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Wednesday, October 31,2012

Final push to the polls

Candidates around Boulder give it their all as Election Day approaches

By Adelina Shee

With Nov. 6 looming ahead of us and early voting already commencing in Colorado, candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives are working toward their final acts of campaigning in hopes of garnering some last minute support from voters.

Brandon Shaffer, the Democratic candidate for District 4, is running against Rep. Cory Gardner, who currently holds the seat in the U.S. House of Representative. This Halloween, Shaffer is willing to trade in the sweets, and instead is asking for donation amounts of $25, $50 or $100 in order to meet his team’s October goal of $887.

Shaffer, who has been going door to door and asking for votes recently, will be visiting doorsteps with his kids this Halloween. He hopes to receive more donations that he needs for his campaign before midnight tonight. His daughter, Madison, says “people should vote for Dad because he does the dishes,” according to an Oct. 31 press release from the campaign.

His background as a former naval officer and role as a father has prepared him to be a dedicated and passionate public servant. He believes in the importance of building the nation back up through investments in early education, energy independence and job creation.

“We’ve got to get the economy going again, we need to continue to create jobs and opportunities for people,” Shaffer told the Boulder Weekly in October.

Republican incumbent Cory Gardner also has a couple of tricks up his sleeve as the race approaches the end. Rep. Gardner is heading to Northeast Colorado on Nov. 2 to ignite more support and get out the vote. He’s been doing campaign stops moving over the more than 20 counties in the district, making stops in multiple counties in a single day in his final push to the elections.

The Greeley Tribune endorsed Gardner, praising his achievement in landing a spot on the Energy and Commerce Committee his freshman year. He has been an advocate for offshore drilling and sponsored the “Domestic Energy and Jobs Act” to allow for increased oil and gas exploration, development and production on federal lands, which the House passed.

While Gardner advocates for a sole and major expansion of the oil and gas industry, Shaffer says he believes the energy portfolio for the country needs to be balanced. Particularly in Colorado where opportunities for wind energy are abundant, Shaffer says that the country should continue to provide tax credits to support the continued development of that technology.

In District 2, Rep. Jared Polis is running for re-election to hold on to the seat he was voted into in 2008. Aside from working hard to get Congress out of gridlock, Polis, a Democrat, also says he recognizes that young voters are key to any election because they are the future of America.

“In order to be heard you must vote,” Polis said in a press release. “This election is about the future and what opportunities will be available to all Americans.”

On Oct. 29, Polis held a GottaVote event at CU Boulder. He cast his ballot at the early vote center on CU’s campus, The University Club, in an effort to show how easy it is for students, faculty and the university community to vote this election.

Polis collaborated with the musician Ryan Adams, who performed a free concert at an OFA-Colorado GottaVote concert at the Boulder Theater that same day, to encourage students to vote early.

Colorado State Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud) is running against Polis and continues to campaign tirelessly. As he approaches the final leg of the race, Lundberg is making a “whistle stop” tour of all 10 counties in the newly formed 2nd Congressional District.

Lundberg and his campaign have organized an event called Come Walk with Team Lundberg and Come Wave with Team Lundberg from Nov. 1 to Nov. 3. Lundberg says he hopes this last tour will be a final opportunity for many voters to meet with him before Election Day.

Lundberg served in the Colorado senate for four years, as well as in the House before that. He decided to run for U.S. Congress this election out of dissatisfaction with incumbent Polis’ voting record.

Lundberg estimates about 55 percent of active registered voters in the 2nd Congressional District are new to the district this election and that it’s a very competitive district since redistricting during Polis’ latest term in office. Polis agrees, saying that competitive districts are important for democracy and are also healthier, especially when members of both parties put forward good nominees who are willing to work together.

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