I grew up in Eagle County, where my family ran a small hotel and I learned firsthand the challenges and rewards of operating a small business. After graduating from college and law school, I became a public school teacher in one of Mississippi’s most impoverished counties and then a public school principal in a juvenile detention center and a high-needs district north of Denver. In each stop, I worked to strengthen classrooms and schools by empowering teachers, parents and students to dream big and then make those dreams reality.
During the two terms I served in the state Senate, I helped pass major progressive legislation, like ASSET, so undocumented students who had spent most of their lives in Colorado could get in-state tuition at college, the CLEAR Act, which fought to stop racial discrimination in the criminal justice system, and JUMP START, to help grow new businesses in rural counties with unlimited potential but limited resources. I fought for these bills as a proud Democrat, but I got them done by building bridges to secure Republican support. Coloradans are a practical people; we're problem solvers who recognize that Colorado works best when we work together. That's the kind of leader I was in the state Senate, and that's the kind of Governor I will be: one who gets things done by crossing divides.
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