Q&A with Doug Townsend, candidate for Senate District 31

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Party: Republican

Residence: Denver

Campaign website: www.dougtownsendforyou.com

What makes you the best choice for this office?

As a CPA, chief financial officer and former school board president, I understand how increasing government spending and taxes impacts Coloradans' personal budgets; how the state can support businesses in the creation of jobs and also how high taxes and excessive regulation drive businesses to eliminate jobs; and the roles and relative values of parents, local school districts, and the State Department of Education in educating our children. I will bring this breadth and depth of experience to fight to restore limited government, fiscal responsibility and equal application of the law so that our government will work for all Coloradans.

If you're elected, which one single issue will be at the top of your agenda?

Establishing full parental choice and local control over K-12 education and getting the State Department of Education out of the business of micromanaging the education of Colorado's children. This will reduce waste of taxpayers' dollars on central office and administrative functions allowing this money to be focused on the front-line education of our children. It will also allow every parent the opportunity to ensure that their child receives the best education possible with equal financial support from the state to prepare them for a successful career in whatever field that child/young adult chooses.

If you're elected, what must you accomplish in order for you to consider your term a success?

Refocus the efforts of the state government away from taking over ever larger segments of our lives and economy, and instead support the rights and liberties of our citizens. Our current legislators have been expanding the role of the state in our lives — placing additional requirements on our schools, dictating how parents can raise their children, piling new regulations on our business community and taking over ever-larger segments of our health care industry. We must reverse this trend so every Coloradan is empowered to pursue his or her personal American Dream, whatever that may be.

Where do you stand on calls to defund the police?

I oppose the calls to defund the police. Denver reported offenses increased from 40,129 in 2010 to 65,470 in 2019. This represents a 63% increase in crimes compared to a 17% increase in population over the 10 years. The current riots, looting, arson and property damage are a direct result of the failure of political leaders to allow the existing police officers to enforce the law. Calls to reduce officer headcount by up to 50% would place Denverites at even greater risk than they currently are. Political leaders must be responsible for the safety of the citizens.

What measure or measures will you push for in the new year to make strides toward economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic created a health care crisis. The government's overreaction created the economic crisis. I support government providing guidelines, not regulatory restrictions, to citizens and businesses on how to safely interact in public, then opening up all businesses and allowing the owners and customers to decide what they want to do. Customers will tell businesses what they consider to be acceptable precautions by patronizing a particular establishment or not. Businesses with employees working from home can continue to do so. Schools can offer in person and online options so parents can choose what is best for their child.

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