From left: Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette, Republican Charles "Casper" Stockham and Libertarian Darrel Dinges. 

(Courtesy U.S. House of Representatives, Stockham campaign)

Libertarian Darrel Dinges and Republican Charles "Casper" Stockham are challenging incumbent Democrat Diana DeGette in Colorado's 1st Congressional District, which covers Denver.

More Voters Guides | Election 2016 Coverage

As of June 30, DeGette had raised a little more than $1 million, Stockham a little more than $24,000, and Dinges $0. Updated figures are due from the Federal Election Commission on Oct. 15.

DeGette and Stockham declined to complete our questionnaire, so their positions are comprised of previous statements and news coverage that CPR News has compiled. Dinges only answered five of our 20 questions.

What areas of federal spending should be increased? What should be cut?

Diana DeGette
(Democrat)
"We need higher and more stable funding for medical and scientific research,” DeGette said for CPR’s 2014 voters guides. “These funds are an investment in future medical cures, inventions, and breakthroughs of all kinds. We need to go ahead and simplify programs such as the ones that military leaders at the Pentagon and food safety officials at the Agriculture Department and Food and Drug Administration say are outdated. No joke: a pepperoni pizza falls under the Agriculture Department’s food safety rules, while cheese gets regulated under the FDA. That needs to change.”

Charles "Casper" Stockham
(Republican)

"Excessive federal regulations, wasteful spending and increasingly higher taxes represent a triple-threat to our vulnerable and struggling economy, particularly individuals and small businesses," Stockham said on his website.
Darrel Dinges
(Libertarian)
"Many federal programs can be reduced, and authority can shift to the individual states. The U.S. Dept. of Education could be reduced and responsibility could shift to the states."
Do you support the Paris climate change deal that the U.S. agreed to in 2015? Why or why not?
Diana DeGette (Democrat) In the runup to the Paris meetings, DeGette said addressing climate change is the "issue of our time. We need to take immediate, international action to invest in renewable energy production and reverse the damage caused so far. I am committed to working on this with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle because it is not only good for our economy, it is vital to the future of our planet."
Charles "Casper" Stockham (Republican) [We were unable to find information that directly answered this question.]
Darrel Dinges (Libertarian) "We need more detailed study into the causes of climate change. If it is primarily caused by burning fossil fuels, major changes will required world wide in how energy is used on produced. Cutting forests and agriculture also play a part in climate change."
What is the one thing the federal government could do that would have the biggest positive impact on Colorado's economy?
Diana DeGette (Democrat)

“We can ensure that women are paid equally for equal work,” DeGette said for CPR’s 2014 voters guides. “Raise the minimum wage to help those who are working full time to get ahead, and pass comprehensive immigration reform to bring undocumented workers out of the shadows and give businesses better access to the legal workforce they need.”

 
Charles "Casper" Stockham (Republican) “A free-market principled, pro-business, economy will bring much needed confidence back to our region that will create new job opportunities and business development throughout Colorado’s 1st District,” Stockham said on his website.
Darrel Dinges
(Libertarian)
"Transportation is a big issues in Colorado. Provide federal funds to be preliminary design of high speed rail line between Ft. Collins and Colorado Springs."
How should the federal government balance the need for affordable energy with its stated goal of shifting to higher-cost renewable sources?
Diana DeGette (Democrat)

DeGette says on her House website that she wants more "renewable and affordable" hydropower projects, which she are "far and away our nations's largest source of clean energy." In general, she says she supports a "balanced approach that protects our health, conserves our natural resources, and moves our nation towards energy independence."

Charles "Casper" Stockham (Republican) "I support an all of the above energy policy and the expansion and continued development of alternative energy resources, as well as expanding safe on- and off-shore oil and gas exploration,” Stockham said on his website.
Darrel Dinges
​(Libertarian)
"I favor free market solutions. The federal government should eliminate taxes on renewable energy sources."
Should western states, including Colorado, assume control of federally owned land? (See here for a good explanation of this issue.) Why or why not?
Diana DeGette (Democrat)

DeGette has repeatedly introduced legislation that would add 715,000 acres of federally managed land to the National Wilderness Preservation System.

Charles "Casper" Stockham
(Republican)

[We were unable to find information that directly answered this question.]

