SENATE DISTRICT 16

Why it matters

Democrats are one seat behind in the Colorado State Senate — we must flip this seat in order to take back control. The State Senators elected in 2018 will be responsible for redistricting in 2020, which makes winning this race crucial to protecting our state from Republican gerrymandering.

Race overview

This seat is currently held by Tim Neville, one of Colorado’s most conservative State Senators. Although Sen. Neville represents a district with more registered Democrats and Independents than Republicans, he has maintained an extreme right-wing voting record since taking office.

Sen. Neville won his last election by less than 2000 votes and has consistently taken hard-right votes that are wildly out of touch with his constituent’s views, leaving him extremely vulnerable in 2018. Some of Sen. Neville’s “greatest hits” include blocking legislation that would bar landlords from profiting off of predatory application fees, blocking legislation that would let 12-14 year-olds seek out therapists without parental consent for things like depression, suicidal thoughts, and abuse, and routinely introducing legislation that would criminalize abortion as a class 1 felony — the same category as first-degree murder and actual treason.

State Sen. Tim Neville (R)
State Sen. Tim Neville (R)

District overview

Population:
147,928

Registered voters:
Democrat: 35,484 | Republican: 37,207 | Unaffiliated: 45,365

Key areas:

Golden, Evergreen, Columbine, Superior, Eldorado Springs, unincorporated Jefferson County. Heavy population centers located in central Jefferson county along I-70 into the mountains.

Counties:
Boulder [9%], Denver [17%], Gilpin [4%], Jefferson [70%]

Landmarks:
Colorado School of Mines, Coors Brewery, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Lookout Mountain

District map (click to view interactive)

What's at stake

Despite a notable lack of media coverage, many of the policies that most directly affect people’s lives are actually made at the state level. With a fully progressive state government, we can go beyond merely resisting Trump’s destructive agenda and begin advancing policies that actually improve people’s lives.

To truly understand what’s at stake in state politics, just look at what each party in Colorado has prioritized (but not always being successful at) in recent years:

Colorado Democrats:

Creating free all-day kindergarten for families throughout the state

Easing TABOR restrictions to end the unnecessary, self-imposed funding crisis facing our schools, roads, and hospitals

Making Colorado a leader in renewable energy by requiring at least 30% of energy from renewables by 2020

Making it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity

Joining the National Popular Vote Compact to end the Electoral College as we know it

Fighting to defend women’s rights and reproductive freedoms — especially the constitutionally protected right to choose

Colorado Republicans:

Reducing funding for k-12 education and higher education by thousands of dollars per student

Supporting and defending TABOR, the most restrictive conservative tax policy in the country — making it effectively impossible for the state to build a surplus or fund basic services

Blocking efforts to ban oil and gas drilling withing 1000ft of schools and neighborhoods

Blocking efforts ban the tortourous, cruel practice of “gay conversion therapy” from being performed on minors

Defunding the Colorado health care exchange and cutting rural hospital funding for medicaid patients

Making all forms of abortion illegal, even in cases of rape or incest, by criminalizing abortion as a class 1 felony — the same category as first-degree murder and actual treason

How to help

This early in the race, one of the most helpful things you can do is raise money to take on the Republican fundraising machine. We’ve established a “District Fund” to create a pot of money, raised in advance, for the eventual Democratic nominee in the 2018 Senate District 16 race.

The Colorado Resistance Manual maps out several easy ways for activists to organize grassroots fundraisers for candidates (p42). Simply click on the button below to view or download the Manual.

Colorado Resistance does not make endorsements in primaries, and pledges to support the eventual Democratic nominee. However, that doesn’t mean you have to sit the primaries out.

We’ve linked the candidates’ websites below so you can do your research and make an informed choice in the Democratic primary (date TBD). We’re only aware of one candidate at the moment, but will add more as they declare. If a particular candidate catches your eye, consider volunteering for or donating directly to their campaign!