Many Colorado Republicans welcomed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to Denver with open arms earlier this month.
DeVos was in town to speak at the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a non-profit funded mostly by corporations and conservative organizations, that aims to mold state governments by providing model legislation to be used by its members in statehouses across the country.
Both DeVos and ALEC have set out to expand school choice, privatize public schools, and undermine teachers’ unions, an agenda that makes them key foes for progressives in Colorado, as demonstrated by the huge protest that erupted on the day of DeVos’ Denver arrival.
But for many members of Colorado’s Republican Party, DeVos and ALEC are friends. Here’s a run down of which Colorado Republicans are all in on their agenda.
State Rep. Tim Leonard of Evergreen called DeVos’ speech “refreshing.”
State Sen. Kevin Lundberg, a Republican from Berthoud who’s running for Colorado Treasurer, spoke at the conference, saying it was a “privilege” to do so.
Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton, who’s likely to run for Governor, said he was honored to speak alongside DeVos at the conference. Stapleton is the cousin of former President George H.W. Bush.
State Sen. Owen Hill, a Colorado Springs Republican who’s looking to unseat U.S. Rep. Doug Lambon (R-CO), actually met with DeVos. Hill is chair of the Senate Education Committee and, like DeVos, an outspoken advocate of school choice.
He sponsored a bill earlier this year that would have forced school districts to hand over funds raised in local mill levy elections to charter schools.
State Sen. Vicki Marble of Fort Collins also attended the conference.
Lamborn is another outspoken supporter of DeVos and school choice.
U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) spoke at the conference as well.