Wants are many but resources are scarce; it's a division that frequently separates views on public policies.
In state Senate District 6, the southwest corner of the state, how far government should go to address needs given scarce resources emerges as a dividing theme when comparing incumbent Don Coram, R-Montrose, with his opponent, Guinn Unger, a Bayfield Democrat.
Both candidates were interviewed by The Durango Herald editorial board - Unger on Oct. 4 and Coram on Oct. 8.
Amendment 73, a $1.6 billion tax increase to provide funding for education, exemplifies the cost-versus-action divide that separates the two.
The income tax increase is aimed at the wealthiest Coloradans - applying only to people making more than $150,000 a year with gradually increasing tax rates, and it would actually lower homeowners' property tax rates in school districts across the state.
But a provision in Amendment 73 that would increase the state's corporate tax rate from 4.63 percent to 6 percent, Coram said, would be too damaging.
"We have the No. 1 economy in the country, and this measure would not encourage corporations to come to Colorado," he said.
"If we don't properly fund education,we are not going to have a properly educated workforce," Unger said. "Our kids will not get good jobs, and we won't be able to attract companies to the Western Slope."
If elected, Unger said he would focus his efforts on improving health insurance for Coloradans, combating climate change and improving funding for education.
Coram said he would focus his efforts on providing funding for a statewide water plan that guides water policy in nine different river basins.