Candidate: Dan Himelspach

Contest: House District 6

Affiliation: D

Occupation/City: attorney, Denver
About:

Dan Himelspach is running in the three-way contest for House District 6, with the winner almost certain to win the general election.

 

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

Why are you running for office?

I am running to restore the voice of our district and make our state government work for
Coloradans again. With over 40 years living in this house district, and growing my family and
small business, I know what it means to lead, how to listen and represent the needs of this
house district and across Colorado’s diverse landscape. I will bring leadership to the Colorado House.
In 1990 I changed my law practice into a dispute resolution firm. I’ve mediated almost 7,000
cases across Colorado and served as lead arbitrator on nearly 100 arbitrations.
Throughout my life I have been committed to public service, volunteering for neighborhood
organizations, working on community projects, and serving in leadership roles with Rotary
International.
As a small business owner, I am committed to ensuring our small businesses thrive and that the workforce which empowers those businesses feel confident in their own family’s future.
 

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

The most important issue facing Colorado today is the damage that has been done to our
budget because of the Trump recession. The cuts that our current laws require will be massive and devastating to young families, teachers, and public service professionals alike.
We will need leadership this House District currently lacks to overcome these massive
community issues . In order to find workable solutions for education funding, tackling climate
change, and supporting our small businesses, we must ensure our leaders serve the interests of the people they have been elected to represent.
Our campaign has pledged not to accept a dime from corporate PACs. That means I will be
beholden to the people of this district -- not corporate donors. I have the life experience and
skill set we need so that we can bring fact-based, progressive solutions to our district.
 

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?

Colorado’s budget is in triage. At a time like this, we most clearly see how TABOR and
Gallagher handcuff our teachers, arts programs, and community healthcare programs, and prevent them from taking steps to lift our state out of recession. I will lead the fight to help
repeal TABOR and Gallagher.
Almost everything is going to experience some form of funding cut. We should minimize the
damage to education. I support preserving the Homestead Tax Exemption for our seniors in
need. Let’s look at cutting the budget for private prisons. Corporations should not be profiting from incarcerations.
At this point it is impossible to address specific dollars to be cut from programs without a
thorough study. Moving forward, we need to think long term about the impacts of budget cuts and ensure citizens have a voice in these cuts through advisory committees.

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

First, we need to ensure that small business relief gets to small businesses and not large
corporations. Additionally, we need to do a more thorough job to ensure that state contracts go to Colorado-built companies.
We should take a serious look at bills designed to improve infrastructure, hopefully with help
from the federal government. Let’s fix our roads and bridges. Let’s make sure high-speed
internet is available everywhere and treated as the utility, not the luxury, that it is. Let’s repair our public schools. These things will put Coloradans to work.
This is the opportunity to address inequity in our community and to generate many desperately needed new jobs.
There is a delicate balance between public health and reviving our economy. We must rely on our public health experts and our financial experts. Governor Polis has been
doing a good job with the pandemic.
 

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

There are three candidates in this race, but voters have 2 choices. Elect me, someone with
proven leadership, community roots, and life experience we need now, or someone who lets
lobbyists and out of state money define their opinions for them.
I grew up on a ranch in Montana where I learned the value of hard work. I served in the Army
and attended law school on the GI bill, which showed me both the value of serving the country and the value of government assistance to empower families out of poverty.
My family and I have lived in HD 6 for over 40 years. Now, more than ever, I recognize the need for Colorado to be a force of equity and empowerment to those overburdened with student debt, an overworked healthcare system, and the dangerous notion that vacancy committees, not the people, have the right to choose their legislators.