Democrat Brianna Titone is seeking reelection to the Colorado House of Representatives’ 27th district, which encompasses Arvada and slivers of Wheat Ridge and Golden. Titone faces a challenge from Republican Vicki Pyne, whom she defeated by just 439 votes in the 2018 election.
What motivates you to run for office?
Ultimately, it’s a long seeded desire to serve my community. This began during my days as a volunteer firefighter in high school and remains as strong as ever. During that time, I envisioned that one day I would have a career where I could make a real difference in people’s lives, but I had no idea what that looked like specifically. After the 9/11 attacks, I had a strong desire to help protect our country from terrorism. I wanted to do this as a Special Agent in the FBI. I came close to achieving that goal, but couldn’t.
Later, after coming out as being trans, I realized I was part of a community of people who needed help and representation, so I became an activist. That activism turned into a career in politics when I realized I could effectively support people in my community, solve big problems and make the difference in the world that I had been looking to make for so long. I’m so grateful to be serving my community and realizing this dream of mine, and I hope to continue this work.
What experience do you have that makes you qualified for the job?
In addition to what I consider to be a very successful first term, my unique path towards becoming a state representative has provided me with several educational and professional opportunities that I believe make me a better public servant.
I possess two bachelor’s degrees and two master’s degrees in the sciences. As a geologist, I consider myself to be inherently curious and inquisitive. I have honed my skills at examining data and being objective about facts. I’m a natural problem solver, and in my years as a mining consultant, I have worked with many people on difficult projects, in different languages, and across different cultures. Across these experiences, I have had to develop my skills of cooperation, rapport, and understanding to achieve the work. Through my work as an activist, I learned the value of servant leadership and working with stakeholders on all sides of an issue to come to creative, consensus-building solutions.
What are your top three policy issues, and how would you address those issues if elected?
Specifically, the three policy issues that matter most to my district are boosting education funding, lowering healthcare costs, and addressing our state’s transportation needs. Health care and housing were a top priority of mine during my first term, and I worked with my Democratic colleagues and several Republicans to pass several bills to lower the cost of health care, strengthen renters’ rights, and make unprecedented investments in affordable housing. Next session, I will work with my colleagues to find reasonable bipartisan solutions to transportation while also working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find ways to bring more equity to our school funding formulas.
What key issues set you apart from your opponent? Where do you most closely align?
My opponent hasn’t said much about many policy issues, but as for the ones she has addressed, I think we somewhat align on our ideas around mental health and the need to support our communities in distress. I agree that the community is the answer to helping reduce stigma, and to catching our vulnerable neighbors get through tough times by being knowledgeable in how to talk to them.
On the other side of the coin, we have a great deal of policy differences, but I think we stand apart particularly on transportation. While I do believe we need to upkeep and expand our roads and highways, I believe we need to simultaneously encourage the use of public transportation systems. Studies have shown that adding more lanes doesn’t decrease traffic, it just puts more cars on the road. In order to reduce traffic, we need to be more careful in our development strategies and center these around a robust public transit system. We need everyone from both sides of the aisle at the table working to solve this challenge. Our gas tax hasn’t been raised since 1991, all the while transportation infrastructure construction has gotten more expensive, and cars are more efficient. We need businesses, Republicans, and Democrats all working together to bring new solutions to the table that voters haven’t already rejected.
If you could snap your fingers and make one law in Colorado, what would it be?
I think I’d use this magical legislative power to tackle one of the most complicated, and most important, issues facing our state: education funding. With a snap of my fingers, I would ensure that every single one of our teachers, students, and classrooms have the funding they need. Our students deserve the best possible education, and our educators deserve all of the support they need to get them there. I think my magic snap of the fingers would be well suited for this challenge.
Learn more about Brianna Titone on her campaign website.
Republican candidate for HD27 Vicki Pyne has not returned the questionnaire. This post will be updated with responses from other HD27 candidates as CTR receives them.