Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn, left, and Democratic challenger Misty Plowright, right
COLORADO SPRINGS -
Incumbent Congressman Doug Lamborn said serving military members is front and center on his agenda as the Colorado Springs Republican runs for a sixth term in office.
"Because I'm on the Armed Services (committee) I can make sure that they can have the best equipment and training in the world, and then because I'm on VA, when they leave the services I can make sure they get the benefits that they've earned," he said.
To Lamborn, that means reducing wait times for patient care at Veterans Administration clinic and hospitals, and eliminating waste and abuse.
"I don't know which administration we're going to have in January," Lamborn said. "That depends on the election next month, but I'm afraid that if it's a Hillary Clinton administration we wont have an appetite for changing anything with the VA. At most we'll just tinker around the edges."
He said his other main priority this election cycle is opening up more domestic energy production.
Democratic challenger Misty Plowright is a newcomer to politics. The IT professional said she wants to bring a "21st Century" approach to Washington. Plowright explained that she has technological answers to even the most divisive issues, like abortion -- solved, she says, with artificial wombs.
"You can terminate a pregnancy without terminating a fetus. Pro-choice side is happy because you don't have a government bureaucrat in a woman's uterus. Pro-life side is happy because, hey, babies aren't getting murdered anymore," Plowright said.
Plowright thinks a similar approach can be used to address air pollution and climate change. She wants the country to invest in technology that captures carbon from the atmosphere and then consider nuclear energy production using thorium salt reactors.
Yes, Plowright is the first transgender candidate to ever win a major party nomination for Congress. But she said she hates "identity politics" and would rather talk about other issues, like ending the deportation of veterans.
She famously turned over the stage at the Colorado Democratic Convention in Boulder this summer to Colorado Springs veteran Manuel Valenzuela who has fought the government for years to prevent the deportation of his brother, who served as a paratrooper in Vietnam.
"If you served honorably in our Armed Force, you're a citizen of this country," Plowright said. "I challenge anyone in Congress to try to prevent that from coming up for a vote or from voting against it."
The two other names on the ballot include Libertarian candidate Mike McRedmond who is also an IT professional, and former Democratic nominee for congress and donkey rancher Curtis Imrie who is running as a write in candidate.