How to get the most out of your conversation with a candidate for office

Elections are coming up quickly and there is a lot on the ballot this November.  Make sure you are registered, and your address is up-to-date here. We will decide on a new Governor, Members of Congress, Colorado state House and some Senate seats, and judges in addition to many ballot initiatives.  There are lots of places to gather information on candidates including their websites, local paper endorsements and the League of Women Voters. Another resource that many people don’t know they can access are the candidates themselves. Here’s how.

  • Many candidates are out walking neighborhoods and knocking on doors to talk to their perspective constituents and that is a fantastic opportunity to have a one on one uninterrupted quick conversation.
  • Campaign events.  Call the candidates campaign or check their website to find out when they’ll be holding one near you and attend.  There is often a time at the end for questions or you can simply approach the candidates before or after the speaking portion of the event to talk to them.
  • Debates and forums – many sponsors of events will let the public submit questions. We’ve listed the remaining Gubernatorial debates below.

The best way to get the most information out of the candidate is to ask specific questions.  That way they can’t give a vague answer they think is what you want to hear but will have a better chance at getting into the details of an issue.  Here are some examples of questions on clean air and clean energy important to our kids’ futures:

  • Children are particularly susceptible to the damage done by air pollution. What types of policies would you support that actively work to reduce air and carbon pollution?
  • How will you support the transition to a clean energy economy here in Colorado, and what will you do for workers in traditional energy jobs?
  • More heat means more smog, and heat waves trigger more asthma attacks. One in 12 kids in Colorado have asthma. What will you do to slow climate change in Colorado?

Another tip is that you respectfully request an answer in person at that moment. If they simply refer you to staff or their website, you will just get generic position papers rather than an answer to your specific question. If you get answers to any of these questions from a candidate, we would love to hear what they said!  Let us know at comomsknowbest@gmail.com.

Gubernatorial debates are listed below. There may also be debates for U.S. House of Reps or for seats in the Colorado state Assembly in your neck of the woods.

  •         Oct. 17, 7 p.m. Hosted by 9News and the Fort Collins Coloradoan.
  •         Oct. 23, 6 p.m. Hosted by The Denver Post and ABC 7, at the Cable Center at the University of Denver. live online as well.