Nation’s debt burden prompts Steve Laffey to run for 4th CD
March 26, 2014
THE LAFFEY FILE
WHO: Steve Laffey
RESIDENCE: Fort Collins
BORN: Warwick, R.I.
POLITICAL BACKGROUND: Mayor of Cranston, R.I., from 2003-07; Ran in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in 2006 before losing; ran briefly for governor of Colorado in 2014; running for in the Republican primary for the 4th Congressional District seat in 2014
EDUCATION: Economics degree from Bowdein College in Brunswick, Maine., in 1984. MBA from Harvard Business School in 1986
FAMILY: Wife, Kelly; Six children (Peter, 25; Samuel, 18; Sarah, 17; Audrey, 10; Jessie, 8; Steven Jr., 6
HOBBIES: Breeds Dexter cows; going to stock sales
— T.M. Fasano
Steve Laffey decided to run for the vacant seat in the 4th Congressional District because he wants to fix the ailing economy.
"The reason I'm running is that there is a giant financial problem in this country, and I am a financial expert who fixes giant financial problems and gets people to change their votes," said Laffey, a Rhode Island native who was mayor of Cranston, R.I., (80,000 population) from 2003-07 and who lost in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate in 2006.
"I match best. If the people of the 4th Congressional District decide about who is the best lawyer or who has been here the longest or whatever, that certainly would not favor me. But if it is indeed about fixing a giant financial problem … I'm someone who taught the top finance course at the state university (Rhode Island), who ran a financial firm, fixed financially a city that was bankrupt — this is what I do. We're going to lose the country if we don't get people down to Washington who have a loud, clear voice about this financial disaster."
Laffey briefly ran for governor of Colorado this year but withdrew from that race. In the 4th CD race, Laffey is running against Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer, state Sen. Scott Renfroe and Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck for the Republican nomination. The primary is June 24.
Laffey, 52, earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1986, and also made a movie called "Fixing America."
"That's been shown around many different places in the country and worldwide on the Christian Television Network and over at Colorado Christian University," said Laffey, a father of six children whose ages range from 25 down to 6. "It's really about two things: the budget deficit and the trade deficit and how we as a country don't have much time and how everybody seems to know it except the people in Washington. So I've been speaking out on these federal issues whether it's my book called 'Primary Mistake' or the movie or the speeches or the op-ed pieces or whatever. This seemed to be the right thing to do. My wife and I sat down and prayed about it and talked to a bunch of people in Weld County. It's a federal race about federal issues."
Laffey of Fort Collins lives outside the 4th CD. When he moved to Colorado in 2010, he lived in the 4th CD, but his ranch was part of the redistricting a year later.
Ironically, Congressional candidates do not have to live in the district they're running in.
"That's a constitutional thing. The Constitution states that you have to live in the state in which you represent," Laffey said. "I made it a point to live in the 4th Congressional District when I moved here. I voted for Cory Gardner in 2010 when we got here. Of course, they gerrymandered me and ripped me out of it. I have sold half my property, and I'm going to sell the other half of my ranch. Win, lose or draw, I'm coming back into the 4th Congressional District. I did not move here to be represented by (Democrat) Jared Polis and the people of Boulder (2nd Congressional District). They've already taken away my fracking rights and my oil and gas rights here in Fort Collins. I match up with the 4th Congressional District. I should have been born here."
Laffey wants voters to know that although he doesn't live in the 4th CD, he shares the same values as the residents who do like protecting and increasing the water supply.
"It's where I hang out. It's where I go to help brand cattle in Briggsdale. It's where my large-animal vet lives. I'm one of these guys who grew up next to a gas station, didn't have any cows or animals. Since we live here, my daughter's the state champion for 4-H home environment, my kid's the head of the 4-H, I breed cows and horses here on this small ranch like many people do in the 4th Congressional District."
Laffey said he's going to have to spend more than $400,000 to be competitive in the race.
"I will be well-financed. I'll be out there campaigning every day," Laffey said. "I'll just keep doing it until the 24th and the voters will have a good choice among four candidates. I have nothing bad to say about them. They seem like nice people. I just think the issues are financial."