3rd Congressional District: Republican Curtis M. McCrackin

Courtesy photo.
Curtis McCrackin is a Republican candidate for the 3rd Congressional District for the June 25, 2024 primary election.

A Delta County business owner with experience in construction, real estate and health care, Curtis McCrackin pitches himself as the fiscally minded choice for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. He said the nation’s pattern of deficit spending is a bipartisan issue. 

“The Republicans aren't any better at spending money than the Democrats,” McCrackin said. “Nobody in Washington seems to be focused on what we're doing with our national debt.” 

McCrackin has said throughout the campaign that recent big-ticket spending programs threaten the country’s financial standing, notably the American Rescue Plan passed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He refers back to the U.S. Constitution's language on federal spending whenever budget matters are discussed. 

“(Congress) can provide a common defense, they can provide for the general welfare of the nation and they can pay the debts of the country,” McCrackin said.

McCrackin’s other top issues include the separation of church and state, and specifically, concerns he has that the government is using its power to suppress people’s right to practice their religion.

On his campaign website, McCrackin notes that “The freedom to speak about faith and to believe it has real power to change the heart of man should not be abridged. The recent Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion push we see infringes upon free speech for those of faith.”

McCrackin spoke to CPR News about his positions on some of the issues that are most important to voters in the district.

On democracy and good governance

McCrackin notes that the Constitution sets up the United States as a republic, and said many Americans are confused as to the exact structure of the country’s government. 

“I think a lot of people consider democracy to be, ‘we're free. We're free to have free elections, we're free to move about without government control’ and that sort of thing.” McCrackin said. “But really we're a republic. We just don't act like it, especially in the way our money's being spent.” (Republican leaders have increasingly cited distinction, arguing that the founders did not intend for strict majority rule.)

Restricting federal spending, McCrackin said, is also key to returning to a system of good governance. 

As far as his confidence in elections, McCrackin said there are limited cases of voter fraud, but not enough to change an election. 

“I think that between our election judges and our signature verification, I think we have very safe elections,” he said. 

On the economy and cost of living

Inflation is McCrackin’s chief economic concern. He said it’s not just the cost of gas and groceries, but increases to things like automobile and home insurance that concern him.

“I think inflation's the number one issue for people, whether they recognize that or not,” McCrackin said. 

When it comes to solutions to the nation’s inflation crisis, McCrackin again points to government spending, saying that so much government money in the economy is driving costs up. 

“I think from the halls of Congress … we've got to balance our budget. I think we cannot continue to just run deficit after deficit and think there's not a price to pay for that,” he said.

On immigration

McCrackin said the nation’s immigration policies impact everything from increased crime to abuse of benefits programs and the growth of people sleeping in tents on public property. He said a renewed commitment to enforcing existing laws would solve many of the problems. 

“We've got to comply with the rule of law, and I think that's what angers people most in this country as citizens. We're to go the right speed and pay our taxes and submit ourselves to the rules of the authority. And yet our federal government won't do that,” he said. 

McCrackin favors a right-to-work policy for so-called Dreamers, who were brought to the United States as children and have lived here most of their lives. He also said he favors redefining the nation’s asylum laws and increasing enforcement against drug trafficking at the southern border.