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U.S. Senate candidate visits Jefferson County

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Shogan unveils TV ads at Evergreen fund-raiser

By Beth Potter

Independent U.S. Senate candidate Steve Shogan unveiled his first TV ads at a fund-raiser Saturday at Nick’s Pro Fitness in Evergreen.

Supporters laughed at an ad that shows a male actor with eyes pointing in different directions and a voice-over saying, “What if your two eyes didn’t work together?” as an allusion to partisan bickering between Democrats and Republicans in Congress.

“It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to fix Congress … or maybe it does,” is the theme of the second ad, a cartoon.

Shogan, a neurosurgeon, is looking to unseat Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat, and fend off Republican challenger U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner. The campaign is expected to raise and spend $2 million to $3 million, said Sue Hoover, Shogan’s campaign manager. Total spending on the race could reach $50 million, according to some political pundits, Hoover said.

The campaign is looking to raise money from individuals, Hoover said, adding that the ads will be aired as soon as the campaign raises enough money to pay for them.

Shogan said he wants to promote a two-tiered health insurance system in the United States as an alternative to “Obamacare,” or the Affordable Care Act, which was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in 2010. The law requires every U.S. resident to buy health insurance or pay tax penalties, among other things.

A two-tiered health insurance system would be paid for with a value-added tax, Shogan said. More specifically, health care would be provided to every citizen under the system, and everyone would have to pay something into the system, he said.

Social Security, the national debt and economic development also are areas of focus for Shogan. He said he wants to raise minimum Social Security benefits, since about 10 percent of recipients are living below a federally calculated poverty line.

A poll in April showed Udall and Gardner virtually neck and neck. Shogan announced in late April that he would enter the race.

Shogan has a history of community service, said Evergreen resident Dave Theil, a friend and supporter. Shogan is taking leave from his job as chief of neurosurgery at Rose Medical Center in Denver, a job he has held since 1984, to run for the U.S. Senate.  

The Shogan event was organized by Theil, an anesthesiologist who works closely with him at Rose Medical Center. Nick Kapande, owner of Nick’s Pro Fitness, and wife Heather sponsored the event.