4th Congressional District: Democrat John Padora Jr.

Courtesy photo.
4th Congressional District candidate John Padora Jr.

John Padora qualified for the 4th Congressional District ballot by getting more than 30 percent of the vote at the Colorado Democrats’ state assembly. He describes himself as a manufacturing engineer, addiction recovery advocate and progressive. He’s been public about his experiences as a recovering drug addict and his time spent in a county prison for drug possession. 

Padora said he’s a working-class person who will fight for working families and Coloradans, “not special interests in DC or companies based out of other states.” He added he believes he can do a better job motivating the party’s base than his two Democratic primary challengers.

Recently, Padora moved to Severance, Colorado from Pennsylvania, where he ran unsuccessfully for the statehouse in 2020. 

On democracy and good governance

CPR News asked Padora about his views on preserving democracy amid a divided electorate and concerns about election security. 

“I’ll work to ensure every voice is heard and respected, regardless of political affiliation. By promoting fact-based discourse and protecting the integrity of our electoral process, we can rebuild trust in our democratic institutions,” he said.

Pandora emphasized that good government is “accountable to its citizens, operates with integrity and prioritizes the common good over partisan interests.” 

He said good government also means addressing pressing issues like health care access, education and climate change through bipartisan collaboration.

On the economy and cost of living

Padora told CPR News that people in his district tell him the economy isn’t working for working people. 

“I will champion economic policies that help Coloradans afford the cost of living, especially housing,” he said.

He said he supports subsidies for first-time homebuyers and expanding the FHA lending program. Pandora also said he would lower taxes for working families by cutting what he called wasteful government spending and that he’d reduce the nation’s defense budget. 

He added that he’d push for more regulations to cut the administrative costs of health care, and he supports expanding Medicaid and a single-payer health care system. 

On climate change, natural resources and the environment

Padora said he’d tackle climate change by promoting clean energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“This includes investing in renewable energy infrastructure, such as wind, solar power and advanced nuclear and hydrogen technology while incentivizing energy efficiency in both residential and commercial sectors and expanding public transit,” he said.

CPR News asked Padora how he’d balance environmental concerns with economic pressures. 

“(That) involves collaboration with all stakeholders, including farmers, environmental groups, labor unions and industry leaders,” he responded. “By fostering open dialogue and working towards common goals, we can create a balanced approach that safeguards our environment and supports economic growth.”