck * (R, H49 – Windsor)
Rochelle Galindo (D, H50 – Greeley)
Rep. Joann Ginal * (D, H52 – Fort Collins)
Sonya Jaquez Lewis (D, H12 – Longmont)
Rep. Hugh McKean (R, H51 – Fort Lupton)
Rep. Jonathan Singer * (D, H11 – Longmont)
Rob Woodward (R, S15 – Loveland)

Southern Colorado

Bri Buentello (D, H47 – Pueblo)
Rep. Daneya Esgar (D, H46 – Pueblo)
Leroy M. Garcia (D, S03 – Pueblo)

Western Colorado

Sen. Don Coram (R, S06 – Montrose)
Sen. Kerry Donovan (D, S05 – Vail)
Julie McCluskie (D, H61 – Dillon)
Rep. Barbara McLachlan (D, H59 – Durango)
Rep. Bob Rankin * (R, H57 – Carbondale)
Janice Rich (R, H55 – Grand Junction)
Rep. Dylan Roberts (D, H26 – Eagle)
Sen. Ray Scott (R, S07 – Grand Junction)
Matt Soper (R, H54 – Delta)

Please note that every attempt is made to maintain bipartisan balance in CODPAC and CDSDC endorsements and giving. In 2018, CDSDC balanced both the number and dollar amount of candidate contributions to both political parties. However, CODPAC funding and endorsements reflect a slight party imbalance given candidate participation in this year’s CODPAC process, despite repeated outreach. We always strive to improve this balance in participation.

Statewide Ballot Initiatives

Colorado’s statewide ballot initiatives do not appear to have direct impacts for dentistry in 2018. The statewide ballot measures address such issues as legislator qualifications and fundraising, redistricting processes, funding for schools and transportation, payday loans, and setbacks for oil and gas developments. Some of the proposals, such as those with impacts on taxes and infrastructure, may have indirect impacts for dentistry regarding the state’s economic stability and business development environment. Complete non-partisan information on statewide ballot initiatives, including the full text of each proposal, can be accessed at https://leg.colorado.gov/content/initiatives/initiatives-blue-book-overview/ballot-information-booklet-blue-book.  

Local Initiatives and Candidates

Your ballot will likely ask you to vote on several additional local candidates and issues. The CDA does not typically review or take positions on any regional measures, but we encourage you to evaluate local candidates and proposals with the following in mind:

  • How will the candidate or initiative impact health and dental care specifically, if known? What input do local health groups have on the candidate or initiative?
  • What impact will the candidate or initiative have on small businesses? What input do local business groups have on the candidate or initiative?
  • Does the candidate or initiative work to advance better long-term outcomes for our state?
  • Does a candidate have any current or past ties to dental care or healthcare? Does a candidate have any stated positions on any issues of interest or concern to dentists?

Don’t Forget

Cast your ballot by Nov. 6 and support CODPAC and the key legislators who are champions of dentistry. You can give to CODPAC and CDSDC either through your upcoming year-end dues statement, or online at cdaonline.org/influence. We also encourage you to support the campaigns of local CODPAC endorsed candidates – either financially or through volunteer time. Volunteer and donation information for most candidates are easily found through an internet search, or the CDA is happy to provide this information. The success of dentistry depends on the involvement of our dedicated members. Be sure to add your support today!