Candidates set differences in CU Regent race
Age or experience.
That, at least, is how the two candidates are painting themselves in their bid to replace former Grand Junction state Sen. Tillie Bishop as the 3rd Congressional District representative on University of Colorado Board of Regents.
Thirty-year-old Jessica Garrow of Carbondale said the nine-member board has long been dominated by older people.
Currently, only one regent is younger than 40.
“I think that is a problem,” Garrow said. “I think we need regents who are closer to the age of students who are in school who understand what it’s like to be a student. I’m still paying off my student loans, I understand what it’s like to deal with those tuition increases.”
Glen Gallegos, a longtime Grand Junction resident who said he has the endorsement of Bishop as his replacement, disagrees that youth should come before age when voters consider who should sit on the non-paying regent board.
“I think it’s important to have somebody who’s been there and done that,” Gallegos said. “I’ve worked with tenure, I’ve worked with balancing budgets, I’ve worked with legislators, and I can tell you, you’re not going to get anything done if you don’t bring back those people to the table.”
Age isn’t the only difference between the two.
Gallegos is a Republican who doesn’t believe “throwing” more money at higher education is the answer to reduced state aide to colleges and universities in recent years.
Garrow is a Democrat who says that, eventually, Coloradans are going to have to pay higher taxes to support all education, from kindergarten to graduate school.
Gallegos is a retired educator and businessman who has experience running a college campus. He was on the Board of Trustees for Colorado Mesa University for four years.
Garrow is the long-range planner for the city of Aspen whose job is to plan for the future.
One of the biggest differences between the two is Garrow believes CU should offer a tuition rate for the children of illegal immigrants that’s lower than out-of-state rates but higher than what in-state students pay, an issue that even Bishop supported.
“The issue is citizenship, it isn’t lower tuition,” he said. “If you get them through school and nothing changes (in immigration laws), then they can’t get a job.”
Garrow said that attitude unfairly penalizes the children, who she said are hard-working students who happen to be in the country at no fault of their own.
“I would advocate to leave this decision to have this third tier of tuition to the different university boards,” she said.
In addition to Garrow and Gallegos, voters also will choose between two candidates for the at-large seat on the board.
That’s between current Regent Stephen Ludwig, a Democrat, and his GOP rival, Brian Davidson.
The two men ran against each other for the same seat in 2006, but Ludwig narrowly defeated Davidson by a margin of about four-tenths of 1 percent.