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February 22, 2014
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Buck rolls out first in a series of ‘Ken Cares’ videos regarding a variety of topics (video)

Stephanie Drobny knows how much Ken Buck helped her during a traumatic time in her life in 2008.

Drobny now wants to help Buck in his bid to become a U.S. senator.

Drobny, 34, of Greeley is sharing her story in a campaign video that Buck released today.

Buck, the Weld district attorney and GOP frontrunner to run against Colorado Sen. Mark Udall in the U.S. Senate race, unveiled a two-minute video titled “Ken Cares: Stephanie’s Story.” Several other videos will be released over the next several weeks and months also showing Buck’s support from women.

“The hardest thing to do as a candidate is to talk about myself, so having Stephanie tell that story is really important,” Buck said.

The video, posted on both the campaign website www.buckforcolorado.com and on YouTube, features Drobny, who was abused and threatened by her then-husband, David Stafford. Her young daughter also was sexually abused by Stafford.

“Ken really is a champion for women and children and all survivors of violence,” Drobny said. “He just really connected, even with my daughter. He made her feel like she had the power to change something.”

The “Ken Cares” slogan is appropriate for Buck, Drobny said. “How many district attorneys remember your child’s name or remember your name when they see you out and about and truly take an interest in your life?” Drobny asked. “That’s very rare. I really believe he does care.”

On Jan. 10, 2008, Drobny said she feared for her life and left home with her two children in Montana after her husband, a frequent abuser and molester, threatened to murder her. Drobny and her son and daughter flew back to her parents in Colorado on a one-way ticket to get away from Stafford.

Drobny, a 1998 Eaton High School graduate who is currently a nurse at North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley, connected with Buck.

In the video, Buck, 55, also points out that after Drobny’s case, he learned that a major loophole in the law allowed perpetrators like Stafford to continue contacting the children.

Buck, Drobny, and her daughter went to the state legislature so that they could help close the loophole. House Bill 11-1267 (Protection Order Against a Defendant) was signed into law in 2011.

Stafford is serving a 16-year sentence at Crowley County Correctional Facility in Olney Springs for abusing his wife and daughter.

When Buck ran for the U.S. Senate seat against Michael Bennet, and barely lost, in 2010, he was portrayed as anti-woman, something that annoys Buck to this day.

“It’s terrible. It’s an absolute lie. I have a daughter. I have a wife,” Buck said. “I understand that politics is unfair, but at some point there has to be some basis in truth and the fact is that I have spent 25 years of my life trying to help the most vulnerable in our community. For someone to suggest that because I’m pro-life that I don’t care about the vulnerable is not logical.”

He added, “What the Democrats have done to me and to Romney and to dozens of others is to say that because we are pro-life we don’t care about women. Nothing can be further from the truth. We have a position on one issue. Look at the whole group of issues before making a decision. What the liberals have done is they have taken one issue and have tried to create a character trait based on that issue and it just isn’t true.”

Buck said there will be eight to 10 “Ken Cares” videos rolling out in the upcoming months.

“Some will be about victims of crime. Some will be about other community activities,” Buck said. “It’s going to be a series of testimonials about who I am. It’s a broad range of topics. This is aimed at setting the record straight and letting people know who I am as a person, and then the debate can start on the issues.”

Buck said the idea of the videos came when he was talking about issues with an informal group of women supporters from Colorado Springs.

“They were really upset with the narrative the Democrats portrayed the last time and felt that it was grossly unfair and not who I am,” Buck said. “And so as the brainstorming started going, one of them said, ‘We should do something that says you think you know Ken Buck? Well, you don’t know Ken Buck.’ It sort of developed into Ken Cares and the hashtag Ken Cares. We talked about the different things in my life that had happened that we really wanted people to know before Udall starts on the same narrative. We really want people to know who I am, what it’s like being a prosecutor and a member of a community like Weld County.”

Susan Cunniff, 44, of Colorado Springs was one of the women who thought of the “Ken Cares” slogan.

“I’m pro-life and I’m a woman. I’m definitely not anti-myself or anti-women,” said Cunniff, who was Buck’s county chairwoman for El Paso County in the 2010 general election. “On his campaign last time, he had a large group of women who supported him and volunteered. Just because he’s pro-life, like many other women are pro-life, does not mean that he does not care about women. It’s kind of silly to say that’s the one issue that defines what the war on women is. There is no war on women.”

Cunniff said the “Ken Cares” video finally shows the public who Buck really is.

“He has a heart to help people,” Cunniff said. “He’s really given the victims up in Weld County a voice that they never had before. It’s obvious that he did give this young lady Stephanie a voice. It shows his side for compassion and caring for people and wanting to make sure that the victims’ voices are heard.”

Drobny said, if asked, she’d head out on the campaign trail with Buck to tell her story, and believes that he should be the next Colorado U.S. senator.

“It is very important to my family to put someone in office who is going to fight for the abused by making it very clear that violence and intimidation are not going to be tolerated,” said Drobny, who remarried in 2010 and added a baby boy to her family three months ago. “For me and my family that person is Ken Buck. There is no question that he truly cares about women’s rights. He very much cares about the protection of women and children and all survivors of violence. I truly believe that his dedication will go with it to a national platform, which is why I’ll vote for him.”

Buck’s numbers in the latest Quinnipiac University poll has him trailing Udall by only 3 percentage points (45 to 42), but among women voters he’s trailing Udall by 21 percentage points (54 to 33).

“I’ve never met someone who is as dedicated as Ken, so it’s very surprising to me to see the polls showing such little support for him over women’s issues,” Drobny said.


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My Windsor Now Updated Feb 27, 2014 09:29PM Published Feb 27, 2014 10:59AM Copyright 2014 My Windsor Now. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.