2016 election: COMPAC-endorsed candidates overwhelmingly succeed at the polls

Thursday, November 10, 2016 02:25 PM
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A presidential result that surprised even the most accurate pollsters sent a clear message that repudiates the Washington establishment and demonstrates that Americans were yearning for a “change” candidate this year. Both houses of the U.S. Congress are also now Republican-controlled, and all of the incumbents in the Colorado congressional delegation are headed back to the capitol.

On the state level, the political climate did not change much. The Senate Republicans held the majority by one seat (18-17), while the House Democrats also kept the majority, gaining three seats (37-28). Since the Governor wasn’t up for election this cycle, state politics should remain fairly consistent with the last two sessions. Leadership for all four caucuses were elected today. See below.

Colorado voters approved the ballot initiative to allow for physician-assisted death and the amendment to make it more difficult to alter the state constitution, while defeating the proposed tax increase on tobacco products and the amendment to create a health care cooperative to replace most other health insurance.

COMPAC-endorsed candidates fared very well in the election. This is largely in part to a candidate briefing and interview process that is a model for professional and trade associations.

Local physicians, working with CMS and component society staff, brief candidates on medicine’s priority issues. Candidates receive a “Candidate Briefing Document” well before the interview that lays out the background on each issue: Colorado’s stable liability climate, health care reform, managed care, scope of practice, etc. The CMS lobby team is available to answer questions about the issues, and local physicians conduct the interview in the candidates’ district.

This process provides for two-way dialogue. Physicians and lobbyists get to hear how a candidate thinks about issues. The candidate learns about the passion that physicians have for issues affecting patients and practice.

After the interview of both candidates is complete, physicians vote to recommend the endorsement of one of them to the COMPAC board. Occasionally, the local physicians recommend staying out of the race.

During the election cycle just completed, COMPAC endorsed 82 federal and state candidates; 77 were elected. COMPAC’s goal is to help them all know or get to know better their local medical community leaders, and understand that physicians in the community care and are engaged.

COMPAC needs your support to continue its work. Donate to COMPAC or the Small Donor Committee online at www.cms.org/contribute.

Leadership elections for all four caucuses took place on Nov. 10. Congratulations to all the newly elected members.

House Democrats
Speaker of the House: Crisanta Duran, HD 5 - Denver
Majority Leader: KC Becker, HD 13 - Boulder
Assistant Majority Leader: Alec Garnett, HD 2 - Denver
Majority Caucus Chair: Daneya Esgar, HD 46 - Pueblo
Assistant Majority Caucus Chair: Jeni Arndt, 53 - Fort Collins
Majority Whip: Brittany Pettersen, HD 28 - Lakewood
JBC Members: Dave Young, HD 50 - Greeley, and Millie Hamner, HD 61 - Dillon

House Republicans
Minority Leader: Patrick Neville, HD 45 - Franktown
Assistant Minority Leader: Cole Wist, HD 37 - Centennial
Minority Caucus Chair: Lori Saine, HD 63 - Danco
Minority Whip: Perry Buck, HD 49 - Windsor
JBC Member: Bob Rankin, HD 57 - Carbondale

Senate Republicans
President: Kevin Grantham, SD 2 - Canon City
President Pro Tem: Jerry Sonnenberg, SD 1 - Sterling
Majority Leader: Chris Holbert, SD 30 - Parker
Assistant Majority Leader: Ray Scott, SD 55 - Grand Junction
Majority Caucus Chair: Vicki Marble, SD 23 - Fort Collins
JBC Members: Kent Lambert, SD 9 - Colorado Springs, and Kevin Lundberg, SD 15 - Berthoud

Senate Democrats
Minority Leader: Lucia Guzman, SD 34 - Denver
Assistant Minority Leader: Leroy Garcia, SD 3 - Pueblo
Minority Caucus Chair: Lois Court, SD 31 - Denver
Minority Whip: Mike Merrifield, SD 11 - Colorado Springs
JBC Member: Dominick Moreno, SD 21 - Commerce City

Posted in: ASAP | Initiatives | Advocacy


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