CO Legislative Winners — And Losers — For Women and Children.

Every year, a coalition of non-profits in CO that work for the rights of women and children under the umbrella of the “Colorado Women’s Lobby”, rank our CO State legislators on their votes. Not surprisingly, many of the 17 Senators and 36 Representatives who received a 100% rating have the same letter after their name.

Congratulations to the 2014 legislators who scored 100 percent on the Women’s Lobby scorecard for their work to help women and children: Senators Irene Aguilar, Morgan Carroll, Lucia Guzman, Rollie Heath, Mary Hodge, Cheri Jahn, Mike Johnston, Matt Jones, John Kefalas, Andy Kerr, Linda Newell, Jeanne Nicholson, Gail Schwartz, Lois Tochtrop, Nancy Todd, Jessie Ulibarri, and Rachel Zenzinger (Pat Steadman came in close at 91).

On the House side, superstars for women and children are: Representatives Kc Becker, John Buckner, Lois Court, Crisanta Duran, Tony Exum Sr., Mark Ferrandino, Rhonda Fields, Mike Foote, Leroy M. Garcia, Joann Ginal, Millie Hamner, Dickie Lee Hullinghorst, Daniel Kagan, Tracy Kraft-Tharp, Jeanne Nicholson, Steve Lebsock, S. Lee, Jenise May, Beth McCann, M McLachlan, Jovan Melton, D. Mitsch Bush, Dominick Moreno, Dan Pabon, Cherylin Peniston, Brittany Pettersen, Diana Primavera, Paul Rosenthal, Su Ryden, Joseph Salazar, Sue Schafer, Jonathan Singer, Max Tyler, Edward Vigil, Angela Williams, and Dave Young.

My state Representative, Spencer Swalm, scored a whopping 18, tying with Senator Vicki Marble and Rep. Steve Humphrey for the lowest score this year. Term limited Swalm’s District 37 was redrawn in 2012, merging half of districts 37 and 39. It now includes most of the City of Centennial, with some portions of unincorporated Arapahoe County with Aurora mailing addresses (where I live). In 2006, Democratic candidate Angel Engel nearly beat Swalm with 49% of the vote, and subsequent candidates with very low name ID and little time to campaign, brought the DPI down to its current 46%. The two candidates running to fill Swalm’s open seat on the Republican side are Michael Fields, a very young man who identifies on the extreme far right and is not afraid to say so, and Jack Tate, a businessman from Centennial who lost to Democrat CJ Whelan for City Council last year.

On the Democratic side (and yes, Republicans, I do say “Democratic” not “Democrat”) there is a brand new candidate who was chosen by a vacancy committee after caucus (the only Dem running until that point dropped out at caucus due to personal reasons), and who started campaigning for the State House only after winning re-election to the local Fire Dept. Board on May 6th. I’m hoping CO Pols’ readers might recognize the name and invest in a promising new candidate. Here’s to adding another “100% Winner” on the Colorado Women’s Lobby’s roster in 2015 — this time from District 37!
Nancy Cronk for Colorado

About nancycronk

Nancy Cronk is a longtime community activist and women's leader living in Arapahoe County. Six months before the historic "red sweep" election of 2014, she was recruited to run as a "placeholder" in HD37, and managed to bring in 40K from 500 small donors, and 42% of the vote -- just one point lower than the previous candidate who ran in a presidential year.

4 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. mamajama55 says:

    Honk for Cronk!

    Truly, I'm very excited for your candidacy.

    Thanks for the legislator rankings on women and children's issues. Would you post a link to the rankings? I'm sure some former Senators would be rather high on that rank, and their current replacements pretty low.

  2. exlurker19 says:

    Double WOOT!!! I'm in your district!!!!

  3. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    I'm with Mama Jama in wanting to get a link to see what the rankings are; and the votes that were tabulated to create the rankings. Personally, I often take a dim view of these vote rankings since they can be easily manipulated to obtain desired results. And I say that while realizing that, over the years, I was a strong supporter of Colorado Conservation Voters and their rankings.

    I visited the web sites of the two Republican candidates in District 37. Mr. Tate doesn't say much about where he stands on the issues. I did note he is a supporter of the 1st Amendment, along with the 2nd, which may be a good sign.

    I wouldn't call Mr. Fields a candidate "who identifies on the extreme far right" unless I was so far to the left that anything right-of-center looks extreme. Some of his positions appear reasonable. But Mr. Fields seems a "bit confused" about the US Constitution. He supports the 2nd amendment, but then says he is "pro-life" (quotes are mine). When I hear someone calling themselves pro-life, that often tells me they may not be a supporter of the 1st Amendment's prohibition on establishment of religion.

    Regards,   C.H.B. 

  4. nancycronk says:

    CHB, your points are well-taken. Both men are members of my community and I am careful not to disparage them as people. Their policies are decidedly far right, in my opinion — Mr. Fields on social issues, and Mr. Tate on fiscal issues. I especially applaud Mr. Fields for getting into politics at such a young age. As my friends here know, I've done a lot of mentoring of young people over the last two decades, and have encouraged many of them to run for office. I think what he is doing is terrific.

    It is my assertion the residents of Centennial, and the surrounding neighborhoods in unincorporated Arapahoe County, are fiscally moderate (they are willing to pay for high-quality public safety and public schools, for example) and socially reasonable. I've been a member of the community for 23 years as a person of faith and mostly stay at home mom raising kids, married to my college sweetheart. Despite my strong publicly-stated opinions on women's reproductive freedoms, marriage equality, and caring about the environment we live in, when I knock on doors in the area, I find the vast majority of voters I talk to are very similar to me and my family in ideology. We strongly support Cherry Creek schools and the teachers who work for them, we are willing to pay just enough (but not more) in taxes for world-class services for the Fire District and other services, and we want our kids to have top-notch sports fields and recreational opportunities to help them develop their full potentials.

    Party affiliation out in the suburbs dissipates when you talk to people about issues that are important to their families — our families. We all want the same great opportunties for our kids.

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