Democrat Brandon Shaffer, seeking the 4th Congressional District seat, prides himself on a bipartisan approach he says has benefited all Coloradans. The current state Senate president now wants to take that attitude to Washington.
Born in Denver, Shaffer graduated from Stanford University with a political science degree, and then served in the Navy. He graduated from law school at the University of Colorado in 2001. Shaffer first was elected state senator in November 2004, and reelected in 2008. He was unanimously elected Senate president by his peers in 2009.
Shaffer lives in Longmont with his wife and two children.
Colorado Community Media asked the following questions of the candidates in the 4th Congressional District. Below are Shaffer's answers.
What makes you the best candidate for this office?
In the Navy, I learned to prioritize the completion of the mission and learned how to get the job done. What I see in Congress can only be described as mission failure. Congressman Gardner has chosen to put special interest and politicking above getting the job done.
As president of the Colorado Senate, I worked with Republican and Democratic governors to pass eight balanced budgets responsibly while always protecting education. I'm tired of watching Congress fail to pass a budget or Farm Bill. I'm asking for your vote, because I'm ready to work for you.
If elected, what would you do to promote job growth?
To promote job growth I believe government must be a good partner to business, which means investing in infrastructure and education/job training programs to have the best workforce in the world.
We must open foreign markets to sell American products and close tax loopholes to companies that ship jobs overseas.
We must address our national debt by establishing fiscal discipline to eliminate the deficit and then begin paying down the debt.
Finally, Congress must create a stable economic environment to raise consumer confidence and encourage private investments.
What is the best way to meet the nation's growing energy demands?
Energy production and independence are issues of national security. In the Navy, I learned the necessity of developing American energy sources, because of political instability in oil-producing regions. We need a balanced all-of-the-above portfolio including traditional and innovative energy sources.
I support the wind energy tax credit, because it creates jobs here in Colorado and encourages businesses to innovate and develop renewables. Colorado relies on the energy and jobs produced by oil and gas companies, so that must be central to any plan.
Given increasing demands, we must also invest in renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and ethanol.