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Candidates weigh in on competitive race in Colorado State Senate District 11

Election Watch
Posted at 11:08 PM, Nov 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-08 14:08:13-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — As the midterm clock ticks down, local candidates are getting one last campaign push. Colorado State Senator Dennis Hisey (R) and Colorado House Representative Tony Exum (D) are running for the seat in the Senate District 11 race. News5 spoke to both of the candidates on Monday, and both said right now, their priority is to make sure people vote if they haven’t done so already.

“It’s still knocking on doors, making phone calls, and sending out emails,” said Representative Exum.

“I switched from going door to door, which we did a lot of over the weekend, to doing phone calls,” said Senator Hisey.

Senator Hisey is a republican currently representing District 2. Over the weekend, he and his team of more than 20 people were door-knocking encouraging people to vote in the election. His plan for Monday was to call more than 100 people, to make sure they remember to cast their ballots. He said he’ll be doing the same on Tuesday before results begin coming in.

“So I’m dialing the phone myself, dialing the number and talking to people that I believe would support me and urge them to cast their ballot. I have a list of people who still haven’t cast their ballot,” said Senator Hisey.

Meanwhile, Representative Exum is a democrat currently representing House District 17. He's also picking up ballots from people that waited to vote, or couldn't leave their homes to vote.

“It's actually your power for the community, and you want to make sure that your voice is heard, that your vote counts for whoever you're voting for,” said Representative Exum.

RELATED: What to expect on election night in Colorado

Voters in Southeast Colorado Springs are paying close attention to this race. That's because redistricting that was approved last year has made it one of the more competitive races in our area.

The race for Senate District 11 was formerly a safe seat for the democratic candidate, but now that the lines have changed, the district has gotten even bigger. The margin only leans about 2% for democrats.

“Senate District 11 is competitive for the first time in many, many, many years. It's been a very safe democrat scene for the last almost 20 years,” said Senator Hisey. “With the new lines and redistricting, I ended up in District 11, and so that’s when I jumped into the race, and we know it has been very close.”

“So the competitive race is not new to me, but it's still nerve-racking. I don't think you ever get used to it. You just want to make sure that you've done everything that you can do, and not leave anything on the table,” said Representative Exum.

On Tuesday morning, they will make their final pushes for their campaign. Here's what they said about their emotions ahead of Election Day.

“Just as the candidate, you realize this is what you've been working toward for over a year, and so the emotions ran pretty high,” said Senator Hisey. “But it’s a time to be optimistic and positive and you know you’ve done everything you can do.”

“It’s a lot of a little bit of everything, excitement, relief, and focus,” said Representative Exum. “It's like when you're preparing for a game or you're preparing for a test, you get at the end of your course, and it’s the toughest time when you get ready to graduate because of burnout. But you just push to the finish line. And so that's what we're doing, we're making that last push.”

Senator Hisey said if he gets elected, getting the budget under control is one of his top priorities, stating that the state needs to make sure its putting money where it needs to go to the most.

Representative Exum said his priorities include making sure people in poverty have a better chance at life, better education, stronger mental health resources, and honoring local military.

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