BASALT, Colo.- Democratic senate candidate and former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper and Senator Michael Bennet appeared together Wednesday to energize voters on the Western Slope.
They appeared together at a ranch in Carbondale to advocate for passage of Senator Bennet’s CORE Act, which would designate 400,000 acres of new public lands in Colorado. They also appeared at a post office in Basalt to advocate for Colorado’s vote by mail system. Vote by mail has now become a major issue nationwide at President Donald Trump raises concerns about this system.
“The postal service is so important to rural America. It’s a lifeline in many cases,” Hickenlooper said. “Deliveries of prescription drugs, things like that, that are essential to people in rural communities.”
In Washington a $25 billion post office bill has already passed the House but remains stalled in the Senate. Hickenlooper says regardless, vote by mail in Colorado remains secure and efficient.
“That doesn’t shake things up in Colorado because we understand how vote by mail works,” Hickenlooper said. “We understand that we have these continuous audits to make sure that there’s no fraudulent voting. Cory Gardner first got elected to the Senate in 2014 which was our first year of vote by mail.”
Senator Bennet says his republican colleagues are even expressing concern behind closed doors about President Trump’s attacks on vote by mail and post office funding.
“You know as with so many things with President Trump they’re (republicans) saying one thing behind closed doors and then outside they’re worried about him taking their head off,” Bennet said.
But Bennet says he and other democrats are willing to negotiate. This comes after USPS Postmaster General Lous DeJoy came under fire last week from lawmakers due to changes he and the Trump administration made to the postal service.
“Mitch McConnell is having a difficult time with his caucus because there are people that don’t’ want to vote for anything,” Bennet said. “I think this is a good time for the democrats in the Senate and President Trump to negotiate something that can pass the Senate and pass the House.”
Although parts of Western Colorado are historically republican strongholds, Hickenlooper says he’s ready to meet face to face with these voters, and make changes in Washington he feels will benefit these communities.
“I’m going to keep coming back to Mesa County and to the West Slope,” Hickenlooper said. “I think between the tariff wars and the refusal to fund food stamps, the republicans in the U.S. Senate have really not been supporting our agricultural community.”
Hickenlooper faces incumbent republican senator Cory Gardner on Election Day on Nov. 3. The Hickenlooper-Gardner race is being looked at one of the pivotal races that could determine party control in the U.S. Senate.