If you’re a die-hard politicker, you’re probably already familiar with the candidates and here to round out your information or maybe stack my opinions up against your own. If you tend to stray from the political fray, let me fill you in – Colorado’s election for governor is highly contested, well-funded, and receiving national attention.
You can expect to hear these six names being thrown around tonight: Donna Lynne, Cary Kennedy, Noel Ginsberg, Erik Underwood, Jared Polis, and of course – Mike Johnston.
*If you don’t know what a caucus is, how it works, or how to participate, this Denver Post article makes it very clear!
**I will be caucusing for Mike Johnston, a candidate I am very involved with and absolutely love. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t followed other campaigns more than most and listened closely to their platforms with a journalistic attitude!
Here’s a quick summary:
Donna Lynne – After my own candidate, of course, Donna is my second choice. She’s smart, experienced, and has a vision. As your current Lt. Governor, she executes policy, oversees the budget, and chairs special projects. She has a doctorate in public health and held an important position with Kaiser Permanente, so it makes sense that healthcare reform is central to her campaign, i.e. universal coverage, increased funding for preventative services, and a focus on mental health. Also, she’s a woman. I don’t support voting just for a demographic – all women or all minorities don’t share an opinion – but I can’t deny a soft spot for empowering women to leadership roles.
Cary Kennedy – There’s just something about her voice that I can’t stand and when it comes down to it, people vote with their guts. On a less personal note, Cary seems like a one-issue candidate to me; she’s a staunch advocate of education reform, but I don’t see her bringing much else to the table. Still not sure how she didn’t get slammed harder for filming her candidacy announcement while driving…
Noel Ginsberg – I haven’t seen too much traction from his campaign, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not there. Noel founded his own specialized plastics company and currently runs CareerWise Colorado, a program providing high school seniors with industry apprenticeships. He’s emphasized education as a priority and presented himself as relatively moderate candidate.
Erik Underwood – Representative of a trend where candidates now move more freely between the two major parties, Underwood ran as a Republican for the US Senate last year but now says the Democratic party fits him best. He suggests making hemp a potential cash crop for Colorado, lowering the voting age to 16 and requiring high schoolers vote to graduate, and creating of a Dept. of Rural Affairs.
Jared Polis – Polis is perhaps the most “establishment” of the candidates, a bit of a career politician now serving as US Rep. of Larimer county. He’s a millionaire, which allows him to self-fund a hefty campaign budget. His primary platforms are bringing free, full-day kindergarten and pre-k to every school and transitioning Colorado to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040.
Mike Johnston – See guys, I even put him last to be more fair! Mike is basically everything I look up to in the complicated, and at times hostile, political climate today: bi-partisan, solution-oriented, and kind. Every time I meet him, he blows me away by his ability to listen well and to reenergize and mobilize different kinds of people. He announced his commitment to move Colorado to 100 percent renewables before Polis. Mike, a gun owner, has a 4-step plan to common-sense gun control. His economic development plan, the Colorado Promise, would provide 2 years of free community college or skills training in exchange for service to the state paid out on a handful of nights or weekends over 5 years. Overall, he’s just a good human who wants to do good things for our state. I mean, look at this goofball:
- The Colorado Independent reports on the Democratic candidates’ positions on gun control