City or town of residence: Elizabeth, for 21 years.
Profession: Small-business owner, restaurant and consulting.
Related elected-office or public-service experience: Mayor of Parker, 1992-96; President of board of directors for Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, 2004-05; Colorado director of U.S. Small Business Administration, 2008-14.
Why are you seeking this office?
As governor, I will protect, preserve and promote the various economies and the different ways of life that make Colorado the great state that it is. I truly understand that there are 64 counties in the state and that it's about all of us — not just some of us.
What makes you the most qualified person for the position?
I sat on the board of E-470 and the Denver Regional Council of Governments, so I know transportation, water, air quality, economic and regional issues. I am the former Colorado director of the U.S. Small Business Administration. I understand that small business is the heart and soul of every community. I served in numerous education committees and economic-development councils. I know how to address growth and the elements that impact the quality of life in any community.
What would your top two priorities be if elected?
Water and education. Colorado is a state where “life” is written in water. The future of our state lies in the balance as we look for ways to manage our water resources to accommodate the growth in state population, agricultural uses and recreational uses.
We need to bring back vocational and technical training back into the high schools because not everyone can afford to or wants to go to college. High-school graduates need to be job-ready on day one, not college-ready. You can achieve the “American dream” without having to go to college.
What else should the voters know about you?
I come from humble beginnings: My parents were migrant workers and worked long hours in the fields. I am a disabled veteran (hearing loss), the only veteran running for governor. I know what a public servant truly is, and I will go as far as the Lord wants to take me.
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