4th Congressional District: Republican Deborah Flora

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Republican candidate for US Senate Deborah Flora, Feb. 3, 2022 in Fort Lupton.

Deborah Flora is a parental rights activist and former radio host on KNUS, a conservative talk station. She founded the group Parents United America, which advocates for parents' involvement in “educational freedom.” Flora has also led two media companies with her husband. 

Flora lives in Douglas County and jumped into the race last fall. While she has not held elected office before, this is not her first time as a candidate. Flora also ran in the crowded GOP field for Senate in 2022, but failed to hit the 30 percent mark at the state convention to qualify for the ballot. 

In this election, she has received the endorsement of several local politicians, including two congressional district four hopefuls who failed to make the race, as well the Colorado Gazette.

Flora spoke with CPR News about her positions on the issues voters in the district said are most important.

On democracy and good governance

Flora said the toxicity and dysfunction in Congress mean there’s currently “no opportunity to actually come together for real solutions.” She said she’d work to build coalitions and not be a “bomb thrower” or treat fellow Representatives like the enemy. 

“They’re representing other citizens who elected them and hired them to do that job,” said Flora. She added that even if someone has a different political sign in the yard, they are neighbors and “someone that you simply need to persuade that your policies and principles are the correct ones.” That said, she added while bipartisan isn’t a dirty word to most voters, she would not compromise on the principles found in the Constitution.

“I think when we finally send people to Congress who are not calling one another names and treating one another like the enemy, then we can really begin working on real solutions.”

And while some voters said they were scared about the future of the country, Flora said the term she uses is “a sense of urgency” as she looks at the nation. She said she decided to run because she still sees a window to turn things around.

On the economy and cost of living

When it comes to getting inflation under control, Flora thinks Congress should cut back on its spending, first and foremost. She would do away with omnibus spending bills and the “brinkmanship with the continuing resolutions.” (Omnibus appropriations bills are when a number of appropriations bills are packaged together, often to make it easier to pass.)

And like many other conservatives, Flora talks about getting the federal government back to 2019 funding levels, even as Congress starts work on the 2025 budget. “What happened during COVID and the shutdown was extraordinary to our country, and so it is something where we should be able to get back before that. I think we have to set some benchmarks no matter where we begin.”

She also wants to work towards making the tax cuts under the Trump administration permanent and passing a balanced budget amendment.

When it comes to cost of living, the small business owner said she’d focus on rolling back regulations, which are “driving up prices of everything.”

On immigration

Flora said any discussion on large-scale immigration reform can only happen after the border is secure. She took her radio show to the southern border last year and has said the key policies in her view are building the wall, fully funding border enforcement, ending “catch and release” policies and requiring people to apply for asylum before they arrive in the U.S. 

Flora said she supports removing most new immigrants from the recent wave of arrivals over the past three years, especially the single men of military age. 

She also thinks domestic “incentives” to migration need to end: “We need to end the sanctuary policies that are luring people here at the cost of citizens.” She added that anytime Congress or the president talk about immigration reform or amnesty without having fully secured the border, “it is truly a lure and there is a rush on our border.”

Still, Flora said she recognizes immigration is a complex issue that deserves a nuanced plan: “When one of the people in the race says to build the wall and deport them all, that might be a mic drop moment that gets social media hits, but that’s not a serious solution.”