Incumbent Democrat Rhonda Fields will face off against Republican challenger Mike Donald for the second time in 2014. In 2012, she defeated Donald by 73 percent. Fields says that if returned to office, she’ll continue to focus on public safety issued.
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State Representative – House District 42 Fields vs Donald
By Rachel Sapin, Staff Writer
Democrat incumbent Rhonda Fields said if re-elected, she will continue to work on school and public safety issues, but she is also looking at passing bills next year that could help the state’s immigrants.
“I have a high Latino and immigrant population in my district,” she said. “I’m going to be running legislation that impacts folks who are here that may be undocumented or who are finding themselves struggling with wage theft. We have a lot of that going on with people working odd jobs that don’t get paid. I’m always working on ways to create fairness.”
Fields, who has served as the representative for House District 42 since 2010, said she will also continue to work on legislation that addresses adult education and literacy.
She said she was proud that 16 of the bills she sponsored were signed into law during the 2014 legislative session. One bill she helped pass in 2014 that she said she is particularly proud of is a teacher recruitment bill. “It’s a bill that helps us find ways we can improve recruitment and professional development of teachers of color in our schools,” she said.
Fields has been in the thick of many controversial bills, including a narrowly defeated measure last term that would have outlawed “cyber bullying.” Fields has also been an important part of controversial gun-control legislation. Her son was witness to a shooting and later gunned down, along with his fiancee. Fields has worked on bills that make it more difficult to obtain some weapons, and laws that work to ensure the safety of crime witnesses.
Republican Mike Donald did not respond to emails or calls about the race. Donald ran against Fields in 2012 and was defeated.
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Representative Rhonda Fields was first elected to serve the Colorado House of Representatives for the 68th General Assembly in 2010. She is the first African American woman elected to the state legislature to represent Aurora’s House District 42, Arapahoe County.
In her first term as a freshman legislator, Rep. Fields sponsored and moved through sixteen bills that were signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper.
Fields is a longtime resident of Aurora, Colorado, where she also raised her two children, Maisha and Javad, in local public schools. On the night of June 20, 2005 — both Javad and his fiancee Vivian Wolfe were shot and killed at an intersection in Aurora. The very next day, Rhonda’s son Javad Fields, who had just graduated from Colorado State University, was expected to be a key witness in the murder trial of his friend Gregory Vann.
Through Field’s advocacy, three men were arrested, charged and convicted eight months after the murders of Javad and Vivian. This tragedy led her to work with legislators at the Colorado State House of Representatives where she fought to improve public safety and our criminal justice system. Through State Representative Garcia and State Senator Nancy Spence, she introduced House Bill 1379, which was designed to help ensure the safety of witnesses. The bill was passed and named the Javad Marshall Fields & Vivian Wolfe Witness Protection Act.
Fields graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado, receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education in 1974, and a Master’s Degree in Psychology Counseling and Guidance in 1976. Upon graduation, she worked at the University of Northern Colorado for eight years within the division of Student Affairs.
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Donald grew up in Pontiac, Michigan and then moved to Socorro, New Mexico where he studied physics at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Because of family issues, he moved back to Michigan before completing his degree and got a job in the auto industry as a quality and reliability engineer. He continued studying physics and electric engineering at Lawrence Technological University, but then was laid off from his auto job in 2001. Only a few credits away from graduating, he decided to give up studying for a while and start his own business. He ran a lawn mowing service, and later went to work for a contract research organization that conducted biomedical research. He was laid off from that job, too, and in 2008, he and his wife decided to move to Colorado. Donald said he has had intentions of running for office for several years.
He is in favor of temporarily lowering taxes for all Colorado residents so they will have more discretionary and disposable income, which he said would help stimulate the overall state economy. He’s also in favor of lowering the current government regulations on oil and gas drilling companies to attract more of them to drill in Colorado.
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