2020 Colorado Senate Candidate Guide

Cory Gardner - Republican (Incumbent)
Cory Gardner - Republican (Incumbent)
John Hickenlooper - Democrat
John Hickenlooper - Democrat

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AFFORDABLE CARE ACT – Support Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare?

Corey Gardner – No. Called the ACA a “failed law” with “many broken promises.” In 2017 voted three times to overturn the law.

John Hickenlooper – Yes. Calls the ACA a “watershed moment in our nation’s health.” As governor, expanded Medicaid and established a state exchange.

CAMPAIGN FINANCE – Require political ads to disclose their largest funders?

Corey Gardner – Unclear on disclosure. Supported requiring Senate candidates to e-file campaign finance reports. No other position found.

John Hickenlooper – Yes. Backed election bill H.R.1 to strengthen disclosure and campaign finance laws. Weakening them “has led to corruption.” Also, overturn Citizens United decision that removed campaign finance limits.

CLIMATE CHANGE – Consider human-caused climate change a serious threat, and address by limiting output of greenhouse gases?

Corey Gardner – Mixed. “Humans are contributing to climate change.” Will push for clean-tech investments, but voted against cutting carbon emissions from power plants.

John Hickenlooper – Yes. “The defining challenge of our time.” Must face with “fierce sense of urgency.” Would rejoin Paris Accord; calls for 100% renewable energy by 2050.

COVID-19 – Support administration’s response to coronavirus pandemic?

Corey Gardner – Yes. “HHS, through a number of its agencies, is actively leading critical prevention, containment, and supply-chain stability.”

John Hickenlooper – No. “Only way to regain our confidence and restart our economy is having the capacity to either test or vaccinate every American.”

EDUCATION – Use public funding for private and/or for-profit schools?

Corey Gardner – Yes. Filed a Supreme Court brief supporting the use of public funds to pay for educating children in private religious schools.

John Hickenlooper – No. Supports parents selecting the best schools, but “would not support the use of publicly funded vouchers for private or religious school education.”

ENVIRONMENT – Tighten or loosen regulations?

Corey Gardner – Loosen. Voted to repeal EPA rules regulating methane emissions on public lands. Repeal wetlands and waterway protection.  Open Alaska wildlife refuge to oil and gas drilling.

John Hickenlooper – Mixed. As governor, adopted low-emission vehicle standards and developed tough methane standards, but fought restrictions on oil drilling near homes and schools.

GUN LAWS – Enact more restrictive gun legislation?

Corey Gardner – No. “Strong supporter of Second Amendment rights.” Keep “guns out of the hands of criminals,” but opposed background checks for gun sales at gun shows and online.

John Hickenlooper – Yes. “Will fight for comprehensive, common-sense policies to tackle gun violence,” including universal background checks, restoring assault weapons ban, and magazine limits.

IMMIGRATION – Create path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented residents and “DACA” participants brought to the U.S. as children?

Corey Gardner – Mixed. Voted against protecting DREAMers from deportation. Later co-sponsored legislation for a 12-year pathway to citizenship combined with increased border wall funding.

John Hickenlooper – Yes. Wants to see “a permanent pathway to citizenship for our DREAMers” while “ensuring border security and protecting American workers.” Calls expanded border wall “ineffective” and a waste of billions.

IMPEACHMENT – Stand on Trump’s impeachment?

Corey Gardner – Oppose. Voted against calling witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial. Voted to acquit the president.

John Hickenlooper – Support. “A trial without witnesses and evidence is not a trial at all. It’s a sham.”

LABOR – Support “right to work” laws, prohibiting unions from mandating dues for workers they represent?

Corey Gardner – Yes. Co-sponsored the National Right to Work Act, repealing bargaining provisions requiring union membership as a condition of employment.

John Hickenlooper – No. Called for legislation reversing Supreme Court ruling that government workers can’t be forced to contribute to labor unions.

LEGAL ABORTION – Keep legal or ban?

Corey Gardner – Ban. “I’m pro-life, but that’s up to the states.” Voted to ban abortions at 20 weeks.

