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Citizen engagement is crucial in sustaining America’s experiment in representative democracy, and voting in an election is not just any ritual. Encapsulated in that act is often the purest expression of a people’s ability to choose their leaders, exactly the kind of freedom denied to so many in other parts of the world.

As a public service, we compiled this primary voter guide for the 2022 elections. This guide focuses on contested primary races, whose outcome will ultimately decide the contours – and decisions – of our executive and legislative bodies. 

A few dates to remember:

June 6 – First day that mail-in ballots are sent to voters.

June 20 – Last day for an individual to submit a voter registration application and still get a ballot in the mail

June 28 – Primary election day. The polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  

We hope that you find this guide informative and useful. If there are any errors, please don’t hesitate contact editors Luige del Puerto at luige.delpuerto@coloradopolitics.com and Pat Poblete at pat.poblete@coloradopolitics.com

UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO BOARD OF REGENTS

DISTRICT 1

This district includes all of Denver County.

Democrats: 200,574 Republican: 45,961 Unaffiliated: 196,842 Total active voters: 451,057

The incumbent, Democrat John ‘Jack’ Kroll, announced he would not seek reelection to spend more time with his family.

Nguyen, Johnnie

Party: Democrat

Phone number: 303-931-4385

Email: johnniengyuen4@gmail.com

Website: https://www.johnnieforcu.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/johnnienguyenforcu/

Twitter: @johnnguydenver

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Ethics Studies, 2017, University of Colorado-Denver; Law degree, 2021, University of Colorado-Boulder Law School

What are your top three priorities if elected?

The top issues at the University of Colorado campuses are mental and physical healthcare, gun safety, and protecting our public workers. Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, students on all campuses experienced a drastic change in their routine as a student. Support systems through friends, teachers, and staff practically disappeared. I know this from a first-hand account, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. With rising housing and tuition costs, students have colossal pressure while expected to excel in school. It is time we address this growing problem. CU needs to do more to support their students with mental health resources or alleviate some of the variables contributing to the extra weight on their mental health. A step we can take to achieve this is to bring access to healthcare to all CU campuses. Currently, only CU Boulder and CU Anschutz provide health insurance for their students. One of my first acts as CU Regent would be to create and require affordable healthcare insurance coverage for students at the CU Denver and Colorado Springs campus. Unfortunately, we live in a country where school gun violence is a heavy presence in all our minds. I am writing this days after 19 children and two teachers were killed by senseless gun violence in Texas. This is a sad reminder that every elected official from school board to governor must be committed to keeping our children safe and preventing gun violence. I promise as regent I will ensure the University of Colorado’s campuses are gun-free, and that it has the safety and security resources necessary to protect our students. My parents are immigrants from Vietnam and when they sought asylum in the United States, they came here as factory laborers, as dishwashers in restaurants, and in nail salons. They experienced hardships in these positions, not just about the low wages, but because they were consistently being taken advantage of by their employers. My parents have shared that they felt that they could not stand up for themselves because of language barriers, as well as the lack of security they had in their jobs. I wish my parents were able to unionize, or even be aware about what a union was when they immigrated to America. My family experience has created values that support that of union spirit. I fully support the rights of workers to unionize and I will support policies to permit collective bargaining.

What experience has prepared you for office?

If elected, I would be the only Democrat on the board who is a practicing attorney. Being an attorney is NOT a prerequisite for serving on this board by any means, but it is a skillset that ensures that the Republican attorneys on the Board do not try to legally bully the Democrats. I also have experience working in all three branches of government at the state and federal levels. At the State level, I have been a legislative aide, clerk for the Colorado Supreme Court, and a clerk for the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. At the Federal level, I’ve worked as a constituent advocate for US Senator John Hickenlooper, a clerk in the United States District Court, an intern with the White House Initiative on Asian American Pacific Islanders, and a clerk for the US Attorney’s Office in Colorado. I have also served on the Board of Directors for the American Bar Association, which is an $84 million non-profit board that regulates the legal profession as well as passes policies that advance access to justice. Just as important to leadership experience, is the distinct connection I have to CU. I have studied at CU on two different campuses, held numerous odd-jobs at CU to pay my way through college, I’ve conducted biological research at the CU Anschutz medical campus, I’ve taught Constitutional Law to at-risk youth on behalf of the CU Law School, I’ve lobbied for the CU Advocates program where I brought hundreds of students, faculty, and staff to the Capitol to demand more higher education funding, and I’ve organized numerous protests when the CU Regents were in the process of appointing former President Mark Kennedy.

