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Photo courtesy of Stephany Rose Spaulding

Colorado’s 2020 Senate Candidates: Stephany Rose Spaulding

A college professor—she teaches women's and ethnic studies at University of Colorado Colorado Springs—and Baptist pastor, Spaulding wants to change our political conversations.

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Resume: Women’s and ethnic studies professor at University of Colorado Colorado Springs; senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church; and former candidate for the 5th Congressional District (2018)

Give me your 30-second elevator pitch: Why are you running?
Stephany Rose Spaulding: I’m running because I truly believe that we could be the state that we desire to be, but we definitely have not gotten there yet as a state—or as a nation.

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What sets you apart from the other Democratic Party candidates?
I’m not a career politician and that is different in terms of many of the candidates who are running, but I am also someone who really has a relationship with people on the ground here in Colorado. So, again, seeing myself as someone who is of the people and not just for the people.

What is your top policy priority?
For me, when I approach policy, I approach it from a human dignity and decency perspective. I think that a lack of civility is at the core of how we have been governing, especially in this last administrative cycle, but it’s not, again, something that’s new. So as I look at policy in relationship to health care for everyone, immigration reform, environmental crisis, I look at it from a human dignity perspective and want to apply that approach to all the issues that we face. But I do see those as the top three issues that Coloradans are focused on right now.

How would you ensure Colorado’s interests are met in Washington, D.C.?
One, to make sure that I am connected to the interests of Coloradans. That is a failure of our current senator. He has not had conversations representative of all Coloradans, so continuing to have those town halls, showing up in person to really understand what Coloradans desire, and then to be an advocate in Washington, D.C. I have been in a number of situations where I might be a minority voice, and minority in the numerical sense, but I’ve been able to hold my own, and hold my own ground, and move forward in the things that are priorities, whether that is obtaining a PhD, or earning tenure….I will take those skill sets to Washington, D.C., for Colorado.

How would you work with an increasingly divided Senate?
Again, I think my work in academia demonstrates that I can have conversations that are difficult, while standing in my values, but also bringing others along. And a diversity of thought—and moving concerns forward—[with] human dignity and civility is extremely important. Making sure that we are listening to people on every side of the aisle, even those who may not adequately be in the room and represented, and then making decisions that are for the good of the collective.

What is something voters might not know about you?
That I love to sing. I have been singing, of course, in faith communities since I was a young girl….While I might not necessarily have a Whitney Houston voice, I just like the art of singing. It’s healing and it’s something that I continue to do regularly.

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Now for the lightning round….Pick one: 

Broncos or Rockies? 
Broncos

I-25 or I-70? 
I-25

National Western Stock Show or a show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre? 
Red Rocks

Coors Banquet Beer or a Colorado craft brew? 
Craft brew

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Hike a fourteener or raft the Arkansas River? 
Raft the Arkansas

Fall foliage or wildflower season? 
Fall foliage

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve or Rocky Mountain National Park? 
Sand Dunes

Wyoming or Utah? 
Utah

Editor’s note: Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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