Brophy visits Glenwood Springs on final leg of gubernatorial announcement tour
Post Independent Intern
After announcing his 2014 gubernatorial campaign Sunday evening, Colorado state Sen. Greg Brophy is now in the home stretch of his statewide announcement tour after making stops in Rifle, Palisade and Glenwood Springs on Tuesday.
The tour, which originated in Parker and then traveled through Pueblo and Aspen on Monday, wraps up with Brophy’s visits to Colorado Springs and Loveland today.
With the election date still 16 months away, the Republican senator, 46, said he wants to get his name out early because of his self-described status as an underdog in a race already including U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo and likely Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler.
Brophy is a fourth-generation Coloradan from Wray, located in the northeastern plains, where he farms the land his grandmother staked as her homestead decades ago. He said his background as a farmer helped prepare him for a life in politics.
“It’s a common sense perspective, an understanding of priorities,” Brophy said. “Agriculture is not dissimilar to government. If you don’t do all the little things right and on time, if you get distracted by fringe issues, then you won’t be successful.”
Brophy first entered politics as a member of the state House of Representatives in 2002, where he served three years before his appointment to the Colorado Senate by then-Gov. Bill Owens in 2005. He was re-elected in 2006 and 2010 to serve Senate District 1, which encompasses 11 counties in northeastern Colorado.
“In December, I was planning to exit gracefully from elected politics at end of my term and go back to a civilian life,” Brophy said. “But by the end of February, it was clear this state needed a leader with Colorado values, who listens to the people of Colorado.”
Although he identifies as a conservative, Brophy said it’s hard to categorize his politics.
“Because of my interests, it’s hard to put me in a box,” Brophy said. “Obviously I’m a strong advocate of the Second Amendment, and I’m opposed to all tax increases, and I think the government needs to be limited in its role.”
However, Brophy added, he was one of only three senators to cross the party line and vote in favor of in-state tuition rates for students in the country illegally.
“If they have the aptitude to go to college, they should be allowed to go to college,” he said. “I don’t want them to be permanently impoverished.”
One of Brophy’s major goals, if elected, will be to repeal the recent gun control laws passed in Colorado, which limit the size of ammunition magazines and require universal background checks on gun sales. He described the first measure as “extreme” and the latter as “inconvenient” and “beyond ridiculous.”
“Neither one of [the laws] increased the safety of Coloradans; all they did was infringe upon law-abiding citizens’ rights — rights that we’ve had for a long time,” Brophy said.
Looking ahead, he described the biggest issue facing Colorado as “how divided we are as a society,” referencing recent recalls and the secessionist movement in northeastern Colorado, where 10 counties are pushing to form a 51st state, North Colorado, so their voices can be heard.
“Those are my counties,” Brophy said. “It’s so understandable, because they feel like their governor didn’t listen to them. But I want to bring the whole state back together.”
Brophy added that the way to address a divided Colorado is to “be the person they can trust, who actually listens to them and runs a no-drama state government.”
Several other hot topics in Colorado politics include a November ballot measure to increase income taxes to bolster public education funding, as well as whether to expand drilling for oil and natural gas.
Brophy said he is “adamantly opposed” to the tax increase, saying the way to improve education is to eliminate waiting lists at charter and magnet schools. In terms of the oil and gas industry, he said development is key.
“If you want to have money for education, transportation and public safety, developing your natural resources is critically important,” he said.
Discussing his qualifications for the position, Brophy touted his 11 years in state government, explaining that the experience would allow him to begin the job fully on day one.
“I know what’s important, how it works and why it works,” Brophy said. “On top of that, I’m a small businessman and farmer, and I’m a father. I’m a regular Coloradan, who just happens to be deeply experienced in politics and public policy.”
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