Race to June state primaries continues through Glenwood Springs | PostIndependent.com

Race to June state primaries continues through Glenwood Springs

Matthew Bennett
mabennett@postindependent.com

Republican Colorado governor candidate Doug Robinson speaks with members of the public during his meet-and-greet at The Pullman on Wednesday afternoon.

Mitt Romney's nephew, Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Robinson, made a campaign stop in Glenwood Springs Wednesday afternoon at The Pullman.

He was the third candidate in the crowded field of both Republicans and Democrats to pass through Glenwood Springs in less than a week. Democrat Jared Polis and Republican Greg Lopez also made campaign stops in Glenwood over the Memorial Day weekend.

Democrat Mike Johnston also paid a visit to Carbondale in late April, his second visit to the lower Roaring Fork Valley this spring.

With the June 26 primaries rapidly approaching, Robinson, who made the ballot after a district judge ruled in his favor, will face off against fellow Republican candidates Lopez, the former mayor of Parker; former state Rep. Victor Mitchell; and current state Treasurer Walker Stapleton, who was the top choice among Republicans at the state party assembly this spring.

Robinson shared his views on a number of relevant issues.

Minimum wage: Currently, Colorado's minimum wage sits at $10.20 an hour and will increase $0.90 cents every year until it reaches $12 an hour in January of 2020 — a figure Robinson disagrees with.

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"That seems high to me," Robinson said. "There was a recent study in Seattle that showed that as they have raised their minimum wage, actually the take-home pay of a lot of the workers has actually gone down because the employers work them less."

Robinson also believes local communities should not have the authority to set their own minimum wages that would override that of the state's.

"I think that would have a negative impact on growth and opportunities for people working across this state."

Marijuana: While Robinson acknowledges and accepts the legality of recreational and medical marijuana across Colorado, the ways in which the industry has grown over the years concern the Republican.

"When it was legalized they promised us three things: One, that we'd have tax dollars to invest in roads, in schools and other government priorities. Two, that the black market would shrink in size, and three, that we'd keep it out of the hands of our kids and out of the hands of drivers," Robinson said. "We have failed in all of those areas."

"We also have people that are on the medical side of the business that are not paying taxes that should be buying it recreationally and paying those taxes," Robinson explained. "We need more investment in law enforcement to go after those illegal grows."

Evolution, creationism, intelligent design: When asked if, as governor, would he support the teachings of creationism or intelligent design in Colorado's public schools the candidate replied, "I think there's a place for teaching evolution, teaching creationism, teaching intelligent design. Our kids should know what's out there, they should be exposed to all of that." Robinson continued, "Let's present all the facts to our kids. Let them decide how they feel about it."

General election competitor: If Robinson wins the Republican primary on June 26, he believes he will likely take on Democratic Congressman Jared Polis in the general election on Nov. 6.

"I actually think that's a good thing for me if I'm the Republican nominee, because the contrast is pretty wide and I think he's too left for Colorado."

Selling public lands: "I think you have to look at it on a case-by-case basis," Robinson explained. "It's hard to predict exactly what the circumstances are, but generally I would say 'no.'"

Higher education: "I'm sympathetic to students with large student loans and going back to this, you know, being sold on college for everyone and they haven't gotten a real skill and so on. But, they did enter into, you know, a contract … I don't think that generally across the board we should forgive student loans."

In some cases, college textbooks cost more than guns. Robinson agreed the price of required reading material is a problem. He said, "If I were running those schools I would say to every professor, 'let's have this in mind, the cost of textbooks, and let's look at options other than some proprietary book that you have to buy for this course.'"

Climate change: Robinson said he believes in climate change.

Sanctuary cities: Robinson is opposed to sanctuary cities for undocumented immigrants.

"We need to, you know, live by federal immigration laws. Doesn't mean we're rounding up illegals, but those that have committed a jailable offense, I (as governor) should be notified."

Second Amendment: As governor, Robinson said he would not support a ban on assault weapons.

"This is a place where Republicans need to lead," Robinson said. "The Democrat plan is to ban guns, take guns away. We've seen that already in Boulder with the ban on the assault weapons. As Republicans, we say it's a mental health issue."

Ballots for the June 26 primaries will be sent out June 4. Voters not associated with either the Democratic or Republican Party will receive two ballots; however only one may be completed for the votes to count. Registered Democrats and Republicans will receive their respective party's ballot.