Rep Jared Polis speaks on TRiO programs, congressional and national elections

Erik Petrovich

Congressman Jared Polis attended the opening of the Fort Collins coordinated campaign headquarters. Campaign signs for Michael Bennet and Polis can be seen, while the representative stands in front of a Clinton campaign sign which reads, "Stronger Together." (Erik Petrovich / Collegian)
Congressman Jared Polis attended the opening of the Fort Collins coordinated campaign headquarters. Campaign signs for Michael Bennet and Polis can be seen, while the representative stands in front of a Clinton campaign sign which reads, “Stronger Together.” (Erik Petrovich / Collegian)

House Rep. Jared Polis, D-CO, visited Fort Collins Wednesday to speak to a crowd of high school and incoming CSU students who were involved in the TRiO, a program that aims to improve access to higher education for students from low-income families.

Polis also revealed his thoughts on his campaign opponent, Nicholas Morse, and spoke about Darryl Glenn, the republican candidate for Sen. Michael Bennet’s seat in the United States Senate. Glenn has been a strong supporter of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.

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While in Fort Collins, Polis also attended the opening of a new democratic campaign headquarters in Old Town.

Polis speaks to TRiO students

Around 3,000 students at CSU are involved with one of the three programs encompassed in TRIO, according to a press release from the representative’s office. Polis spoke to a crowd of about 200 students who had been involved in one of these programs, many of whom praised the representative for his work in improving access to higher education.

One student, who asked to remain anonymous, said TRiO offered her the chance to become the first person to attend a university in her family.

“Growing up the way we did, for example, my mom cleans houses,” said the Junior, who attends Poudre High School, on what made her choose to attend college. “That’s not the best job, and my whole life she’s said, ‘You’re gonna go to college so you don’t have to work like I do.'” 

Polis reminded the audience that the TRiO programs are funded almost entirely by the federal government, and spoke on his disappointment in the recent supreme court decision to not uphold the Obama administration’s plan to defend illegal immigrants from deportation and how it could affect many families who benefit from the programs.

Colorado Democrats celebrate new campaign headquarters in Old Town

Colorado democrats spoke on a variety of election issues at the new headquarters of the state-wide coordinated campaign to re-elect Polis and Bennet to their current seats. The democratic coordinated campaign aims to re-elect democrats to their current seats, as well as get more democrats elected into public offices. 

The state-wide campaign also aims to build support for presumptive democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Democratic Colorado State Sen. John Kefalas, Polis, two candidates for the Larimer County Commissioner office and other state democratic party figures were present at the kick-off of the new headquarters.

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“We are certainly going to be pushing really hard to make a lot of phone calls, go to a lot of doors and do a lot of voter registration to let people know who Jared is and the incredible work he’s done,” said Annalyse Escobar, the Fort Collins regional coordinating director for the Colorado democratic party. “It will probably come down to a close margin.”

When asked about his thoughts on his republican opponent Nicholas Morse, Polis said the race for his seat is a great chance for CSU students to be more involved, but did not discuss his strategy for defeating his campaign’s republican opponent.

Polis welcomed the republican nomination of Darryl Glenn for Bennet’s contested seat in the U.S. Senate, but had thoughts on the candidate’s longtime support of Donald Trump.

“If you are sharing a stage with Donald Trump, you are sharing the reckless approach he brings that would destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs,” Polis said, when asked on Glenn’s willingness to share the stage with Donald Trump at the Western Conservative Summit this weekend.

Kefalas did not comment on Morse due to a “lack of research.” The state senator said he did not know much about Glenn’s policy standpoints, but had issues with certain aspects of his campaign.

“I have a lot of concerns about Trump, Sarah Palin, and Ted Cruz,” Kefalas said. “If (Glenn) is indeed endorsing their ideologies, that is a cause for concern.” 

Collegian Executive Editor Erik Petrovich can be reached at editor@collegian.com or on Twitter @EAPetrovich