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Editor’s Note: Alice Madden suspended her Senate campaign on October 11, 2019.
Resume: Lawyer; former state representative and majority leader; served in the Department of Energy during the Obama administration; and former candidate for University of Colorado’s Board of Regents (2016)
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Give me your 30-second elevator pitch: Why are you running?
Alice Madden: I literally cannot sit back and watch this election unfold when we’re dealing with two of the biggest man-made crises this country has ever faced, which includes both Donald Trump and climate change. Dealing with climate change is really what drove me to get into the race. I’ve worked on all kinds of other issues—health care, education—but developing a strategic, inclusive, clean-energy economy is something that this country needs.
What sets you apart from the other Democratic Party candidates?
Frankly, the breadth of my experience is far beyond anyone else’s. I worked in high tech. I practiced law for 10 years. I served in the legislature for eight, including four years as majority leader. I worked in the executive branch both at the state and federal level for Governor Ritter and President Obama’s administration. I have also taught in schools, teaching law school and students studying public policy. And that’s not even going into all the different boards I’ve served on. I’ve worked on building schools in Tanzania. I’ve been working on trying to get underrepresented minorities who are studying STEM to stay in those majors and work in sustainability….I’ve just been giving back to my community in all [kinds of] different ways for a long time. And I don’t think there is anyone in the race who just has the breadth and depth of my experience.
What is your top policy priority?
Developing an inclusive, clean-energy economy across the entire country is my highest priority. We would kill many birds with one stone. We would employ people, enhance our economy across the country, and address this existential crisis that is climate change. It would obviously help our environment, help public health, and employ people across this nation.
How would you ensure Colorado’s interests are met in Washington, D.C.?
I’ve been living here since I was 18 years old. I raised two boys here. I’ve worked in this economy my entire life. My work has taken me all across the state. I’ve dealt with protecting public lands, I’ve worked with rural areas—[agriculture], ranchers, farmers—on a number of issues. I have a really wide perspective of the needs and desires of Coloradans and what they worry about in the middle of the night. So I think I’m one of the closer folks to the broadest number of people in the state.
How would you work with an increasingly divided Senate?
You know, I was really successful in the Colorado Caucus. I served in the minority for four years and had one of the, probably, more successful careers of any minority member, getting bills passed….Then I was majority leader for the first time in a generation so there was, you know, the Republicans in the state were upset that they had lost their majority. Things really shifted around but I worked incredibly hard to treat the new minority with respect and dignity and [to] be magnanimous.…I always prepare and want to know who I’m talking to so, if you’re dealing with another senator, you have to understand where he or she is coming from and what their state needs, and try to get them to move forward on the particular issue you are talking to them about. So I come to each conversation with a lot of respect and gratitude.
What is something voters might not know about you?
I can do a backflip off just about anything.
Now for the lightning round….Pick one:
Broncos or Rockies?
I-25 or I-70?
National Western Stock Show or a show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre?
Coors Banquet Beer or a Colorado craft brew?
Colorad craft brew
Hike a fourteener or raft the Arkansas River?
Raft the Arkansas
Fall foliage or wildflower season?
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve or Rocky Mountain National Park?
Great Sand Dunes
Wyoming or Utah?
Editor’s note: Responses were edited for length and clarity.