When heading to the ballot boxes to cast a decision for the next governor, Colorado voters will see six options â€“â€“ a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, an American Constitution Party member and two unaffiliated picks.
With eight days until polls close, third-party candidates laid out for the Collegian where they stand on issues they believe are important to students.
According to Denver Post polling, Tancredo has gone from a 9 percent popularity rating among Colorado voters to 39 percent over the course of three weeks, making him second to Hickenlooperâ€™s 49 percent polling.
Jaimes Brown, Libertarian
Whenever Jaimes Brown speaks in front of a crowd, he trusts his instincts and sticks to a few main points: Republicans are hypocrites, so are the Democrats and the Libertarian Party is the best of both worlds.
â€œRepublicans say theyâ€™re going to balance the budget, and then they donâ€™t, or theyâ€™re going to reduce spending, and then they donâ€™t,â€ he said. â€œWith Democrats, I think a lot of people voted for Obama to end the war, and not-so-much is kind of what happened. It goes on just the way it was â€¦â€
Brownâ€™s Libertarian philosophy comes from his experience as a hemp business owner 10 years ago.
The government regulations on his business, he said, were punishing for his small business and favored larger corporations like Walmart or Target.
True to Libertarian ideals, Brown supports the legalization of marijuana, gay marriage and being able to bring concealed weapons on campus at CSU.
But the candidate makes it clear that some regulation is a good thing.
â€œI am in favor of regulation. I just think that it should be enforced equally so that thereâ€™s not a special favor for anyone,â€ he said.
Jason Clark, Unaffiliated
Westpoint graduate and independent candidate Jason Clark describes high school as a dream of epic proportions.
â€œHell yeah, I was happy!â€ Clark said, when asked if he enjoyed his life at 18. He later added that a lifestyle of living at home with momâ€™s cooking and sports on the side made up his teenage days.
These days present a challenge to Clark, who claims to be excluded from gubernatorial debates.
â€œThey basically blackballed me and said â€˜You cannot be in the debates, Jason,â€™â€ he said in reference to a particular debate in Loveland. â€œAnd I said, well, why? They told me I wasnâ€™t polling â€“â€“ but the polls never mentioned my name.â€
Clark holds liberal-leaning views on most issues affecting students, but came out in support of CSU students who wanted to carry concealed weapons on campus after the CSU System Board of Governors attempted to instate a policy against it. This was overturned following the Colorado Supreme Court case involving CU-Boulderâ€™s Board of Regents and the CU Students for Concealed Carry that ruled the Colorado Concealed Carry Act erred on the side of permit holders.
He is a proponent of lowering the salaries of CSU administrators and professors to curb tuition increases for students, gay marriage and CSUâ€™s program â€œCommitment to Colorado,â€ a policy which lessens the cost of attending the university for students of families making less than $57,000 â€“â€“ the stateâ€™s median family income â€“â€“ as long as it does not increase the stateâ€™s debt.
Paul Fiorino, Unaffiliated
A fan of Guinness beer, the CSU Rams and theater, independent candidate Paul Fiorino said the biggest struggle of his gubenatorial campaign has been to garner attention from the state of Colorado.
â€œâ€¦ Weâ€™re so ignored,â€ he said in a phone interview with Collegian, adding that heâ€™s been unable to participate in any candidate debates. â€œWe just have been essentially ignored â€¦ The people of Colorado are being kept in the dark.â€
Fiorino, a former CSU performing arts professor and current director for various Denver theater troupes, maintains liberal stances on issues affecting students.
He supports raising tuition rates on out-of-state students in an effort to lower the amount in-state students have to pay for higher education.
â€œColorado is so desirable to out-of-state students â€“â€“ it really, really is,â€ he said.
The candidate sees undocumented students at CSU as individuals who should be able to work toward citizenship as they work for a degree.
He also believes in allowing civil unions or marriage for homosexuals.
â€œI donâ€™t believe in discriminationâ€¦ â€ he said. â€œThe ugliness thatâ€™s been going on â€“â€“ it canâ€™t continue.â€
Tom Tancredo, American Constitution Party
When Rep. Tom Tancredo was a college student at the University of Northern Colorado, he bought a house and rented it out to 15 other kids to make money.
Tancredo is running for governor as a member of the American Constitution Party â€“â€“ a third party with conservative tendencies based off of strict readings of the Constitution. He announced his candidacy after Dan Maes, Republican Party candidate, refused to drop out of the race.
â€œI tried everything I could do to get Mr. Maes to drop out and let the Republican Party fill the vacancy with a credible candidate,â€ Tancredo said on his campaign website.
The former Republican and Colorado representative ran for president in 2008 to bring attention to the issue of illegal immigration. Much of his philosophy is pulled from his favorite book, â€œWho Are Weâ€ by Samuel Huntington, which describes Latinos as a culture that â€œlacks ambitionâ€ and â€œaccepts poverty as necessary for entrance into Catholic heaven.â€
Today, Tancredo said that the financial state of Colorado is at the top of his policy agenda.
â€œWeâ€™re going to have to do something about the regulatory environment that has driven so many businesses out of the state,â€ he said. â€œAnd we have to do something about the budget mess we are in, and that something is: cut the budget in as many ways as we possibly can.â€
Education reform is also a priority. He believes that college professors should teach 30 hours a week, rather than the current 13 hours per week.
While opponents say that this plan would decrease the amount of time educators have time for research in their fields of study, Tancredo believes that â€œtheyâ€™ll be able to work that in.â€
Staff writer Andrew Carrera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.