GOP candidate to run for treasurer

Polly Lawrence

The race to be the Republican Party’s nominee for Colorado treasurer got tighter Tuesday with the entrance of state Rep. Polly Lawrence, R-Parker.

Lawrence came to the Western Slope to make that announcement because she’s tired of statewide candidates focusing so much on the Front Range.

“We have too many people who focus on the I-70, I-25 corridor and they forget that we have a big state, and the Western Slope and Mesa County are a very important part of what goes on in this state,” Lawrence told about 50 fellow party members at Starvin’ Arvins, 3247 F Road in Clifton. “You have an energy-producing area, you have an agricultural area, you have a business area. This is an area that we need to pay a little bit more attention to and make sure that people on this side of the mountain aren’t feeling left behind.”

Lawrence’s entrance into the race brings to three the number of Republicans vying for the GOP nomination for the office now held by term-limited Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton, who is considering a bid for governor.

Others in the race include state Rep. Justin Everett, R-Littleton, and Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn of Steamboat Springs. Two others also have indicated they, too, may enter the race, state Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, and Denver real estate broker Brian Watson.

Currently, there is only one Democrat in the race, state Rep. Steve Lebsock, D-Thornton.

Lawrence said she wants to focus on three things if she gets into the treasurer’s office: reform the Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association; find ways to prevent state agencies from spending every dime of their budgets; and preventing state workers from negotiating private contracts with state agencies, and then going to work for the businesses that get those contracts.

The treasurer’s office, however, has little say on any of those issues. On the first, the treasurer is only one of 15 members of PERA’s governing board, which ultimately is overseen by the Colorado Legislature as a whole. The final two are purviews of the governor’s office and state procurement laws.

By law, the duties of the treasurer are limited to investing tax dollars, overseeing the state’s unclaimed property division and serving on the PERA board.

On PERA, which is facing a long-term sustainability issue, Lawrence suggested that there are a multitude of things that need to change to address its $32 billion unfunded liability, including increasing the retirement age before state workers can draw benefits.


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