U.S. Senate candidate Joe O’Dea talks about how to win in November - The Villager

on villagerpublishing.com 04:08Aug, 10, 2022
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BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENT REPORTER

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe O’Dea Photo by Freda Miklin

At the regular meeting of the Arapahoe County Republican Breakfast Club held at Maggiano’s DTC on August 3, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Joe O’Dea greeted the crowd of 130 people with, “I’m not a career politician. I threw my hat in the race last October and we have a lot of energy behind this campaign right now.”  O’Dea said that his opponent, incumbent U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, is not talking about the high rate of inflation, the cost of gas, or the record high crime rate in Colorado. According to O’Dea, “Those are his policies. Those are the Democrats’ policies. Those are the liberals’ policies that are trying to make our lives better and have done nothing to make working Americans live better here in Colorado.” He continued, “The key to this race is simple. We are going to stay on message,” adding, “Look at the (Republican) ticket. We have the best candidates we’ve had in years. I believe in team. I’ve built a lot of projects across Colorado for years and I never did one of them by myself. It’s always taken a team.”

O’Dea criticized the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, saying he called it, “Build Back Taxes,” explaining that, “Anytime you tax any kind of business, we (business owners) are pretty smart…we trickle it down. It goes downhill and it affects every working American.” 

According to the Kiplinger Letter, which is rated as, “Least Biased and High for factual reporting,” by mediabiasfactcheck.com, the Inflation Reduction Act is, “designed to address the high cost of prescription drugs, health care availability, climate change and, hopefully inflation.” Regarding taxes, Kiplinger says, “It (Inflation Reduction Act of 2022) is not designed to increase taxes on small businesses or on families that make $400,000 or less. Instead, the bill would have some corporations and hedge fund managers (the provision eliminating favorable tax treatment for hedge fund managers was deleted from the final version of the bill at the request of AZ U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema) pay more tax than they currently pay. For example, under the bill, large businesses would pay a minimum corporate tax of 15%. Right now, some very large companies like Nike and Amazon pay very little in federal taxes.” The bill also, “Proposes a 10-year extension of the homeowner credit for solar projects, like rooftop solar panels. That tax credit could also benefit people who purchase energy-efficient water heaters, heat pumps, and HVAC systems.” 

O’Dea pointed to the role of West Virginia U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin in leading approval of the bill, saying, “He traded out (approval of the Inflation Reduction Act) for a pipeline in West Virginia. So, he did what was good for his state. My issue with (incumbent U.S. Sen.) Michael Bennet is, he hasn’t used his seat. Why don’t we have Space Command? I’m going to hold him accountable for those kinds of items as we move forward. I’m excited to be your U.S. Senate candidate… The key to this race is to…motivate our neighbors. Here in Colorado, 45% of the electorate is unaffiliated. We have to work hard to turn those guys out, to talk to our neighbors, to go door-to-door. And if we work hard, this red wave will happen.” O’Dea noted that he is getting support from the national Republican Party. 

The Villager asked O’Dea what his reaction was to the overwhelming rejection on August 2 of a proposed Constitutional Amendment in Kansas which would have changed current state law by adding a Constitutional Amendment that would have removed a woman’s right to receive an abortion. He told us, “I think the country is ready for some balance over that issue. I think the country is tired of that issue being a baton that’s thrown back and forth every time we have a change in governance.”

For those unfamiliar with his background, the candidate shared that he is a lifelong resident of Colorado, was adopted at birth and grew up in southeast Denver, the son of a 30-year Denver police veteran. He also shared that he “got in a little trouble, so I went to Mullen High School, a Catholic (then) all-boys school, instead of public school. My dad gave me a “scholarship” that I had to pay back by washing dishes every weekend.” After high school, he said, “I went through the carpenters’ apprenticeship. I was a union carpenter for five years.” After meeting his wife, he followed her to CSU, where he studied construction, leaving before he got his degree to start a small business in their basement after they were married, which grew into CEI (Concrete Express Inc.), a heavy civil contractor that now employs over 300 people. O’Dea and his wife Celeste are residents of Greenwood Village and also own Mile High Station and Ironworks event centers in Denver. 

O’Dea said that, as past president of the Colorado Contractors’ Association, “It gave me a real view of what goes on in our legislature…That’s why I jumped into this race…When I get to Washington, one of the main things I want to work on is reducing regulation.” Asked to name an area in which he would like to see regulations changed, he pointed to NEPA, the National Environmental Protection Act, noting, “We have to clean that up. We’ve got severe water issues that are looming here in Colorado. If we don’t clean that up to where we can actually trap and hold water here, we are going to be in trouble.”

O’Dea has been endorsed by the Denver Police Protective Association, Colorado’s largest police organization, former U.S. Senator Hank Brown, former Colorado Gov. Bill Owens, former U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, former Colorado Senate President John Andrews, former Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, and Arapahoe County Commissioners Nancy Sharpe and Jeff Baker.

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