Note: We caught up with Dana Barker, the Democratic candidate for Senate District 7 against Rep. Josh Penry R-54, during his day of celebration: the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel had endorsed his candidacy. The district covers Mesa County and a couple of precincts in Garfield County.
Q: Were you surprised to get the endorsement of the Daily Sentinel?
A: It really gave me a lift.
I was hopeful after the editorial meeting, but still surprised to read Sunday’s editorial in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. I was very pleased and sent a letter of thanks to the editorial committee. Just the night before I had been depressed about raising campaign funds. This endorsement has energized me and given me a chance to prevail. This should provide me the key to unlock some funds.
Q: What kind of questions were asked?
A: Their questions were very helpful and gave me insight on community concerns in the Mesa County area such as drilling in watersheds, health, water, oil and gas drilling and education. I told them my passion is health and education, but my first legislation would be about oil and gas. I want to change the make-up of the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission to reflect views outside the industry and also keep working on the surface rights bill. I also believe there should be no drilling in a city’s water source.
Q: How’s the campaign going?”
A: It’s hard raising money. Penry spent $70,000 during his primary so he still has a lot of signs up and of course, name recognition. I’ve raised enough to do a little newspaper advertising. Now that the Secretary of State’s ruling on small donors has been delayed, I might get some help from those groups. Since Penry did not agree to voluntary spending limits of $90,000 and I did, donors can now contribute up to $800 a piece to my campaign instead of the $400 cap. I would like to reach out to moderate Republicans to let them know that instead of under-voting and accepting what they get, they can vote for me and still be represented.
Photo: Dana Barker