Durango, Colorado

  • Interviews By
  • Andrea Dukakis
  • Photos By
  • Nathaniel Minor
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Kody John
Nathaniel Minor/CPR News

Kody John, a sophomore at Fort Lewis College in Durango, grew up on the Navajo Nation in Arizona. Nearly half of the college's students have a multi-cultural background — a fact John said he values. But he's worried about college-life issues like drug abuse and alcohol poisoning.

"I've seen things that I wish I could forget," he said.

The political rhetoric out of Washington, D.C. also troubles John. He said it's turning the country into a "powder keg."

"I'm trying to be optimistic, but the pessimism in me is just saying that at some point something is gonna set it off," he said. "And I feel like I'm going to be impacted negatively as well as anyone else in any sort of minority."

Elliot Tinguely
Nathaniel Minor/CPR News

Elliot Tinguely is a senior at Fort Lewis College in Durango. He said he doesn't plan to vote in the gubernatorial election this fall.

"There isn't a socialist or communist candidate running in Colorado, so I prefer to vote with my ethics rather than just vote for a winner," he said. "I would vote for someone who seriously represents my interests, someone who gives a shit about marginalized, oppressed communities."

Tinguely said Colorado is a great place to live — if you have money.

"The whole state is set up for you to use that money to make more," he said. "If you're what we call a 'have not,' Colorado's just beautiful — nothing else.

Stephen and Michiko Burns
Nathaniel Minor/CPR News

Stephen and Michiko Burns own the Durango Olive Oil Company in downtown Durango. Stephen described himself as a "Blue Dog Democrat" and said Colorado is doing well overall.

"However, I think we have to watch what we do, as far as our balance of industry, tourism, the environment and the economy," he said. "If we sway one way or another, something tends to suffer."

Both said they're eager to learn more about the governor's race, but Durango's inclusion in the Albuquerque, New Mexico TV market makes that difficult.

"Pretty much my attitude is, 'I don't feel like I have representation. Why should I vote for you?' " Michiko said.

Cappy White
Nathaniel Minor/CPR News

Cappy White runs a hand-made furniture store in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. He's concerned about a number of local issues, like encouraging tourism in town to teacher salaries, but there's one issue that stands above the rest to him: the environment. He didn't have a strong opinion on the gubernatorial candidates when we met him in late August, but said in general he's looking for someone who will ensure that "Colorado stays healthy place to live and raise your family."

"Every place is getting crowded but we only have one chance chance to save the planet," White said.

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