Judging from state voter registration records, the redrawn borders make the race for Colorado House District 3 between Democratic incumbent Daniel Kagan and Republican Brian Watson appear to be a tossup.
Formerly a district where Democrats were the majority of voters, the new borders make the numbers almost even between Democrats, Republicans and independents.
Kagan is a Cherry Hills Village lawyer who was born in England. He points to his successful business background as well as a resume that includes time as a flight instructor and a time defending indigents in Washington, D.C.
He was appointed to District 3 in 2009 when Rep. Anne McGihon, D-Denver resigned. Kagen won by a full term by a wide margin in 2010.
Colorado Community Media asked the following questions of the candidates in the state House District 3 race. Below are Kagan's answers.
What makes you the best candidate for this office?
I have four years of experience successfully passing bipartisan bills which will put Coloradans back to work in good-paying 21st-century jobs, on which our futures depend.
When funding for our public schools was threatened, I worked across the aisle to restore those funds, so all our children have access to the quality education they deserve.
I've crafted bipartisan legislation that helps children of low-income families get the health care they need and helped Colorado start repairing our roads and bridges — a job that had been ignored for decades.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the district and what would you do to meet that challenge?
Our biggest challenge is to grow the economy and get Coloradans into high-paying jobs with benefits, so that all residents of the district can pursue the American Dream for themselves and their families. We must do this by making sure that 21st-century skills are available to both businesses and employees; many of today's jobs didn't even exist 10 years ago.
We must ensure that Colorado is the best place to relocate, start and grow a business. Colorado is where employees most want to live, work and raise their families. We must make employers' desire to be here as strong as their employees'.
What should be done to improve Colorado's K-12 educational system?
We can make Colorado's public schools so good that no parent feels the need to send their child anywhere else. Every parent and child deserves this, and we can achieve it if we adequately fund and support our public schools, as the Colorado Constitution requires.
Giving vouchers to subsidize private schools with public money, as my opponent urges us to do, is going to degrade, rather than build our public schools in Colorado. It is a recipe for cheaper education for the privileged few, and inferior education for the rest of us. We need to provide a world-class education for every Colorado child.