James, Wanda

Party: Democrat

Phone number: 720-204-2294

Email: contact@wanda4cu.com

Website: https://wanda4cu.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Wanda4CU

Twitter: @Wanda4CU

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Sociology/NROTC Military Science, 1986, University of Colorado-Boulder

What are your top three priorities if elected?

I understand that it’s not enough to enroll students. That’s why my focus will be on helping them find a path to graduation and ensuring the CU system prioritizes a diverse student body and an inclusive faculty and administration. I want to continue CU’s nationally known legacy of excellence and ensure every student has the opportunity to learn from voices that enrich their lives, challenge their intellect and opinions, and teach them how to achieve more. My top three areas of focus are clear: Ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion are integral parts of the university system while developing a national reputation of Affordable Excellence. Create more flexible programs to educate the next generation of doctors, nurses, researchers, teachers, and the next generation of CEOs. Support the university researchers working to solve complex problems like climate change and advancements in healthcare and medical research; providing a robust higher education system that strengthens Colorado’s economy.

What experience has prepared you for office?

Well, my entire life. From being a first-generation college student to becoming a well-known and outspoken business and community leader to my more than two decades involved in politics, policy, and campaigns. As a young college graduate, my first career was focused on leadership. Being trained as a Naval officer was an amazing experience. One I have carried with me my entire life. Leading with honor means something to me. Working in corporate America was also eye-opening. The responsibility of multistate, multi-million dollar marketing and sales teams taught me how to appreciate and respect the many different ways to succeed. And being a small business owner (5 restaurants / 2 consulting firms / 3 dispensaries / two cultivation facilities / 2 cannabis manufacturing licenses) has shown me how hard it is to be an entrepreneur and the many sacrifices we make to ensure our companies are healthy. Working in politics has shown me the power of proximity and how important that is for communities to succeed. I am proud to have worked with President Barack Obama, (then US Senator) Vice President Kamala Harris, (then congressman) Governor Jared Polis, Rep. Leslie Herod, former Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran, and many more. Fighting the racist drug war has taught me so much more than I would have ever imagined. I have learned to stay strong in the face of adversity. I have learned that speaking the truth will earn you great allies and great enemies. I have learned there is nothing greater we can do than to stand up for the rights of all people. So, leading with honor, appreciation, respect, and sacrifice for what you believe in runs strong in me. And clearly, I learned how to run a business, interact with government and legislative bodies, and work a budget. And all of this was made possible because I was able to attend CU Boulder and was given access to an education that was Affordable Excellence. I have served on many boards which uniquely positions me for this role on the CU Board of Regents. I was a Los Angeles Junior League Board Fellow, which led to my appointment to numerous high-powered boards, including:

  • Appointed to Colorado Governor Jared Polis’ Transition Team
  • Governor Polis appointee to the Colorado Tourism Board of Directors
  • Former member of the University of Colorado Alumni Board of Directors
  • Former President of the National Women’s Political Caucus.
  • Former Appointee to the Los Angeles Small and Local Business Committee
  • Former Board of Directors of the Starlight Children’s Foundation
  • Former Board of Directors of the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce

I am more than prepared to be an active member of the Board of Regents.

Naes, Amy

Party: Republican

Phone number: 303-860-5087

Email: Amy@amy4curegent.com

Website: www.amy4curegent.com

Questionnaire: No response

DISTRICT 4

The district encompasses several counties, including Bent, Cheyenne, Crowley, Douglas, Elbert, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Prowers, Sedgwick, Washington, and Yuma Counties. It also includes portions of Adams and Arapahoe Counties.

Democrats: 92,214 Republican: 192,789 Unaffiliated: 219,268 Total active voters: 513,372

The incumbent, Sue Sharkey, a Republican, is term-limited.

Barrington, Jack

Party: Democrat

Phone number: 801-603-2724

Email: rjbarrington@yahoo.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BarringtonforCD4

Twitter: @capnjackbe

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Multi-interdisciplinary Studies, 2009, University of North Texas

What are your top three priorities if elected?

Empathy. Empathy for my fellow people. I believe in people not politics.

Transparency. I would like to invite media to keep in touch with me long after this election.

Inclusion: As the presidential selection process has been questioned as to the inclusion of the Latino community. These are my three goals if elected as CU Regent.

What experience has prepared you for office?

