Karen McCormick’s campaign said Thursday the Democrat and veterinarian from Longmont raised $20,805 since filing to run in May to take on Rep. Ken Buck in Eastern Colorado’s 4th Congressional District.
Buck has raised a similar amount to McCormick this election cycle, but, moreover, has $383,851 cash on hand, according to the website OpenSecrets.org. Buck raised nearly $1.3 million for his first race for the seat in 2014 and more than $1 million to defend it last year.
McCormick faces an uphill push in the district that’s as red as a clown’s nose. Since 1972, it has been represented by a Democrat for one term, Betsy Markey, who was elected in 2008. (The last Democrat before that, GOP political guru Dick Wadhams tells me, was Wayne Aspinall, who held the seat from 1948 to 1972, when the 4th CD was primarily the Western Slope with Larimer and Weld counties, before redistricting in 1972.)
Cory Gardner returned the seat to GOP hands in 2010, and Buck, the former Weld County district attorney, won it easily in the last midterm election in 2014, while Gardner was beating incumbent U.S. Sen. Mark Udall.
McCormick is a political newcomer. Her policy positions cited on her website are mainstream Democratic fare on healthcare, the environment, education and international relations.
On “individual rights,” a key issue in the independent-minded rural Eastern Plains district, is also addressed.
“By right and tradition, our Constitution considers each of us an autonomous individual, not as a member of some labeled group,” the campaign states. “People are discriminated against often due to the group they identify with, or are placed into. We are all individuals, and should be treated and held responsible as such. Thus the rights and responsibilities we enjoy should be the same for each of us. All citizens should be treated equally under the law.”
McCormick’s announcement Thursday cited her father’s 30 years in the Navy as a fighter pilot, a captain of the aircraft carrier USS America and as the Navy’s inspector general, retiring as a rear admiral.
“My family’s sacrifice for our country built a clear understanding of what it means to be an American and how we have an individual responsibility to stand up for the values that built our democracy,” she said in a statement.
McCormick has lived in Longmont 22 years, and her husband, Gregg Perry, is a Colorado native who owns and runs an auto repair shop. They have three daughters. Her announcement talks about how she volunteered to teach English at Intercambio and serves on the board for of Project V.E.T.S., as well as how she built her veterinary business.
“With the experience of 33 years of practicing veterinary medicine, building a two person practice into one grossing over 2 million dollars a year with 24 employees, Dr. McCormick knows first-hand about job creation and business development,” her campaign said. “This field requires constant problem solving skills and the ability to make decisions that benefit a growing business while delivering important and affordable services to the public.”
The campaign also provided testimonials from friends.
“Having known Karen for over 22 years I can say that she is one of the most diplomatic people I know,” local physician William Benedict stated. “She is intelligent and willing to sit down with others of various viewpoints in a civil and respectful way. We need our representation in Congress to use reason in approaching the challenges of the modern world. I am tired of our present Congressional representatives erecting barriers and resisting progress with undemocratic roadblocks. Karen has my full support to bring problem solving and sensibility to Washington D.C.”