SENATE DISTRICT 5

Why it matters

Democrats are just one seat behind in the Colorado State Senate — we must defend 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 Democrat Kerry Donovan, a Colorado native and rancher from the high country just outside Edwards. Sen. Donovan runs Copper Bar Ranch, a small business that raises Highland Cattle and provides vegetables for area restaurants. As a State Senator, Donovan has prioritized issues such as economic assistance and expanded broadband access for struggling rural communities, water and public lands conservation, and assisting victims of domestic violence.

Sen. Donovan won her last election by just 1300 votes, and will be targeted by well-funded Republican attacks in 2018. A well-organized campaign with strong support from grassroots volunteers and donors will be crucial to help progressives defend this seat.

State Sen. Kerry Donovan (D)
State Sen. Kerry Donovan (D)

District overview

Population:
141,608

Registered voters:
Democrat: 29,097 | Republican: 30,588 | Unaffiliated: 40,593

Key areas:

Edwards, Delta, Aspen, Gypsum, Eagle, Avon, Gunnison, Vail, Salida. Extremely large, rural district with scattered, more denslely-populated mountain towns. Over half of the district’s population lives in either Eagle or Delta county.

Counties:
Eagle, Delta, Chaffee, Pitkin, Gunnison, Lake, Hinsdale

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

Volunteer! Nothing helps candidates more than grassroots volunteers. Knocking doors, making calls, and helping staff with competitive campaigns is one of the biggest ways you can make a difference.

Donate! The only way to beat the Republican fundraising machine is with an army of small donors. Your donations help campaigns hire staff, organize volunteers, and get out the vote.