The things that make me qualified for the position is as a sailor in the U.S. Navy, I bring a military discipline to my thinking and actions. As a truck driver, I’ve been all over the United States and most of the World and seen how things operate on more than just the Front Range area. As a teacher, I’ve had to deal with students and gone through the university process, and I’ve actually had experience teaching at a university level through a pilot program, so I understand the faculty’s position, as well as the student’s position. As a mechanic, I’ve been in the trenches if you will breaking my back working for others. As a comedian and actor in Renaissance festivals, I’ve developed the ability to communicate more clearly in a public setting, so that I would be happy to open more transparency to the board through that action.

McNulty, Frank

Party: Republican

Phone number: 303-683-8873

Email: frank@mcnultyforregent.com

Website: https://www.mcnultyforregent.com

Twitter: @SpkrMcNulty

Education: Bachelor’s degree, 1995, University of Colorado Boulder; Law degree, 2001, University of Denver

What are your top three priorities if elected?

Accessibility. Accountability. Academic and athletics.

What experience has prepared you for office?

Being a father.

DISTRICT 5

This district includes El Paso County.

Democrats: 87,596 Republican: 148,975 Unaffiliated: 210,014 Total registered voters: 456,294

The incumbent, Ken Montera, a Republican, replaced Chance Hill after he resigned in November 2021.

Montera, Ken

Party: Republican

Phone number: 719-249-4863

Email: ken@monteraforregent.com

Website: https://www.monteraforregent.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100077688611849

Twitter: @monteracuregent

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Marketing/International business, 1979, University of Colorado-Boulder

What are your top three priorities if elected?

Cost and value of a CU education. Cost of higher education has continued to rise significantly over the past decade during a low inflation economy. The main reason for the escalation at The University of Colorado has been the consistent decline of state funding, as a matter of fact we are 47th out of fifty states in state support. As Colorados flagship university this has created significant pressure on other areas of revenue generation including tuition, causing a CU education to be difficult for many Colorado families financially. As a member of our finance committee, I am continually challenging all campuses and departments to evaluate their budgeting processes and how they can reduce expense where possible. We also will continue to provide business case budgets to the state legislature to improve funding at the state level. A CU education provides tremendous opportunities to those that choose to attend one of our campuses, as I am writing this we are on an outreach tour of the western slope to communicate with communities and school districts what CU offers and how to financially achieve a CU education. We have done other out reach trips and have more planned. Ensure that our CU campuses are a place that everyone feels welcome and belongs. This includes students from all aspects of life and backgrounds, including urban and rural communities, people of color, different faiths and political viewpoints. We, as a state university, have to provide a forum where freedom of speech and intellectual diversity is not only supported but encouraged so as to help develop critical thinking skills that will be used regardless of what field of study and career an individual chooses. Quality and value of a CU education. Higher education continues to become more competitive each year and CU has to continually strive to be in the top tier of public institutions. We will continue to advance our top programs in STEM and business, as well as those in liberal arts. We have to understand the needs of our state and country as we look into the future and provide the degree programs that will meet those needs. Many of these will be met through in classroom settings but many will come from on line learning opportunities.

What experience has prepared you for office?

What qualifies me: Before retiring roughly 7 years ago I was a senior executive at the C suite of four Fortune 200 companies, most recently as the Executive VP and Chief Retail Officer for Limited Brands, the parent company of Victoria Secret, Bath&Body Works, Express, Lane Bryant and Limited stores. In this role I had responsibility for multibillion dollar budgets, over 50,000 associates, education, strategy and operations. During my time there we set record sales and profit growth, creating thousands of jobs. Previous to that I was with PepsiCo at the Officer level for over 10 years and a senior leader with Baxter Healthcare for 10 years also. I have consistently demonstrated the ability to select and develop diverse high performing teams and deliver results across 3 industries through solid strategy, collaboration and strong leadership. Presently. I am the Vice Chair of the Colorado Springs Symphony Orchestra and was appointed by Gov. Polis out of 19 candidates last December to fill a vacated CD5 Regent position. Since being on the board I helped determine and select our latest system president and as a member of the University Affairs committee supported and received unanimous support to establish an aerospace engineering program at UCCS, only the second in our state. My significant background leading large organizations uniquely qualifies me to help lead the University of Colorado system into the future.

Casados, Ron

Party: Democrat

Phone number: 719-632-1096

Email: roncasadosco@gmail.com

Questionnaire: No response

DISTRICT 8

This district includes portions of Adams, Larimer and Weld Counties.

Democrats: 115,404 Republican: 102,922 Unaffiliated: 190,925 Total active voters: 417,538

There’s no incumbent in this race.

