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.