Darrel Dinges
​(Libertarian)
Dinges did not answer this question.
What are one or two changes you would like to see to federal gun laws?
Diana DeGette (Democrat)

“We can take modest but effective steps to make sure people who should not have guns,” DeGette said for CPR’s 2014 voters guides. “Such as convicted felons or those with mental health issues, cannot purchase them. These steps should be done with minimal or no burdens on law-abiding gun owners who responsibly use their Second Amendment rights.”

Charles "Casper" Stockham
(Republican)

“I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment,” Stockham said on his campaign website. “The Second Amendment was not designed to decide what we may use to hunt, but how we may protect ourselves even against the tyranny of overreaching government if need be."
Darrel Dinges
​(Libertarian)
Dinges did not answer this question.
Do you want to keep the Affordable Care Act and possibly make minor changes, overhaul it, or eliminate it? Please explain.
Diana DeGette (Democrat) “I support reforming the Affordable Care Act,” DeGette said for CPR’s 2014 voters guides. “And we need a bipartisan effort to improve the law. One place we could start would be to fix a glitch that ensures affordable coverage for individuals but overlooks the higher costs facing working families.”

Charles "Casper" Stockham
(Republican)

“This partisan legislation is hurting small businesses and creating tremendous economic uncertainty,” Stockham said on his campaign website. “Obama Care is causing millions of Americans to lose their health insurance and often their full time jobs. I want to protect the American people from the damaging effects of this law."
Darrel Dinges
​(Libertarian)
Dinges did not answer this question.
College has become unaffordable for many Americans. What would you do to make it more affordable?
Diana DeGette (Democrat) On her website, DeGette said “Along with capping interest rates, we need to enact legislation that allows loan forgiveness for those who go into serving the underserved, including medical services. Also we should increase the number of Pell grants [which do not need to be repaid]. Pell Grants award about $5,700, but to go to a private college can cost upwards of $60,000. As a nation, we need to commit ourselves to helping kids go to college."

Charles "Casper" Stockham
(Republican)

“The biggest challenge with education is that government is involved with it,” Stockham said in a candidate debate. “And they are driving up the cost of going to college. So a government solution to college is not going to work…We all know education is not free. Somebody’s got to pay for it… The biggest way to ungum it, is to put me in Congress."
Darrel Dinges
​(Libertarian)
Dinges did not answer this question.
Should the federal government play any role in making housing more affordable in places like Colorado? If so, what should it do?
Diana DeGette (Democrat) [We were unable to find information that directly answered this question.]

Charles "Casper" Stockham
(Republican)

[We were unable to find information that directly answered this question.]
Darrel Dinges
​(Libertarian)
Dinges did not answer this question.
Do you believe adults who came to this country illegally should have a path to citizenship? Why or why not? 
Diana DeGette (Democrat) “We need comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for the undocumented,” DeGette said for CPR’s 2014 voters guides. “Otherwise, our system will continue to fail the needs of immigrants, their families, and every American citizen who needs a functioning system to support our communities and businesses."

Charles "Casper" Stockham
(Republican)

“Securing the border is essential to our security and defense and must be a primary focus of our government,” Stockham said on his website. “I do not support amnesty or anchor babies."
Darrel Dinges
​(Libertarian)
Dinges did not answer this question.
What should the federal government do to address growing income inequality in America, and in Colorado?
Diana DeGette (Democrat) “Addressing inequality and boosting our economy are closely connected, so ensuring equal pay for equal work, raising the minimum wage, and passing comprehensive immigration reform will all help address inequality as well,” DeGette said for CPR’s 2014 voters guides. “We must also reduce student loan burdens on recent graduates just entering the workforce, and our education system must prepare every child to succeed in our rapidly-changing economy."

Charles "Casper" Stockham
(Republican)

[We were unable to find information that directly answered this question.]
Darrel Dinges
​(Libertarian)
Dinges did not answer this question.
Do you think the federal government ceded too much power to the states in the Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaced No Child Left Behind? Why or why not?
Diana DeGette (Democrat) DeGette voted for the Every Student Succeeds Act in December of 2015.

Charles "Casper" Stockham
(Republican)

“I support school choice,” Stockham said on his website. “Which returns more decision making power to the parents, and also enhances academic excellence. I believe education decisions should be made at the state level not the federal level.”
Darrel Dinges
​(Libertarian)
Dinges did not answer this question.
If elected or re-elected, what one piece of legislation would you focus on? 
Diana DeGette (Democrat)

[We were unable to find information that directly addresses this question.]

