Leadership Through Service

I am a candidate for Colorado Senate District 8 to be of service to the residents and businesses of Garfield, Grand, Jackson, Moffat, Rio Blanco, Routt and Summit counties.  The election is in 2020 but the size of our district warrants starting early. 

I can devote the next two years traveling our district and listening to the concerns, needs, and suggestions from residents and businesses. My background of volunteerism and interest in Western Slope issues provides me the focus and sincere interest to serve.

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Committee to Elect Debra Irvine
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Breckenridge, CO 80424

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Breckenridge, December 7, 2018.

Republican Debra Irvine has announced her candidacy for Colorado Senate District 8 (SD8) currently held by State Senator Randy Baumgardner.

“I am inherently driven to be of service.  My family has a strong history of community, military and diplomatic service.  From my volunteer work as a suicide hotline counselor, to having been a voice for others as a candidate, I have the focus and commitment to serve our district”, Irvine explains.

“Our district encompasses over 17,000 square miles.  Garfield, Grand, Jackson, Moffat, Rio Blanco, Routt and Summit counties. The election is in 2020 and the size of our district warrants starting early.  I can dedicate the next two years to listening and learning”, Irvine said.

Irvine notes that she has a unique background that fits well with SD8.

“I have been a proven proponent for the coal, oil and gas industry.  I believe in following an all of the above approach to energy (fossil fuel, wind, solar, geothermal, hydro). In addition to fossil fuel energy’s proven reliability, severance tax contributions are vital and undeniable”, Irvine explained.

“Senate District 8 is geographically unique and includes nearly a dozen ski resorts.  I am very familiar with the ski industry; I grew up in the ski resort town of Garmisch, Germany and I was a professional ski instructor.  Tourism and outdoor recreation is a vibrant part of Colorado; which includes hunting, fishing, rafting, etc.  I have heard the notion that tourism could replace monies lost in counties if the fossil fuel industry was put out of business.  This is an unreasonable suggestion.  I understand how different industries contribute to our economy and communities”, Irvine said.

“Some of my additional interests are education, where quality is in the forefront including a focus on vocational education; fire mitigation and forest health management; water rights; focus on mental health; creating an environment for small business and entrepreneurial growth; supporting agriculture and ranching; protecting our 2nd Amendment rights; and, of course, the specific concerns of each county”, Irvine said.

“I am a conservative and, as a fiscal conservative, I look at things pragmatically.  For instance, you may decide to loan money to a friend or family member to help them out of a bind.  If that person continues to come back to you for more financial support, you would be expectedly concerned and ask for an accounting of their spending.  I believe in approaching government spending of our money similarly”, Irvine noted.

“I look forward to traveling our district and learning of the concerns and suggestions from its people, businesses and government”.

“Debra Irvine’s campaign website is www.IrvineForColorado.com, which will be updated, to include details on issues, throughout the campaign.”




Employment History

Professional Artist, Breckenridge, CO

My designs were selected for the 2008 Breckenridge Oktoberfest and 2008 Ullr Fest.  In 2016, my painting was featured in a Parade of Homes home that won Mountain Living Magazine’s “most beautiful home”.

Co-Director of Fundraising, International School of Brussels, Athletics, Brussels, Belgium (volunteer position).

My co-director and I were responsible for coordinating volunteers for fundraising for an after-school cafe (5 days a week) and a weekly lunch.  For the weekly lunch I would plan, organize, and also cook, for approximately 600 students. Because we were an international school, I would arrange for different groups of nationalities to represent their cultural foods.

Suicide Hotline Counselor, Northern Virginia Hotline, Arlington, VA (volunteer position).  

Our hotline served the DC metro area.  For the position, I had extensive training in reflective listening.  This method of counseling required us to be empathetic, reflecting the caller’s emotions and to empower the caller.  We also communicated with emergency personnel if needed.

Administrator, Researcher, Document Security Officer, Orion Engineering, Rosslyn, VA (Top Secret Clearance)

Company was an independent company with various clients.  As a defense subcontractor, we provided research support for the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), known as Reagan’s Star Wars Program.  We also created proposals for the Defense Appropriations Bill for clients.

Office Manager and Assistant to Executive Vice President, Pacific Architects and Engineers, Rosslyn, VA.

Our office handled the company’s Operations and Maintenance contract for the United States Embassy in Moscow, Russia.  We interacted closely with the US State Department.

Executive Assistant to Chief, Moral Welfare and Recreation, US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO.

Employment Specialist, US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO.  

Hotel Inventory Management Specialist, Armed Forces Recreation, (Summer), Garmisch, Germany.

Professional Ski Instructor, Armed Forces Recreation Center, (Winter), Garmisch, Germany.

I would instruct a group of students (children or adults) of varying levels of ability, for one week (5 days) and private instruction one day on weekends.

Gateway German Language Instructor (as a college student), Garmisch, Germany.

I presented military spouses an overview of German culture and traditions, while teaching them a basic knowledge of conversational German.  (I speak German, Italian and French.)

Community Involvement

Current appointee, by Senate President Bill Cadman, to the Judicial District 5 Judicial Performance Review Commission.

Lector, St Mary’s Catholic Church, Breckenridge

Club 20 active member since 2009. We follow legislation and issues for the Western Slope counties of Colorado.

Summit Rotary. I was the Membership Chairman and member of the Literacy Committee. We provided books for local children, story contests and dictionaries to local 5th graders. I volunteered for our annual 3-Way Test, an interactive presentation with local middle schoolers.

Family of Service

My family has a strong history of community, military and diplomatic service.  

My father served 30 years in the US Army.  He fought in WWII twice; first in the Merchant Marines.  He then fought with the US Army in Italy, where he met, and later married, my mother.  He also fought in the Korean and Vietnam wars. He passed away when I was 23.

My mother has over 50 years of dedicated service with the Red Cross.  In 2008, at the age of 84, she was awarded as one of ten L’Oréal of Paris Women of Worth honorees. I had nominated her for her work with wounded warriors at Walter Reed Medical Center. She volunteered there until she was 92 years old.

My late husband and I were married 25 years.  He served 30 years in the US Air Force and was a writer of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).  After retirement, he was a Director, Office of the Secretary of Defense and then a NATO diplomat, in Brussels, Belgium. We built our permanent home Breckenridge in 2004 on property we had for a decade.

My son graduated from the US Air Force Academy. He served honorably and is an Air Force veteran.

My husband and father both rest in Arlington National Cemetery.

Colorado Heritage

Our Colorado heritage is uniquely ours and I will support hunting, fishing, ranching, agriculture, water and property rights. As a history major, I have a particular interest in history, and its preservation, which includes museums, historic designations, including Colorado history in schools, welcome centers, etc.

Regarding the 2nd Amendment, I am a steadfast supporter of our right to bear arms. The 2018 Colorado legislature saw the introduction of the “red flag” gun bill. (HB18-1436 Extreme Risk Protection Orders). Had I been a legislator, I would have voted against it.

Ranching and agriculture are a vital part of our heritage and our economy.  Just as other businesses see the burden of increased regulations, so can ranching and agriculture.  I look forward to hearing, from our ranchers and farmers, how they are affected and how we can approach the issue.

TABOR, Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights was passed by voters in 1992. TABOR is an important part of keeping government spending in check and I support the requirement that the raising of taxes require approval by Colorado voters.