Candidate: Barbara Kirkmeyer

Contest: Senate District 23

Affiliation: R

Occupation/City: Weld County Commissioner, Unincorporated Weld County

Longtime Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer is running for the open Senate District 23 seat in southern Weld, Broomfield and part of Larimer County.

Campaign contributions

The following questions were asked only of 2020 primary candidates. Not all candidates responded.

Why are you running for office?

I am running for State Senator to hold Jared Polis accountable and be a check and balance on his overreaching, overarching liberal agenda. I am ready to challenge him and his liberal allies in the Legislature every step of the way, on day one. I love my state. As a grandmother of six, I want all our children and grandchildren to live in a better Colorado. They deserve it! Better days lie ahead with a strong, conservative leadership.

What Colorado issue is most important to you and how will you address it?

My number one priority is to promote economic freedom, liberty and limited government. I will work to repeal any job killing legislation such as Senate Bill 181 (targeting oil and gas workers), oppose government overreach into private business, defend personal freedoms (for instance, we must repeal the unconstitutional “red flag” bill), promote market-oriented health care reforms instead of government-run health care, and work to make sure government lives within its means. I support getting education dollars to the classroom investing in our students, while promoting choice and opportunity. Weld County is the only debt-free county in the state. Leaving future generations debt free is perhaps my proudest accomplishment. I want to take that track record of fiscal conservatism on the Weld County Commission to Denver and rein in the size and scope of government spending and regulation.

How should the state deal with the budget crisis - be specific in terms of programs and dollars. What should be cut, what should be preserved?

As a county commissioner I have been instrumental in leading Weld County to ZERO debt, no county sales tax and we pay cash for our capital projects. As a Senator, I will lead a coalition of business interests, local governments and key industries to develop strategies to reduce or eliminate red tape and overburdensome regulations and down-size state government by eliminating wasteful spending and special interest programs. This means we must be more efficient with our existing dollars. For example, a smaller and smaller portion of our education dollars are actually getting to the classroom. We are wasting too much money on administrative overhead. Let’s get the dollars to the classroom. And Medicaid costs have been growing at an unsustainable rate, eating up more and more of our budget. We simply must reform Medicaid. The measure of Medicaid’s success should not be how many Coloradans rely upon the program; rather, it should be how few need to use it.

What’s the best way for the state to deal with the unemployment resulting from the coronavirus? Solutions for the future only.

Job one is getting Coloradans back to work. I support President Trump’s efforts to re-open our economy. As a Weld County Commissioner, I challenged Governor Polis’ lock-down orders. Our commission published best practice guidance and choose to rely on the Constitution.

Job two is creating a jobs-friendly business environment. This means repealing Senate Bill 181, the disastrous regulations on our oil and gas workers, and other job-killing regulations; keeping our tax rates low and predictable (I oppose proposals by some Democrats to impose an “emergency” tax); and providing liability reform for Colorado companies and employers from unfair or frivolous COVID-19 based lawsuits.

Describe the most important distinctions between you and your primary opponent.

I am a 4th generation Coloradan with a proven track record of conservative results. As a County Commissioner, I led Weld County to Zero debt and Weld is considered the most “Taxpayer Friendly” County in the Nation. I have the unique experience as a member of Gov Owens’ cabinet of running a state department, overseeing the Colorado Office of Emergency Management and managing Colorado’s response to Hurricane Katrina. I successfully co-owned/operated a small business for 15 years in Fort Collins. I have a strong agricultural background co-owning/operating a dairy farm in southwest Weld for over 15 years and owning farming operations for 27 years. Additionally, I have chaired and been a member of the Statewide Transportation Advisory Committee; the I-25 North Coalition; the Child Welfare Allocation Committee; the Colorado Works Allocation Committee; Gov. Romer’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Transportation and was named one of the top 40 “Women in Energy” in 2015.