1st Congressional District race: Stroud says politics not career

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Republican Danny Stroud is challenging eight-term incumbent Congresswoman Diana DeGette to represent District 1 in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Stroud was born in Oregon. In 1971, he became the first in his family to attend college when he was selected to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He graduated in 1975 with a bachelor's degree with academic emphasis in Middle Eastern studies before serving six years in the Army in a number of locations and roles. He later earned his master's degree from St. Mary's College of California.

He moved to Colorado 20 years ago, has held a number of positions and is serving as president of his firm, Verz Ventures, a company that works on economic development issues with small and medium-size companies.

He lives in Denver and is the father of two daughters who are both in college.

Colorado Community Media asked the following questions of the candidates in the Congressional District 1 race. Below are Stroud's answers.

What makes you the best candidate for this office?

I have the knowledge, skills and motivation. I do not view this as a career. It is a call to duty just as our Founding Fathers envisioned. I am a West Point graduate with 13 years active and reserve service with knowledge of military spending. I earned the Meritorious Service Medal (twice) and am a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. I have started and run successful small businesses. I know how to balance a budget and spend within my means. I was a director at the nonprofit Mental Health Association in California. My two daughters have successfully tackled college, work and community service. I have been active as a volunteer in their school and sports teams for 13 years as a coach and parent.

If elected, what would you do to promote job growth?

Simplify tax structures and lower corporate tax rates to allow middle-class small business owners to keep more of their income. Reduce regulations on businesses that drive up consumer costs. Unleash domestic energy production to lower energy costs, thereby lowering business costs and creating jobs. Decrease the cost of government by reducing its size, complexity and spending habits because a too-large government stifles growth. Reduce the deficit spending. Re-examine our foreign trade practices and curtail unfair practices while strengthening and opening new markets for American goods and services. I want to give every family access to great schools at all levels with affordable higher education and focused job-training programs that develop marketable skills that all businesses need.

What is the best way to meet the nation's growing energy demands?

Open up responsible domestic energy exploration and production; cease vilification of the hydrocarbon energy sources and encourage “all of the above” efforts for energy independence. We have sufficient energy supplies here in North America to be completely energy independent.

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