2018 Candidate and Initiative Endorsement Guide

SJK is pleased to announce our endorsements for the 2018 election.

These are the candidates who support public education. SJK does dual endorsements on the occasion when more than one candidate is a strong supporter of public education. This list will be updated regularly. Candidates holding a Great Schools, Thriving Communities petition are noted – you should be able to sign at any of their events.

The short version (see long version below for links and quotes):


  • Amendment 73
  • Jeffco Mill Levy 5A
  • Jeffco Bond 5B
  • Issue 6E for Arvada Fire

Colorado State Treasurer:

  • Dave Young

Attorney General of Colorado:

  • Phil Weiser

Jefferson County Commissioner (county-wide election)

  • Lesley Dahlkemper (former Jeffco School Board President)

Jefferson County Treasurer (county-wide election)

  • Gerald “Jerry” DiTullio

Jefferson County Assessor

  • Scot Kersgaard

Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder

  • George Stern

Colorado State Senate

  • Representative Brittany Petterson, SD 22
  • Tammy Story, SD 16 
  • Representative Jessie Danielson, SD 20

Colorado House of Representatives

  • Representative Chris Kennedy, HD 23 (incumbent)
  • Monica Duran, HD 24 (Wheat Ridge City Council)
  • Lisa Cutter, HD 25
  • Kerry Tipper, HD 28
  • Representative Tracy Kraft Tharp, HD 29 (incumbent)
  • Brianna Titone, HD 27
  • Todd Kastetter, HD22


  • Bob Wilson for RTD
  • Shelley Cook for RTD

Colorado State Board of Education

  • Tim Krug, CD4

The handout – 2018 SJK Endorsements

The long version:

Colorado State Treasurer:

Dave Young


“Although the State Treasurer cannot pass or introduce legislation, I will use my statewide office to influence other legislators to support this crucial program. … there is empirical evidence that Safe2Tell has stopped school violence. In a time where school shootings seem to be happening almost monthly, programs like Safe2Tell are a great start to keeping our schools safe… I will fight to protect and expand this program.”

“The top reason I am running for State Treasurer is to find a fix to TABOR and Gallagher. These amendments collide and lead to a state budget that is underfunding not only schools but also transportation, affordable housing, and our healthcare programs… TABOR has forced our state to stretch our budget and our kids are the ones paying the price. I am currently working on a fix to TABOR and Gallagher and I will continue doing so as Treasurer.”

Attorney General of Colorado:

Phil Weiser


“I will fight to preserve that and will oppose tax credits and vouchers…the effort to support funding for parochial schools violates the First Amendment. It is a travesty that the Attorney General’s office supported Douglas County’s voucher program that supported parochial education.”

Jefferson County Commissioner (county-wide election)

Lesley Dahlkemper (former Jeffco School Board President)


“We must use every tool available to us to ensure our children are learning in safe, welcoming school environments. As a past member of the Jeffco school board, I was proud to approve funding for a nationally-recognized training center in Jeffco that offers cutting-edge instruction in school safety to law enforcement officials.”

“As your next county commissioner, I will …collaborate with our school district, local businesses, and Chambers of Commerce to ensure our graduates are workforce ready. A strong partnership between our county government and our school district is key. I look forward to listening and involving our community, finding common ground, and identifying workable solutions.”

Jefferson County Treasurer (county-wide election)

Gerald “Jerry” DiTullio


“The state legislature needs to abolish the Negative Factor and fund K-12 education as intended by Amendment 23. It’s their duty.”

“I will absolutely continue to support Safe2Tell as an elected official, a Jeffco teacher and as a resident of Colorado.”

Jefferson County Assessor

Scot Kersgaard


“I believe good schools are a fundamental factor not only in real estate values but in the overall livability and utility of a community.”

Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder

George Stern


“I couldn’t be more proud to have been a public school teacher here in Colorado… While I eventually made the difficult decision to leave the classroom and go to law school and become an attorney, my time as a public school teacher informs everything I do in my life, especially my political activism and policy positions.”

Colorado State Senate

Representative Brittany Petterson, SD 22


“I will continue to support more funding for our schools, our counselors, Safe2Tell, and stronger gun laws.”

“I have never and will never support vouchers. This would pull money out of our already strained school system. Public education is a public good that should always be there.”

Tammy Story, SD 16


“Tax credits, ESA’S, vouchers and choice scholarships are strategies designed to divert public tax dollars to pay for private school tuition… I oppose tax credits, ESA’S, vouchers and choice scholarships in any form”

“As a state, Colorado is not adequately funding public education as evidenced by our state’s per pupil funding and educator salaries that lie near the bottom among ranked states. Yet, Colorado is reported to have the most robust economy in the country…”

Representative Jessie Danielson, SD 20


“I have been a strong supporter of Jeffco public schools during my time in office. I am proud that Jeffco citizens place such great value on their neighborhood schools. It is important to our local quality of life, but more importantly great schools create opportunities for kids to find their passion and be successful in their adult lives. Shortchanging our kids’ education denies them those opportunities, drives away businesses and undermines an institution that has been vital to our country’s democratic tradition for over 150 years. ”

“We are working in the budget to fully fund Safe2Tell. We also just passed $35 million in funding for school security. ”

Colorado House of Representatives

Representative Chris Kennedy, HD 23 (incumbent)


“My true north is to keep our public schools public, support our teachers and ESPs, and keep up the pressure for much more adequate funding.”

