Boulder Weekly has endorsed my campaign for State Treasurer. I am the only Republican at any level that Boulder Weekly endorsed in this election. I am honored to have the most bipartisan support from voters and the media throughout Colorado. Our campaign is focused on financial stewardship for all Coloradans, regardless of political background or affiliation.
Read the full endorsement below…
“The State Treasurer manages $6.5 billion in 750 state funds, has a seat on the Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA) Board of Trustees, and oversees the Great Colorado Payback, which restores lost monetary or property assets to their rightful owners.
Of those responsibilities, no issue is more pressing than the PERA obligation, and the next Treasurer will need to have clear objectives in resolving the state retirement fund’s $32 billion in unfunded liabilities.
Republican Brian Watson is our choice for Treasurer because he has the most thorough plan to address the shortfall. A commercial real estate investor, Watson plans to take a non-partisan, apolitical perspective to the office, and he says his first act as Treasurer will be to sit down with each member of the PERA board to determine what’s been lacking in the fund’s management, what opportunities exist, and overall, build communication.
Watson supported Senate Bill 200 last spring, which was the largest bipartisan PERA reform bill of the decade and made modest changes to start to address the funding gap. Watson’s opponent, state Representative Dave Young (D-Greeley) did not support this measure.
Though we appreciate Young’s commitment to divest state funds from certain industries (such as gun manufacturing) and his commitment to working with the marijuana industry to alleviate banking concerns, we agree with Watson that addressing PERA will require tough decisions and strategies we trust him to implement. Those strategies include raising the retirement age for public employees just entering the system, amending the benefits, and looking realistically at the historic rate of return and projections of state investments. Watson notes that the PERA fund lost 11 percent of its value just from the economic crash in 2008, and we believe his initial diagnosis of the issues that led to PERA’s deficit will serve as a solid foundation on which to build an effective strategy to restore it.”