Colorado governor candidates: Who is running for Colorado governor in 2018? – Denver Post

The Denver Post updated its article on the race for governor – Link here!

Who is running for governor of Colorado in 2018?

There are more than 10 Democrats and Republicans in the race to become Colorado’s next governor

We’re less than a year out from Colorado’s 2018 election for governor, the race is heating up.

Political strategists in both parties already expect the 2018 contest to replace term-limited Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper will shatter state spending records, and plenty of candidates have thrown their hat into the ring. Fueling this belief is the entry of uber-wealthy candidates who could take advantage of Colorado’s campaign rules to overwhelm the opposition with money from their own pockets.

And there is a long list of issues at play.

Here’s who is running, who is on the fence and who is out (as of March 20, 2018):



Steve Barlock

Barlock is an American-flag-shirt-wearing co-chair of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in Colorado. He’s a Denver resident who sells real estate and art and didn’t register as a Republican until fall 2015. He said he plans to tackle the “swamp” of the state’s politics.

Cynthia Coffman

Cynthia Coffman, Colorado’s first-term attorney general, joined the race for governor on Nov. 8 following a long period of speculation about whether or not she would get in on the contest.  In announcing her gubernatorial bid, Coffman — who has taken moderate stances on issues like immigration and LGBT rights — told The Denver Post that “there’s always room for a smart woman,” and that she’s not worried about the fundraising advantages held by her GOP competitors because she feels she has the best name ID of the group.

Barry Farah

The GOP businessman launched an 11th-hour bid for the governor’s mansion on March 21, saying in an interview that “there’s no excitement for anyone in the race.”

Lew Gaiter

Gaiter is a Larimer County commissioner who told The Loveland Reporter-Heraldthat the governor’s office appeals to him because it has little public fanfare and a focus on the behind-the-scenes work. Much of Gaiter’s plans center on bridging the gap between the urban and rural counties of the state.

Greg Lopez

Lopez is the former mayor of Parker who also served as the Colorado state director of the Small Business Administration from 2008 to 2014 and was a longtime member of the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. If elected, he would be the first Hispanic governor in state history.

Victor Mitchell

Mitchell is a former state lawmaker and businessman who became the first notable Republican to jump into the race. He has pledged to inject $3 million of his own money into his campaign and is emphasizing his career as an entrepreneur who turned around failing businesses as his qualifications for the job.

Doug Robinson

Robinson is a former investment banker and the nephew of Mitt Romney. He is a first-time candidate who is touting himself as an outsider in an increasingly crowded field of current and former elected officials.

Walker Stapleton

Stapleton, a Republican and Colorado’s two-term treasurer, officially jumped into the governor’s race — as expected — on Sept. 23. Stapleton is term-limited in his current job and has ties to the Bush family. An independent expenditure committee in his support began raising money months before he officially joined the contest.

RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

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Cary Kennedy, former Colorado State Treasurer as well as a former Deputy Mayor and Chief Financial Officer of Denver, is a candidate for Governor of Colorado in the 2018 election on Sept. 21, 2017 in Denver.


Mike Johnston

Johnston is a former state senator who is promising to provide two years of debt-free college or job training to residents who serve the state. He reported raising more than $625,000 for his gubernatorial campaign to open the year — a sum his campaign touted as a record haul.

Cary Kennedy

Kennedy is the state’s former treasurer who announced her candidacy for the 2018 contest while driving her car home from her daughter’s school and broadcast it live on Facebook. She has won a statewide election before and is emphasizing her prior experience in office — and as Denver’s chief financial officer — as her qualifications for the job.

Donna Lynne

Lynne — a Democrat — is Colorado’s lieutenant governor and a former health care executive who said last year she wouldn’t be running for governor of Colorado. Nevertheless, Lynne said over the summer that she was considering a run for the job and then filed the necessary paperwork on Aug. 1 to campaign and raise money. On Sept. 7, she formally jumped into the race.

Jared Polis

Polis holds the 2nd Congressional District’s seat and is a wealthy tech entrepreneurwho has long been involved in Colorado politics. He is running on a platform of getting Colorado to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2040, ensuring parents can access full-day preschool or kindergarten, and encouraging companies in the state to provide stock options to employees. His inclusion in the race tests how far to the left the state has shifted in the past decade.

AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post


Who is out?

George Brauchler

Brauchler, the 18th Judicial District’s attorney, was running for Colorado governor until Nov. 13 when he jumped into the contest for attorney general.

Noel Ginsburg

Ginsburg, a Colorado businessman who was appointed by Gov. John Hickenlooper to lead the Business Experiential Learning Commission, bowed out of the Democratic primary March 20, citing financial pressures.

Ed Perlmutter

Perlmutter, a longtime Democratic fixture in Colorado politics and the congressman for the 7th Congressional District, formally exited the race for governor July 11. He cited the shooting of U.S. House colleague Steve Scalise as his reason for leaving the race, and also said he realized he didn’t have the “fire in the belly” to meet the demands of the campaign. Perlmutter also said he wouldn’t be running for re-election to Congress, but in late August reversed that decision.

Kent Thiry

Thiry is the celebrity CEO of DaVita Inc. who has a cheerleader’s disposition and a love of “The Three Musketeers.” He said he was seriously considering jumping into the race as a Republican until telling The Denver Post politics team on July 24 that he wasn’t going to run. Had Thiry joined the race, it would have meant a huge influx of cash into the already-high-dollar contest.

Ken Salazar

The Colorado Democrat and former U.S. senator announced in March that he wouldn’t be jumping in the race. He served four years in the U.S. Senate and served as U.S. secretary of the Interior from 2009 to 2013 in the Obama administration. He said in a Denver Post commentary about his decision not to run that “this has been a difficult decision, because I love Colorado. However, my family’s well-being must come first.”

Tom Tancredo

The former congressman said in late August that he was considering a run for Colorado governor in 2018 in a move he hoped was a shot across the bow at the Republican Party. In the fleeting days of October, after meeting with former White House strategist Stephen Bannon, he officially jumped into the race. Tancredo, a conservative firebrand who is an ally of Donald Trump, lost bids for the job in 2010 and 2014. Then, in a major twist, he left the race on Jan. 30, 2018.

Who else has registered?

William “Bill” Hammons, of the Unity Party

Adam Garrity, a Democrat

Moses Humes, a Democrat

Véronique Bellamy, of the Green Party

JoAnne Silva, a Republican

Michael Willbourn, unaffiliated

George Cantrell, of the American Constitution Party

Matthew Wood, unaffiliated

Jim Rundberg, a Republican

Korey Starkey, unaffiliated

Michael Schroeder, a Democrat

Kathleen Cunningham, unaffiliated

Richard Osada, a Democrat

Erik Underwood, a Democrat

This is a developing story and will be updated. 

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