Ortega, Yolanda

Party: Democrat

Phone number: 303-912-4279

Email: yolio@comcast.net

Website: http://ortega4curegent.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ortega4CUregent

Twitter:@Ortega4CUregent

What are your top three priorities if elected?

Making the university experience accessible and affordable. I would promote ways in which CU may commit to being an equity-serving institution. As well, I would advocate for strategies that would assist students in chipping away at the rising costs of an educational career. I support comprehensive career development initiatives such as internships, business partnerships and research opportunities. They prepare students to enter the workforce with the requisite training and leadership skills to excel. Continue to strengthen community engagement with grassroots organizations (especially communities of color) and the university campuses.

What experience has prepared you for office?

This summer, I celebrated 50 years of being in higher education. I began as a secretary for Chicano Studies and retired 30 years later as a Vice President of Student Affairs. After retirement, I continued to serve in interim positions. I was also the governor appointed to the Auraria Board of Trustees. I understand and have experience in complex budget planning and management. As well, (I have been) recognized as a community leader and advocate. I have a comprehensive understanding of complex organizations and systems. Higher ed has been my life, my passion and my advocacy.

Reyes, Rosanna

Party: Democrat

Phone number: 720-542-1919

Email: rosannaforregent@gmail.com

Website: https://www.rosannaforregent.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rosanna4regent

Twitter: @Rosanna4regent

Questionnaire: No response

Rinard, Eric

Party: Republican

Phone number: 303-931-9675

Email: eric@rinardforregent.com

Website: https://www.rinardforregent.com

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education, University of Colorado-Boulder

What are your top three priorities if elected?

Uphold and defend all four of CU’s Strategic Pillars designed to preserve sustainable and accessible excellence at our nationally ranked public university. Maintain successful and innovative four-year undergraduate tuition guarantee at CU Boulder since 2016 and expand it to other campuses. Promote diversity, especially in free inquiry that sometimes challenges academic orthodoxy. Promote minority rights while recognizing that the smallest minority is the individual. Foster a competitive environment for student athletics.

What experience has prepared you for office?

My exposure to higher education began at an early age, as one of three children of a University of Denver professor of electrical engineering. My formative years were filled with visits to the DU campus offices and laboratories, and detailed descriptions of research programs like hands-free communication via sensing of eye movements (ocular control) and early development of electric powered cars, decades before their commercialization. My own engineering career has produced commercial success in the industries of computer peripherals, data storage, home automation and currently, ultrafast pulsed lasers for research and industry. I have lived near the center of what is now the 8th congressional district for about twenty years. Twelve years ago, I became a volunteer for my county Republican Party, and six years ago became a board member at my children’s public charter school. I have also traveled internationally, including Canada and Mexico on our continent, and many different countries in Europe. On every visit I am eager to learn about the uniqueness of each of these varied cultures. The sum of these experiences from both inside and outside of a university environment, paired with my innate curiosity about the world we live in, gives me a unique, science-based perspective from which to approach the role of a CU Regent. And to top it off, I am proud to be a CU Buff for life!

VanDriel, Mark

Party: Republican

Phone number: 970-373-5229

Email: contact@markvandriel.com

Website: https://regents.markvandriel.com

Education: Bachelor’s degree in History, 2009, University of Norther Colorado; Ph.D. in History, 2017, University of South Carolina.

What are your top three priorities if elected?

Affordability: tuition has tripled in 18 years at CU, and that growth cannot continue. Accessibility: CU should be a flagship university for all of Colorado, equally accessible to all regardless of beliefs and prior circumstances. I think there are two areas, in particular, to increase accessibility: making unpopular speech welcome on campus and robustly fighting “cancel culture,” and making CU more open to first generation students

Accountability: I believe that the CU Regents have over the past several decades allowed for a large disconnect between regent law/official policy and the lived experience at CU Campuses. I want to dismantle this disconnect and help CU live up to its actual promises.

What experience has prepared you for office?

Starting in 2012 I became heavily involved in campus administration at the University of South Carolina, serving on many resource, advisory, and steering committees. I was elected multiple times and represented thousands of constituents in university proceedings. Of particular note, I served on several senior executive hiring committees as well as on faculty advisory committees. I have been the faculty instructor in traditional and non-traditional classrooms and in specialized courses for almost every segment of university students and I have been recognized with a number of awards for my teaching. In summary, I have both the administrative experience to be an effective Regent, and the instructional experience to appreciate and craft effective policies considering the diverse backgrounds and educational realities present at CU.

Editor’s note: Registration numbers came from the Secretary of State’s database as of May 1, 2022

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