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With the election just over a week away, some of the top Colorado Democrats on the ballot made a campaign stop in Salida on Saturday.

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet.

U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, Lt. Governor Diane Primavera, Attorney General Phil Weiser, Secretary of State Jena Griswold, Treasurer Dave Young, District 13  House candidate Julie McCluskie and State Board of Education candidate Kathy Plomer spoke to residents at sunny Riverside Park at noon.

An appreciative crowd of 60 or more gathered around the amphitheater to hear of legislative accomplishments at the national and state level, and Democratic plans for the future.

Sen. Bennet Remarks

Bennet was fresh from a spirited, Friday night televised debate against Republican opponent Joe O’Dea in Ft. Collins.

He was quick to underscore how major efforts by the Biden Administration have helped the country recover from a debilitating pandemic and economic downturn and provide relief to seniors with the high cost of medicines.

Senator Michael Bennet speaks to a crowd at Salida’s Riverside Park on Saturday, Oct. 29. Dan Smith photo.

He also cited the passage of several bipartisan pieces of legislation. These include a massive infrastructure rescue bill, a bipartisan postal reform bill, the first bipartisan gun regulation bill in more than a generation, including expanded mental health services.

It also included a bill to increase semiconductor production in the United States, a veterans healthcare bill, as well as the most significant climate/environmental legislation in modern history.

Bennet pointed out that the one significant bill passed without support from a single Republican was the Inflation Reduction Act, which included capping drug costs for seniors at $2,000 per year and requires Medicare to negotiate drug prices and cap insulin at $35 per month for seniors.

Lt. Governor Diane Primavera speaks at the Get out the Vote stop in Salida’s Riverside Park on Saturday.

He pointed out Republicans removed a provision to cap insulin at $35 for everyone;

“How could you do that? It’s one thing to oppose it, but to go out of your way to do that? he asked.

He also criticized the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade on abortion, saying, “We cannot let the Supreme Court be the last word on a woman’s right to choose.” And he said he was proud of this state already having codified a woman’s right to choose.

Bennet called for an end to what he called the “chaos” of the current GOP, targeting especially the MAGA Republicans still lock-step in fealty to former president Donald Trump, and spoke with Ark Valley Voice about increasing threats and acts of violence in our sharply divided political climate. (see related AVV story)


To listen to the entire “Get Out the Vote Presentation by all elected officials, follow this Link:


Other Top Colorado Democrats Weigh In

State representative Julie McCluskie is running for the Colorado Seventh District Representative seat. Photo by Jan Wondra.

Kathy Plomer, an at-large candidate for the State Board of Education said teachers are some of the best advocates for public education at a time when education is under attack, with conspiracy theories about what’s being taught in classrooms “by outside groups who just want to make sure people are fearful and questioning,” and said teachers and administrators are ensuring students get the education they need for their future.

McCluskie said she’s heard about many of the issues affecting voters in the six-county district, including housing, healthcare and childcare, environmental concerns such as water issues and wildfire prevention and thanked Chaffee County Democrats for having the largest voter turnout in her district.

State Treasurer Dave Young commented that taxpayer funds have been kept safe in his tenure as treasurer and touted a new state program to allow more people to establish a new secure retirement fund for themselves.

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold visits with former Salida Mayor and Chaffee County Commissioner candidate PT Wood at Colorado Democrats “Get Out The Vote” rally in Riverside Park, Oct. 29, 2022. Merrell Bergin photo

He pointed to teacher salaries in Colorado being lower than that of Mississippi, which he blamed on the controversial Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), which he said needs to be replaced “in our constitution with a rational tax policy…”

Secretary of State Jena Griswold touted advances in turnout and voter registration since being elected in 2018, automatic voter registration, and increased voter access to absentee voting during the pandemic.

She said democracy survived the pandemic and a sitting president trying to steal the presidency. But she warned against continued GOP efforts to promote ‘the big lie’ and restrict voter access to the ballot.

“…As long as I’m Secretary of State, I’ll stand against the disinformation, I’ll intervene in counties led by Democrats or Republicans, and I’ll make sure that every eligible voter can have their voice heard,” Griswold said.

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser was among state officeholders visiting Salida on a campaign bus tour Saturday. Dan Smith photo.

Attorney General Phil Weiser focused on efforts to defend people’s rights and fight injustice in a Democratic republic.

He tied democratic ideals to water protection, citing recent efforts to divert San Luis Valley water for growth needs in Douglas County, which he strongly opposed. “How we manage our water says a lot about who we are,” he said,

Lt. Governor Primavera after recognizing local Democratic candidates cited her work under Governor Jared Polis at saving residents money on healthcare costs resulting in lowering of insurance premiums in some markets by double digits and cutting prices for medicines (such as being the first state in the nation to cap the cost of insulin).

She also touted the progressive education efforts by the Polis administration, including the expansion of full-day kindergarten.

A high turnout is expected with early voting already underway.

Featured image: Colorado Democrat Party candidates have traveled via bus on their statewide “Get Out the Vote” tour. After their early Saturday afternoon stop in Salida on Saturday, they traveled on to Pagosa Springs for their next stop. Photo by Jan Wondra.