“First, we must keep school funding as a top priority in our annual budget conversations.”

Monica Duran, HD 24 (Wheat Ridge City Council)


“I believe that public charter schools need to be held to the same standards as traditional public schools– which has not been the case. This includes, but is not limited to, civil rights, health and safety laws, and teacher and staff equality.”

“I strongly oppose vouchers to religious and private schools, and I will support all efforts and measures to keep funding in our public schools.”

Lisa Cutter, HD 25


“It seems clear that we’ve reached a place where our cash-starved schools require some relief. It is not acceptable that our funding levels of public education are amongst the lowest in the nation. Is that who we want to be?”

“Tax credits, ESAs and voucher/choice scholarships will divert funding from public schools. This is especially detrimental because the schools benefiting from these arrangements are not always required to follow the same rules (e.g. testing, admission for students of all background and abilities, and additional policies) that public schools are required to follow.”

Brianna Titone, HD27


“In order to provide a truly equitable education for all students in Colorado we need to invest in our traditional public schools. There should be a quality public school option for all students in their own neighborhood rather than being forced to take a bus across town in order to attend school. We need to compensate our teachers with fair and livable wages as well as providing them with the necessary resources to be able to perform their job to the best of their ability. I do believe that charter schools have a place in our society, but they are not meant to replace our traditional public schools. We are in a difficult place of needing to address the valid concerns with charter schools as it relates to their ability to access funding and claim “public” status while also fixing the real issues faced by our district run public schools.”

“Public schools offer opportunity to everyone regardless of income, race, gender or disability. When public school are well funded it helps give students equal opportunity to succeed. Public schools also help with student equity for those that need special assistance. Public education is a good and value investment. It supports our future workforce, our community, and in the long-term sustainability of the local, regional and national economies.”

Kerry Tipper, HD 28


“I oppose all three (tax credits, vouchers, ESAs)  and challenge the notion that they provide, rather than take away, choice… When we take money away from public schools and put it into the hands of private schools, we make it harder for public schools to educate everyone.”

“We should be doing everything we can to properly fund our schools, factoring for inflation, enrollment increases, well-deserved staff compensation & benefits, and school infrastructure demands. As legislators, we can start by spearheading bipartisan efforts to change the way the TABOR cap is calculated. We also need to get rid of the negative factor…even if we were to meet our current funding mandates, we would still rank near the bottom of education funding nationwide. The only way to remedy this is to increase sources of revenue for our schools.”

Representative Tracy Kraft Tharp, HD 29 (incumbent)


“I do not support tax credits, ESAs and vouchers/choice. Parents have the right to send their children to any school, however public dollars should support public schools.”

“Public schools are the backbone of our community.”

Todd Kastetter, HD 22


“Current funding levels are not sustainable and we cannot allow “education” to continue to be treated as an afterthought.  Put simply, funding for our public education system needs to be our top priority.  (Also, the General Assembly needs to be wary of initiatives and proposals labeled as “school choice” that only serve to further undermine our public education system by diverting funds away from our already strapped system.)”

“Colorado has a thriving economy and it is the duty of the General Assembly to fully support our public education system and the professionals who work tirelessly to make it a success. We need to make sure that all of Colorado’s school districts have the support they need as every Colorado student deserves a fair opportunity to succeed, regardless of where they live or the challenges they may face.  Providing a safe, high quality public education is not only our duty, it is our economic imperative. Indeed, Colorado cannot achieve its future goals without a healthy, well-educated citizenry.”


Bob Wilson for RTD


“I support public school because public education has made this county a good, though imperfect, place to live. My wife, family and I are the products of public education. We support our public schools with our votes for mill levy increases and bond issues on the ballot.”

Shelley Cook for RTD


“Public entities, especially those reliant on property tax, have been dealing with the complications and interacting effects of Tabor, Gallagher and the negative factor after Amendment 23 for decades now. I do not usually sign petitions to amend the Constitution, but I signed and support the “Great Schools, Thriving Communities” initiative. It partially restructures school financing in Colorado, which is in such dire straits — with teacher salaries that have fallen behind (especially considering our cost of living) and per student funding that is among the lowest in the nation. It also helps mitigate Gallagher’s impact over time.”

Colorado State Board of Education

Tim Krug, CD4


“Public schools educate 90% of Americans and is the single greatest factor in America having the strongest economy, military, and cultural and political influence in the world. Supporting public schools is an act of patriotism.”

“Colorado is falling behind and should pass tax initiatives (such as Initiative 93) to more adequately fund education while being careful to ensure the money is distributed equitably among its students”


***This page will be updated as other candidates are endorsed. Check back to see who Supports Jeffco Kids!

Looking For An Endorsement?

2018 Candidates, we looking forward to endorsing candidates who Support Jeffco Kids! To receive our endorsement,  you must answer the questionnaire for 2018. While we don’t share your entire responses, we do share a sentence or two to feature your sentiment to our community!


Supporting all kids in Jefferson County Colorado