Primary election 2018

Q&A with Brian Watson, Republican candidate for state treasurer

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City or town of residence: Denver

Profession: Founder, chairman and CEO of Northstar Commercial Partners (real-estate investment company).

Related elected-office or public-service experience: Former state chairman of the Colorado Republican Party's finance committee.

Why are you seeking this office?

To serve the people of Colorado as a citizen leader, which is why I've pledged to not take a salary from the government when elected. We need a state treasurer who understands large budgets and other complex financial matters to steward our tax dollars.  

What makes you the most qualified person for the position?

I grew up on the Western Slope, starting from humble means. Today, I run a Colorado company that I built from the ground up, where I'm personally responsible for over $1 billion in assets. Both of my opponents are existing politicians, and I believe that I am uniquely qualified to bring a business-minded approach to the state Treasurer's Office. I want to use the financial skills from the private sector to serve the people of Colorado. I am a constitutionalist, a fiscal conservative and will be a leader in our government.

What would your top two priorities be if elected?

Immediate action on PERA (Public Employees' Retirement Association) and business-minded conservative leadership, not political games. Our state's credit is literally on the line. Colorado ranks near the bottom, 35th out of 50, in state rankings — meaning every single Coloradan is responsible for $21,369 in unfunded PERA liabilities. We need business-minded leaders who aren't politicians playing the same old games to creatively tackle this issue. Leadership isn't just about saying “no” or thinking the same way that politicians have for decades. We need a business leader who can see and act clearly to bring great accountability, transparency and creative solutions to state government

What else should the voters know about you?

I love hunting and fishing, riding my horse Apache and am a huge Broncos fan. I host a monthly "Community BBQ" where friends and I show up in neighborhoods throughout the Denver metro area and invite people to break bread and truly get to know one another as people.

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