BY FREDA MIKLIN
When the dust settled on the Nov. 6 election in the state and Arapahoe County, incumbent Republicans who had not stood for re-election in 2018 were faced with a harsh vision of their political future. Much can change in two years, but the current outlook for Republicans in Colorado and Arapahoe County is not encouraging.
State Sen. Jack Tate, R-27, took stock of his situation and decided it was time to move on. Tate holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from Duke University, a Master of Science in finance, and MBA in marketing from CU Denver. He told The Villager that serving in the legislature makes it impossible to do a regular full-time job because of the legislative schedule. Though he previously managed projects related to capital investment, Tate hopes to have a full-time career representing a trade association or as a government affairs manager for a large company, utilizing the skills he has acquired as a legislator.
Tate last served as chair of the Business, Labor, and Technology Committee and sponsored a Senate Bill that significantly addressed and lessened the longtime financial problems with the Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado (PERA). Tate has served in the state legislature since 2015, first in the house and then the Senate.
By announcing his retirement two years in advance, Tate said, “it allows plenty of time for others to consider seeking the position.” He also expressed relief that he won’t have to worry about his statements on issues being used in opponents’ political ads, adding, “It means the Democrats won’t be able to trap me on certain votes.” He looks forward to being able to weigh-in on offered legislation based on the proposal itself, “as opposed to whether it’s going to end up on an attack mail piece.”
Tate plans to focus on the coming session. He said he has legislation he hopes to introduce in the first two weeks of the session with three colleagues, another Republican and two Democrats, to repeal and replace the Gallagher Amendment, which has resulted in unintended negative financial consequences to many rural areas of Colorado.
Said Tate, “The Gallagher Amendment has been very successful in protecting residential property owners from tax increases. Under our proposal, tax rates would be frozen.” However, he allowed that residential taxpayers might end up paying more so as to relieve the unfair burden the current system has placed on small-business owners and rural areas of the state. Presently, Colorado is in the bottom three states for residential real estate taxes paid, Tate said.
He expects another try by Governor-elect Jared Polis and the Democrats to get taxpayers to approve new funding for transportation but thinks it will be less than the 0.62 percent sales tax increase rejected by voters in November. He said that “Democrats don’t want to use the state’s general fund for transportation. They prefer to use it for entitlements like Medicaid.”
We asked him how he envisioned the future for the Republican Party in Colorado. He said, “I think Republicans can win. It’s just going to require a level of time and commitment that I can’t make and still earn a living.”
Tate is married to Dr. Kathleen Tate, a physician and surgeon. They are the parents of three children.
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