Candidate: Debra Irvine

Contest: Senate District 8

Affiliation: R

Occupation/City: Self-employed artist, Breckenridge

Debra Irvine is a GOP activist challenging incumben Sen. Bob Rankin of Carbondale in Senate District 8, which includes several mountain communities.

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 to serve.
My family is dedicated to service.
My father fought in WWII, Korea, Vietnam. My mother was honored nationally for her work with Wounded Warrior amputees until she was 92. My late husband served 30 years in the Air Force and was a diplomat. My son is a graduate of the USAF Academy and a proud veteran.
I believe in giving back. I am but one of countless people who do. Since my husband died in 2016, I have presented 4 personal scholarships to Summit HS students, in his honor.
I ran before, for State Representative in blue districts. I ran to be of service and to be a voice. In those races, my Democrat opponent ran on a different platform and our campaign offered voters a choice. I have a unique background which will be an asset to Senate District 8.

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

I cannot offer one issue, as it would devalue an issue of importance to someone; therefore, I offer you some of my concerns.
The stay-at-home, safer-at-home demands of this pandemic have been especially difficult to those suffering from depression, anxiety, abuse, despair. Having been a suicide hotline volunteer, this is a concern of mine. I look forward to learning from, and working with, our communities in the area of mental health.
Financial stress and hardship must be addressed. We can do that by keeping state overspending in check and our Taxpayer Bill of Rights intact as it was designed for that purpose.
I believe in quality education with a focus on accountability and standards. Our children need a strong base for their future. We mustn’t be afraid to challenge them to bring out their greatest assets and potential. I believe in parental rights and choice.
Freedom and personal responsibility are among my principles.

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?

When individuals, families and businesses are financially strapped, they are wise to get back to the basics. That is, they pay for the essentials, first. Our state needs to do the same. Colorado has to have a balanced budget and, because of overspending, decisions are being made that will negatively affect the very people who are having to adjust their own budgets.
Our government has obligatory funding and that should be our base. Additional pet projects and programs may have to take a backseat to core funding requirements.
On the subject of having to cut funding (a result of overspending) my opponent posted his own quote on his campaign page, “We’ve always had extra money and argued about how to spend it.”
His comment is an example why we are in this budget dilemma. We Coloradans can spend our money more responsibly than government can spend our money.

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

It is essential we open up our state as soon as possible, if not immediately. The longer we stay closed, the more businesses will fail. Bear in mind, even when an economy is devastated by a natural disaster, it can take 24 months for businesses to go under. Here we have already seen heartbreaking bankruptcy.
Entrepreneurs and businesses need the opportunity to start up and grow by implementing a basic principle. Unburden them from heavy regulations, give tax breaks, offer low-interest loans, etc.
While encouraging tourists to return, we should be cognizant of the importance of a strong economic community structure. It is far more difficult to provide services if our businesses are not on solid ground. Struggling businesses will be further shaken if inundated with government bureaucracy. We should give businesses the freedom to thrive.

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

Over his 8 years in the legislature, my opponent has strayed from our principles of freedom and limited government.
Contrary to his voting record, I will be the fiscal conservative, honor my oath to the Colorado and US Constitutions, defend the taxpayer, promote a free market, protect our fossil fuel industry and an all-of-the above approach to energy. My opponent and I differ on education. He believes more funding will fix failing proficiency while I believe in quality education, accountability and upholding standards.
My opponent prides himself with the number of bills he has passed. I will be reviewing redundancy, state funding obligations, transparency and see what can be repealed. That doesn’t mean I will not sponsor bills, but, I will consider them responsibly.
I am proud to be the grassroots candidate in this Primary. He has many donations from lobbying groups. My donations are from individuals.