Candidate Q&A: Kerry Tipper, incumbent for HD28

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Kerry Tipper, incumbent candidate for House District 28

Profession: Attorney

Residence: Lakewood

Party: Democrat

Contact: www.kerrytipper.com

What makes you the best choice for this office?

Very much a product of my parents (my mother is a biologist from Costa Rica and my Irish-American father was a veteran, Jeffco teacher, and small business owner), I know I reflect a lot of Lakewood’s diverse values. As your state representative, I’ve relied on my experience as an attorney practicing in the areas of civil rights, consumer protection, immigration law, and health care to pass criminal justice reform, consumer protection, and health care legislation. By the time you read this, I will be welcoming our first child, something that I’m realizing has already made me a better legislator.

If elected, what would your top issue be?

Given the COVID-19 reality we now live in and the economic strain we are seeing, getting (and keeping) people and businesses safely back on their feet is the top priority for next session. Among other things, this includes drawing down more federal funds for rental and mortgage assistance, supporting local and state level economic drivers, investing in job training and retraining programs, and reinforcing critical government services that our most vulnerable Coloradans rely on.

If elected, what would you want to accomplish in order for you to consider the term a success?

I’ve tried hard to be an accessible and responsive legislator and believe that is imperative to any success at the capitol. I know you earn trust by telling people the truth — not just what they want to hear — and I will continue to do that knowing that I will disappoint a portion of my constituents. However, if constituents disagree with me on a particular issue, but can still appreciate and understand why I vote the way I do, I will consider that a success.

Your view on TABOR reform efforts?

I support TABOR reform. Look no further than our underfunded schools and busted roads to understand why. We have consistently underfunded critical government services like K-12, Higher Ed, Health care, our Courts, etc. I don’t believe investments in these core government services are wasteful endeavors. TABOR really hamstrings our state’s ability to make these investments. It’s like “saving money” by never changing the oil in your car and then being surprised when the engine seizes and you’re suddenly stuck with a broken car and a huge bill to get the thing up and running again.

The Red Flag law went into effect this year. Has it been a good law, and would you change anything?

Yes, I believe it is a good, common-sense piece of legislation. It has already saved lives and has given families and law enforcement a critical tool for stopping folks who are a threat to themselves or others. The testimony in committee in support of this bill was moving. For example, we heard from parents who knew their child was a danger to themselves or others, but who were unable to stop them from killing themselves or others because there was no legal mechanism in place to temporarily withhold the firearm and get them help. That’s no longer the case.

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