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Chart of centrist Marshall and extremist Huffman
Chart by non-partisan, based on info from the candidates.

Op-Ed by: Barry Peters, Chair, Colorado House District 43 Dems

In a few weeks here in Highlands Ranch, we'll actually elect our Colorado House District 43 rep, rather than having one appointed by the Republican Party, as just happened in June.

Bob Marshall is my choice because of his integrity, truthfulness, transparency and willingness to represent all voters, regardless of party.

By contrast, his opponent -- like so many Republicans these days -- is deceptively willing to hide his true agenda. Contrary to what he told his Party base in June's Republican Primary, he's now changed his website in order to sound like a reasonable moderate. There's reason to expect he'd revert to his secret more-extreme agenda if elected.

For example, across the country in primary elections this spring, many Republican politicians promoted their anti-choice attitudes. “No exceptions,” they shouted. Not even in case of rape or incest, or to protect the health of the mother. They also promised to tear down common-sense gun safety laws.

Suddenly, now that they see that the majority of Americans oppose the US Supreme Court's rejection of the 50-year precedent of Roe v Wade, Republican politicians are hiding their opposition to women's reproductive health rights. And after so many school shootings, Republicans are now hiding their desire to kill common-sense gun-safety laws.

Hiding that He's Opposed to a Woman's Right to Choose

Now, we're seeing the same double-speak and the same shifty maneuver by a politician in Highlands Ranch — Kurt Huffman, the Republican running for House District 43.

Before the Republican primary, his website shouted in big bold red letters: “100% pro-life” and “strongly opposes” the Colorado law that ensures a woman's right to choose. Have a look (below) at these messages excerpted from his website during this Spring's Republican Primary campaign.

For his Republican base, he "strongly opposes" Colorado's pro-choice laws. For the rest of us, he's changed his tune and his website now is silent on his rejection of women's reproductive rights.

Hiding the Fact that He's A Gun Dealer

When he's confiding to his Republican base, he opposes Colorado's common-sense gun safety laws like our "Red Flag" law and our capacity limits on ammo magazines.

You won't find the following fact on his current website, but he's been a gun dealer for 30 years. His website simply says he's a "small business owner." Furthermore, in a pre-Primary video that's now hard to find on the internet, he told supporters that the "worst" legislation passed in Colorado in the last session was the law requiring that guns kept in homes be locked away safely from children. C'mon Kurt! How many school shootings could have been prevented if assault weapons at home had been locked away safe from teen-age children.

On the front page of his website, under the big heading "Election to HD43", you have to read the small print to discover that we voters didn't elect him. A few months ago, he was appointed by a process run solely by the Republican Party after a Republican official retired.

Like many Republicans across the country, Mr. Huffman now prefers that his General Election website hide his gun dealer's license and his extremism. Instead, his website now mimics his principled opponent, retired US Marine Bob Marshall.

Bob Marshall stands up for women's reproductive rights. And Bob would defend our common-sense Colorado gun safety laws. He's endorsed by Colorado Ceasefire, the non-partisan gun-safety advocacy nonprofit.

Deja Vu? Like Last Year's Republican-Endorsed School Board Slate

We should have learned the lesson about deceptive campaigning during last fall's school board election. There, four Republican-endorsed School Board candidates claimed to stand for the “Kids” agenda. They claimed to support our public-school staff.

Then, when elected, they reverted to their secret extreme agenda. There's evidence they met secretly to plot the firing of the school superintendent without cause.

When Highlands Ranch HD-43 candidate Bob Marshall confronted them for violating the state's open meeting laws, a state judge agreed that's what they did. (They're appealing the ruling.) And now there's tape-recorded evidence that one of them — School Board President Peterson — lied under oath about not threatening to fire the superintendent.

In this fall's election, let's not elect a candidate who is now hiding the extremist positions that he shouted in red to his Republican base a few months ago.

Please join me and my wife in voting for honesty and integrity. We're voting for Bob Marshall.


Barry Peters is a retired Senior living in Highlands Ranch, and a volunteer member of Douglas County Democrats. This op-ed is inspired by his wife Channie, whose recent letter to the editor of the Highlands Ranch Herald, supporting Bob Marshall, was published in September. The opinions in this op-ed are solely those of the author.

Our HD 43 candidate, Bob Marshall, was featured in a great article in Colorado Politics.

"𝐻𝑜𝑢𝑠𝑒 𝐷𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑖𝑐𝑡 43 𝑖𝑠 𝑜𝑛𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑚𝑜𝑠𝑡 𝑝𝑜𝑙𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑝𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑖𝑐𝑡𝑠 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑒. 𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝐷𝑜𝑢𝑔𝑙𝑎𝑠 𝐶𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑡𝑦 𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑖𝑐𝑡 𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑛𝑠 𝑜𝑛𝑙𝑦 7.4% 𝑅𝑒𝑝𝑢𝑏𝑙𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑛, 𝑚𝑎𝑘𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑖𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 15𝑡ℎ 𝑚𝑜𝑠𝑡 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑛𝑙𝑦 𝑠𝑝𝑙𝑖𝑡 𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑖𝑐𝑡, 𝑎𝑐𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑑𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡𝑜 𝑎 𝑟𝑒𝑝𝑜𝑟𝑡 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑟𝑒𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑖𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑚𝑖𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛."*

Bob stepped forward to run for this position and has been working hard. He is outraising his opponent at the grassroots level. This article is a must read to learn more about Bob and his commitment to Highlands Ranch and HD 43.

