2 dozen candidates vie for guv
There officially now are two dozen people who want to be Colorado’s next governor.
Although one more Republican is expected to enter the race, a new one did so this week.
Denver resident Stephen Barlock announced his intention to seek the GOP nomination to replace Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, in next year’s races.
His entry into the race ties at eight the number of candidates in the Republican and Democratic parties. Eight other candidates are unaffiliated or a member of a third party.
As co-chairman of Donald Trump’s Colorado office, Barlock said it was the president who inspired him to run for governor.
“There is not one establishment candidate who has announced or is considering announcing as a Republican candidate who can win the state,” Barlock said in his announcement speech. “Since President Trump is fighting so hard to give us back our state rights, I know that I am the only candidate that will be all in for Colorado and therefore helping make America great again.”
Currently, there is no clear frontrunner in the race for the GOP nomination, though 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler and one-term state Rep. Victor Mitchell have some name recognition, at least on the Front Range.
That is expected to change, however, when Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton enters the race, which is expected to happen sometime this fall.
The Democratic side is in the same boat. While it has some big names in that of U.S. Reps. Ed Perlmutter and Jared Polis, it’s not yet known who has the advantage.
When it comes to money, former state Sen. Michael Johnston so far has outperformed other Democrats, raising more than $632,000. But that was before Polis, a multimillionaire who’s expected to put a lot of his own money into his campaign, and Perlmutter entered the race.
On the Republican side, Mitchell has raised more than $190,000, and has loaned his own campaign more than $2.8 million.
More of where all those candidates stand as far as support from rank-and-file party members will be known later this month, when their second-quarter campaign finance reports are due.
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NOTE: A previous version of this story incorrectly said Jared Polis has never won a statewide race. Polis won a six-year term to an at-large seat on Colorado’s state Board of Education in 2000.