This November, Colorado voters have a choice to make. In a Senate race where our two leading candidates are part of a Congress that is seeing its lowest approval ratings in 40 years, many people across Colorado are dissatisfied with the current administration, and long for a better option. One voter sums up the frustration well by asking, “What could possible be more of a wasted vote than to continue to put the same failing parties back into office?” This fall, Coloradans will have the chance to break this cycle. Enter Steve Shogan, the man behind the previous quote.
Steve Shogan is an independent candidate for Senate with moderate policies and strong criticism of our current Congress. As a former Democrat, Shogan rounds out as a refreshingly centrist candidate who is socially liberal, yet fiscally conservative. Many critics, such as Colorado Peak Politics, have dismissed him as a “spoiler,” who will only swing the election for another candidate; however, in a state where 36 percent of voters are independent, Shogan is anything but that. He provides a satisfying middle ground between the Cory Gardner and Mark Udall campaigns that has a legitimate chance of success. Steve Shogan offers a fresh, pragmatic voice for Coloradans tired of the hypocrisy and dishonest rhetoric of party-affiliated candidates.
As an independent candidate, Steve Shogan is not bound to party leadership or as easily drawn into the political posturing Democratic and Republican candidates practice incessantly. Udall and Gardner are much more problematic in that respect. For example, Udall is an avid supporter of Obamacare. However, despite voting with Obama on 99 percent of issues in 2013, according to the Colorado Observer, he has refused to campaign with the president in Colorado. On the other hand, Gardner has opposed Obamacare. Yet instead of proposing an alternative solution, Gardner has voted 50 times with other Republicans to repeal the legislation — a ridiculous waste of time and resources. In contrast, Steve Shogan offers a sensible solution. Shogan has experience in the healthcare industry as one of Colorado’s most respected neurosurgeons, and opposes Obamacare. However, he favors a change rather than a repeal, and has detailed a plan on his website that calls for basic government-provided coverage for all citizens, with supplemental options available through the private market system.
This brand of compromise offered by Shogan’s campaign extends to other issues in the political forefront. For example, according to his website, he is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, yet he also favors some regulation of the industry, on the argument that all potentially dangerous objects in our society are regulated to a degree. Additionally, he offers more middle ground with his energy policy. Shogan supports regulated fracking as part of our long-term energy plan, coupled with increased investment in green energy sources.
Steve Shogan offers a middle ground in an intense Senate race between two underwhelming candidates. His lack of party affiliation allows him to offer a level of compromise and pragmatism unparalleled by Udall or Gardner, and his tempered liberal policies appeal to the Western Democrat that thrives in Colorado. We need compromise in Washington, and we can’t expect the two-party system to do it. We need new ideas and new faces. We need Shogan.
Collegian Columnist Sean Kennedy can be reached at email@example.com or @seanskenn on Twitter.