Bob has been a champion for schools and has called out our Douglas County Commissioners on their withdrawal from our high quality Health Department, Tri County Health.

The link below will take you to the full article. I encourage you to read it and share it!

Angela Thomas

Chair, Douglas County Democratic Party

Friends All,

I received this very insightful piece of messaging from the Colorado Democratic Party. I felt compelled to share it with all of you.

I'm hearing that some of us don't think the Democratic Candidates are progressive enough. Let me assure you that your vote matters regardless of whether you agree with our Democratic Candidates on 100% of the issues or on 50%. I'm confident that the candidates running for office in Douglas County and those running in statewide races are far better than any Republican running. Democracy is at stake. Please don't be the one to say, gee I wish I had voted, or gee I wish I had worked harder to get others to vote.

-- Angela Thomas, Chair, Douglas County Democratic Party

Listed below are examples of what we could face in Colorado if we don't bother to vote and therefore let Republicans win. References to House Bills (HB) and Senate Bills (SB) are examples of legislation actually introduced by Republicans. These are examples of what they want.

The Republican Party in Colorado has changed and become every bit as extreme as the GOP in DC. Lauren Boebert was once an outlier of the Colorado GOP; she is now their standard-bearer.

Public schools are taken over by corporate, religious, and right-wing political censorship interests with requirements to arm every teacher and an end to full-day kindergarten. (HB22-1136, HB22-1203, SB22-071).

Abortion (miscarriage and in vitro fertilization) becomes a crime with no exception for rape, incest or life of the mother (HB22-1079). A call for imprisonment of abortion providers (HB22-1047) and a public website created naming women who have had abortions (HB22-1075).

Corporations and billionaires don’t pay their fair share of taxes and taxes and costs go up for middle and low-income Coloradans. (HB22-1125, HB22-1021, HB 20-1420, HB21-1311, HB21-1312).

Public services go unfunded while grift and greed privatize public services for the private profit of their campaign donors. (HB22-1125, HB22-1021).

Housing costs increase as renters and homeowners lose rights and the affordable housing fund is eliminated. (HB19-1245)

Insurance costs go up, and coverage goes down as Colorado Republicans vote to remove coverage for maternity care, in vitro fertilization and mental health care at the same time as removing rate oversight by the insurance commissioner to protect against unjustified rate hikes. They would, however, authorize use of off-label drugs (i.e. horse de-wormer for COVID) (HB22-1015). Hospitals could charge an additional “sustainability fee” to patients' bills in order to increase profitability. (SB22-038).

Workers lose wages, rights and safe working conditions. Colorado Republicans have voted against civil rights, increases in minimum wages, paid sick leave, retirement protections, and the rights of workers to organize for better pay and working conditions. (HB22-1367, HB22-1354, SB20-205, SB22-230, HB22-1308, HB22-1230)

LGBTQ Coloradans lose rights to marry, adopt and raise children, participate equally in society and work free from discrimination. (HB20-1063, HB20-1144, HB20-1272, HB20-1033, HB20-1114, HB20-1273).

End Vote-By-Mail & Ballot Drop Off System in Colorado, reduce polling locations, and create new barriers to exercising the constitutional right to vote. (HB22-1204)

More pollution and climate setbacks as Republicans roll back clean air regulations and environmental controls on oil and gas, weaken or eliminate policies for renewable energy (HB22-1020) and tilt the review process for industry at the expense of the public. (SB22-129, SB22-138)

More violent felons will have more guns as they would remove sheriff oversight to concealed carry permits, repeal criminal background checks, repeal magazine limits and red flag laws that allow intervention for temporary firearm retrieval when a person is a demonstrated risk to themselves or others. (HB21-1298, HB21-1082, HB19-1177)

Rural communities lose funding for broadband, rural hospitals, rural transportation and economic development along with student loan incentives to attract teachers and healthcare providers. (HB22-1308)

Reversal of racial justice work to advance racial equity in education, health care, small business, criminal justice and police reforms. (SB20-217, SB21-194, HB22-1196)

Weaken public safety by limiting the ability of the Governor or Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to declare or respond to public disasters (HB22-1238) and invalidating all, otherwise lawful, federal warrants, searches and seizures that do not get approved by the local sheriff, even if probable cause is already established and approved by a judge.

Loss of freedoms for Coloradans to live the life they choose, marry the person they love, and to make their own life and healthcare decisions. Colorado Republicans have a narrow version of religion and seek to legislatively impose their religious views on others.

Republicans are no longer focused on the economy or helping regular people but instead have become obsessed with waging culture wars: abortion, Disney, banning books, threatening school board members and election officials and legally bullying trans-gender kids.

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