Charles "Casper" Stockham
(Republican)

[We were unable to find information that directly answered this question.]
Darrel Dinges
​(Libertarian)
Dinges did not answer this question.
Should marijuana be legalized across the country? Why or why not?
Diana DeGette (Democrat) “We should let states decide this question, just as Colorado has,” DeGette said for CPR’s 2014 voters guides. “As other states consider this issue, the federal government should give states the legal flexibility to responsibly carry out voters' wishes."

Charles "Casper" Stockham
(Republican)

Stockham answered “No” to the question, “Should marijuana be legalized federally?” during a candidate debate. He followed up and said, “It needs to be a state decision."
Darrel Dinges
​(Libertarian)
Dinges did not answer this question.
What should the federal government do to improve the long-term financial viability of Medicare and Social Security?
Diana DeGette (Democrat) “We must ask every American to support these programs that we all pay into and will all have earned by the time we retire,” DeGette said for CPR’s 2014 voters guides.  “They must not be undermined, especially for today’s retirees. They have played by the rules throughout their careers and are relying on the benefits they have earned."
Charles "Casper" Stockham
(Republican)
[We were unable to find information that directly answered this question.]
Darrel Dinges
​(Libertarian)

Dinges did not answer this question.

Do you support raising the federal minimum wage? Why, or why not?
Diana DeGette (Democrat) “Yes,” DeGette said for CPR’s 2014 voters guides. “Hardworking Americans ought to make enough to support themselves, and the current minimum wage fails to do that."
Charles "Casper" Stockham
(Republican)
[We were unable to find information that directly answered this question.]
Darrel Dinges
​(Libertarian)
Dinges did not answer this question.
What changes should be made to the federal tax code?
Diana DeGette (Democrat) “We need to overhaul our old and loophole-ridden system for one that asks every American to pay their fair share,” DeGette said for CPR’s 2014 voters guides.
Charles "Casper" Stockham
(Republican)
“As your Representative in Washington, I will fight to limit excessive bureaucracy, reduce federal spending, and cut taxes,” Stockham said on his website. “A free-market principled, pro-business, economy will bring much needed confidence back to our region that will create new job opportunities and business development throughout Colorado's 1st District."
Darrel Dinges
​(Libertarian)
Dinges did not answer this question.
What can Congress do to ensure timely medical care for veterans?
Diana DeGette (Democrat)

“I will continue to ensure that veterans who served have the best possible VA healthcare and educational support,” DeGette said for CPR’s 2014 voters guides. “Our veterans have earned our support, and we owe it to them to offer quality healthcare and educational opportunities."

Charles "Casper" Stockham
(Republican)
“All we have to do is allow for the veteran to go to nearest medical facility to them, and be treated,” Stockham said in a candidate debate. “And send that bill to Uncle Sam. If we wait on the government to fix the VA, we’re going to be waiting another 20 years."
Darrel Dinges
​(Libertarian)
Dinges did not answer this question.
The U.S. has admitted far fewer Syrian refugees than other countries. And President Obama has limited the American military's role in the Syrian civil war to an air campaign against ISIS. What should be America's role in Syria?
Diana DeGette (Democrat) DeGette has said the vetting process for Syrian refugees entering the U.S. is stringent and adequate. She has also supported the Obama administration's plan to train and equip "vetted Syrian opposition elements." 
Charles "Casper" Stockham
(Republican)
[We were unable to find information that directly answered this question.]
Darrel Dinges
​(Libertarian)

Dinges did not answer this question.

Do you support or oppose legalized abortion? Are there any exceptions? Please explain.
Diana DeGette (Democrat) "I am strongly pro choice,” DeGette said for CPR’s 2014 voters guide. “I have spent my entire career fighting and advocating for pro-choice legislation and access to reproductive healthcare."
Charles "Casper" Stockham
(Republican)
“Because I am Christian I am Pro-Life,” Stockham said on his website. “BUT my Pro-Life position does not and will not interfere with your Pro-Choice position." In a debate, Stockham said the following: "Everyone in the abortion process should have a voice. Every human being in that process. I don’t believe the government should be involved in a woman’s right to choose. It is not their job to do that. It is a woman’s right, if her family, her husband, her boyfriend -- and the baby. Everybody should get a right to choose.”
Darrel Dinges
​(Libertarian)
"Each person has the ability to decide their own position on abortion. Voters can just to vote a candidate that matches their views on this issue."