CO-D3 candidate Marina Zimmerman wants to be a voice for Coloradans

CD3 candidate Marina Zimmerman will visit Montrose on Nov. 6 at the Montrose Pavilion for the Montrose Republican Party's Lincoln-Reagan Dinner and Fundraiser. (Courtesy photo/Marina Zimmerman)

A mentally healthy, well-educated and represented Colorado is high on Marina Zimmerman’s goal docket.

Zimmerman is the sole U.S. Congressional District 3 candidate running on the Republican platform against incumbent Rep. Lauren Boebert. Boebert, Zimmerman said, has done nothing to help Coloradans and the rest of the country.

Zimmerman’s platform includes issues surrounding forest health, mental health, affordable access to healthcare and housing, easing parent stress and fiscal conservatism in policy and spending, but she also seeks to unseat Boebert.

“I think her only interest is trafficking hate and discontent and stirring up crowds that she thinks will fund her because of that or vote for her because of it,” said the candidate, referencing Boebert’s controversial viewpoints on Q-Anon and “conspiracy theories.”

“I think she’s done nothing but help herself. She’s always looking for the next photo op; she’s always looking for the next mean-spirited thing to say so that she gets attention and I think the CD3 really deserves a representative who wants to work for the people of CD3 and the country.”

Zimmerman added that representatives should understand their district well so that when they work with the state and federal governments, they can speak for constituents and influence policy that reflects what people need and want. Meeting with state officials and working with them to find creative solutions is imperative, something the candidate says Boebert has failed to accomplish.

Education has played an extensive role in Zimmerman’s life. She spent 20 years in industrial construction as a crane operator all over the U.S., but has lived in Colorado for 25 years now. While working six to 12 hour days, she would also attend school.

Zimmerman holds several degrees: an associates degree in the legal field, a bachelor’s degree in political science with a pre-law minor, a post-baccalaureate certificate in construction management and is finishing up her Master of Business Administration degree in project management.

She also worked in former U.S. Rep. John Salazar’s office as an intern while learning the political system, experiences that the candidate carries with her into the campaign.

Zimmerman considers herself a common sense candidate who believes in competitive ideas that create the best solutions possible for the most amount of people.

“I feel like you have to look through a lot of different lenses in order to come to a solution where the most amount of people get a little piece of the solution,” said Zimmerman.

The candidate is concerned that current politicians care more about “mean-spirited conspiracies” than policy and spending, something that compromises the American voice.

Everyone deserves a voice, she continued.

Elected officials are responsible for representing every one of their constituents, the candidate went on, explaining that representatives can’t cater their influence to only the people who voted for them. This creates a bitter partisan discourse that has destroyed many relationships necessary for “good, functioning government.”

“As a conservative, I think that we need a voice 一 a reasonable, well-respected voice at the table at all times,” said Zimmerman. “It doesn’t really matter who’s in the majority, we must maintain a conservative, respected voice at the table, and we can’t do that with all this craziness going on. We have to get back to doing things for the people.”

The ability to read and understand policy and bills is an integral part of a representative’s role. Understanding the issues in order to mitigate, as well as the willingness to negotiate and compromise, is only part of doing the work, according to the candidate.

Zimmerman wants to work together with parties on both sides of the aisle while remaining prepared to look through bills with “a fine-toothed comb” to mitigate overspending. In her heart and soul, she said she understands that President Biden’s proposal to tax those with $400,000 or more would directly impact small businesses 一 the fabric of every community.

“How do you fight against that if you don’t do the work?” Zimmerman asked about Boebert. “If you just go around spouting hate and discontent, you’re not addressing the issues, you’re not doing the work and I will do the work that’s required.”

If elected, Zimmerman wishes to bring in as many resources into the district as possible to stabilize forest health and wildfires.

But mental health is an area that undoubtedly requires emphasis. While mental health awareness is important for all, the candidate regards early education and prevention as a viable solution to the root problem.

Since children and young people quickly grow into adults, beginning the work at an early age promoting spaces for open communication could help foster positive mental health. Zimmerman proposes classes “in humanity” that give students an outlet to speak, ask questions and discuss what’s happening in their worlds.

“We’ve removed their ability to cope,” she said. “And I’m saying, as hard as it is, a lot of hard life lessons teaches you how to cope. We need to help them get through this horrible, volatile time.”

This is the first step in taking care of children’s mental health and particularly toward national crises such as school shootings, often rooted in mental illness.

Zimmerman also wants to return civics to the education system, but denounces Critical Race Theory as an irrelevant talking point from “conspiracy theorists” because it’s not taught in grades K一12.

“That’s a college elective and that’s the end of that,” said Zimmerman. “They’re not teaching that, so why are we discussing, screaming, hollering and yelling about that at school or meetings?”

Zimmerman included that vaccines and masks shouldn’t be a political issue used to divide people. They should remain a healthcare issue, she said.

The issues behind child abuse and mental illness are vast and while the candidate may not have the perfect place to start, she does have ideas.

She doesn’t want to teach parents how to parent, but she wants to provide more access to mental health education and support that could help new parents ease any stress.

It all comes down to helping.

Whether it’s establishing high school programs that offer support or teaching children how to treat other people and how to be parents, the key, she said, is starting young.

“Look for signs of trouble and act on those signs. Get these kids the help they need early, but I really think it goes back to parent education.”

When it comes to same-sex parenting, the candidate denounces Boebert’s “hateful” comments, maintaining that at the end of the day, a child’s mental health is the priority. Zimmerman added that if a child has even one good parent who loves them, this is the first step in raising a mentally healthy child.

Additionally, Zimmerman also wants to make sure constituents have more than just access to healthcare and housing. Everyone may have access, but not everyone has affordable access.

Building more affordable housing may be one solution, but the candidate plans to navigate the “deep subject” through conversations with CO-D3 constituents.

“It takes a lot of thoughtful contemplation and a lot of input from the constituents in the area. In CD3 there are people with a lot of really good ideas and as a representative, it’s my job not to carry just my message.”

Zimmerman will be visiting Montrose on Nov. 6 to attend the Montrose Republican Party’s Lincoln — Reagan Dinner and Fundraiser at 5:30 p.m. The Montrose Pavilion will host the fundraising event where constituents can meet both candidates.

Zimmerman can be reached at https://bit.ly/2Zej2v7.

Cassie Knust is a staff writer for the Montrose Daily Press.

Cassie Knust is a staff writer for the Montrose Daily Press.

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