John Hickenlooper  – Legal. “The … right to an abortion is one essential component of a comprehensive approach to reproductive health care.”

LGBT RIGHTS – Support same-sex marriage?

Corey Gardner – Mixed. Sees marriage as only between a man and woman, but calls same-sex marriage “the law of the land, and it is important that we treat everyone with dignity and respect.”

John Hickenlooper – Yes. “If all people are created equal, then by extension of law, logic, and love, every adult couple should also have the freedom to join in marriage.”

MARIJUANA – Decriminalize or legalize? 

Corey Gardner – Yes. Does not support federal legalization, but “let states decide.” Introduced legislation limiting reach of federal marijuana law.

John Hickenlooper – Yes. Let states decide. Federal government should “get out of the way,” allow marijuana sellers access to banking.

MINIMUM WAGE – Raise federal hourly minimum wage above current $7.25?

Corey Gardner – No recent position found. Earlier: “Hundreds of thousands of people will lose their jobs … as a result of a minimum-wage increase.” Opposed increasing overtime-pay availability.

John Hickenlooper – Yes. Supports $15-per-hour federal minimum. “Workers cannot get ahead without affordable child care, paid family leave, and fair compensation.”

PLANNED PARENTHOOD – Support Planned Parenthood receiving public funds for non-abortion care?

Corey Gardner – No. Voted to defund Planned Parenthood.

John Hickenlooper – Yes. Supports Planned Parenthood, as “a staunch supporter of reproductive health.”

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION — PROP 113 – Support Prop 113 to join National Popular Vote Compact? When states representing an electoral majority sign on, the person who gets the most votes nationwide will become President.

Corey Gardner – No. Opposes Prop 113, as does Colorado Republican Party. Donated to campaign to overturn Colorado’s participation.

John Hickenlooper – Yes. Previously ambivalent but now supports  Prop 113, as does Colorado’s Democratic Party.

SAUDI ARABIA – Block arms sales to Saudi Arabia over Yemen war and allegations about journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death?

Corey Gardner – No. Voted against blocking arms sales to Saudi Arabia in June 2019.

John Hickenlooper – Yes. Supports cutting off military support. “I don’t think supporting the Saudi campaign in Yemen is a great idea.”

STUDENT FINANCIAL AID – Support free or subsidized tuition for lower-income individuals? Support lower interest or forgiveness on student loans?

Corey Gardner – No general stand found. Did introduce bill allowing employers to contribute tax free to employees’ student loans. Discharge federal student loans for the permanently disabled.

John Hickenlooper – Yes. Reduce federal student loan interest to 2.5% or less, with “expanded loan repayment and forgiveness programs, tuition-free community college”; minority scholarships.

SUPREME COURT – Pick Ruth Bader Ginsburg replacement now or let November winner choose? See CEEP Supreme Court guide.

Corey Gardner – Will vote to confirm Trump’s pick if the person “will protect our Constitution, not legislate from the bench, and uphold the law.”

John Hickenlooper – “The Senate must not confirm a new Supreme Court Justice until after a new President is sworn in next year.”

TAXES – Support administration’s $1.9 trillion (2017) tax cuts?

Corey Gardner – Yes. Voted for the 2017 tax cut. “My goal was to bring relief to hard-working Coloradans …, and I’m proud that after months of work, we’ve achieved this goal.”

John Hickenlooper – No. “Congress should not pass on almost $1.5 trillion in additional debt to future generations, and hand out tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans who don’t need them.”

VOTING RULES – Support stricter ID requirements and other rules on voting?

Corey Gardner – No position found.

John Hickenlooper – No. Reinstate Voting Rights Act provisions struck down by the Supreme Court. Criticizes “discriminatory voter ID laws.”

Campus Election Engagement Project is a nonpartisan effort to help colleges engage students in elections. Sources include Votesmart.org, FactCheck.org, Politifact.com and candidate statements. Vote411.org and Ballotready.org offer guides to local races.