The Democratic ticket for governor includes a particularly strong mix of candidates, including outgoing Rep. Jared Polis, former state Sen. Mike Johnston and former two-term state treasurer Cary Kennedy.
And Colorado’s current lieutenant governor, Donna Lynne, who for two years has worked side by side with Gov. John Hickenlooper and has a significant background in corporate healthcare leadership.
Polis would support teachers and the minimum wage, and has been a frequent critic of the president. Johnston has extensive ideas about how to improve prekindergarten education and would make the first two years of college tuition free for students who agree to fill needed positions in rural parts of the state. Kennedy worked to put PERA on a more sustainable footing and led the creation of BEST to fund the construction of schools in low-assessed value parts of the state.
The Journal’s editorial board endorses Donna Lynne. Most important, she is familiar with the multiple issues Colorado faces and has a head start compared with the other candidates in finding solutions.
Republicans ought to consider Walker Stapleton the best candidate for governor from their party. Stapleton is in his second term as state treasurer, and he may be best known for advocating for more transparency in PERA’s operations and more caution in its economic predictions.
Doug Robinson has raised money for technology companies. He would commit $250 million from the state’s general fund to bond for highway construction, and he would incentivize Medicaid to encourage healthy patients.
Victor Mitchell would reduce state government by 20 percent and create low-cost clinics to deliver health care at a savings.
Greg Lopez was the Colorado director of the Small Business Administration and would encourage ready-to-work college graduates. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran.
Democrats have a three-person primary race in their challenge to Rep. Scott Tipton, who is seeking a fourth term.
Dianne Mitsch Bush, a former two-term state representative from Steamboat Springs, has the strongest background and receives The Journal’s editorial board endorsement.
Mitsch Bush has degrees in sociology, taught full-time at a campus of Colorado Mountain College and has been a member of Club 20’s executive committee. She supports the expanded state’s Medicaid and would look for extra funding for rural health care.
Karl Hanlon is a rancher in Routt County and an attorney who knows water law. He talks of “ideas not ideology” and wants a foreign policy that is not based on military strength.
Arn Menconi founded a youth social services organization, and ran for the Senate in 2016 as a member of the Green Party.
Primary ballots are due at the county clerk’s office no later than 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26. Unaffiliated voters should be certain to vote only one party’s ballot.