Dianne Primavera recently admitted she did not know what she was doing when she ran for House District 33 in 2004.
Still, she fought the good fight, losing to Bill Berens by 1,972 votes.
She’s hoping for a different result in November, when she and Berens face off again.
“I’m a lot smarter. I really learned a lot in ’04,” Primavera said, explaining that she is trying to work “harder and smarter” during this campaign season. “This would be a real honor for me to be at the state Capitol.”
The biggest difference between Primavera and Berens is their experience. While Primavera’s resume includes a wide variety of public service work, she has never held elected office.
Berens, on the other hand, held his first elected position in 1985 — as a Broomfield city councilman — and has climbed the ballot ever since. He served as Broomfield’s mayor from 1994 to 2001, when he had to leave office because of term limits. He was elected to represent House District 33 in 2004, his first attempt at statewide office.
District 33 includes Broomfield on the south and Superior on the west. On the east side, the district covers part of Lafayette, then forms a U-shape around the Erie Airpark subdivision. Old Town Erie is part of District 33; on the other side of District 48. District 33 follows Interstate 25 north to about Weld County Road 8.
When Berens got to the Legislature in 2004, he was surprised to learn the state does not have a five-year master plan, as most municipalities and counties do.
“You can’t just look at the next year or the year after,” he said. “I see our state at a really critical point.”
As a freshman legislator, Berens did not want to propose a plan he was sure Gov. Bill Owens would veto, he said. If he is re-elected, he plans to discuss the idea with the new governor and hopes to get the item into the budget.
Berens’ first priority in the next session is to increase the punishment for sexual assault on a child younger than 12 to a prison sentence of at least 24 years, he said.
While sentencing for sexual assaults is quite complicated in Colorado, sexual assault on a child generally carries a punishment ranging from intensive probation to two years to life in prison.
He proposed that law in the last session, but it was killed in committee, he said.
Health care and education would be Primavera’s top priorities if she is elected, she said.
As a cancer survivor, she said, “I really understand the importance of health care.” While she would like to make insurance more affordable for small businesses and pool resources with other states to reduce prescription costs, Primavera said she also would like to provide incentives for preventative care.
In addition, Primavera is concerned with Colorado’s lack of funding for education and wants to see more emphasis placed on preschool, she said.
“Education, of course, is the backbone of our democracy,” Primavera said.
Victoria Camron can be reached at 303-684-5226, or by e-mail at email@example.com.