After vetting candidates for the past several months, Governor John Hickenlooper this week chose Kaiser Permanente executive Donna Lynne to be his second in command.
Lynne, whose nomination must be confirmed by Colorado state legislators, would succeed Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia, who announced his departure this past November. She would also fill the long-vacant position of the state’s Chief Operating Officer.
The 62-year-old Lynne brings an extensive resume of public and private sector employment to the post. Although she’s never run for an elected office—and Lynne insists she has no intentions to run for governor when her boss’s term expires in 2018—the East Coast native served under three New York City mayors. She also chaired the Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce before moving on to Kaiser, and has decades of experience in health care administration, where she’s won numerous awards for her performance.
Even if she’s not planning to run for the chance to become Colorado’s 43rd governor—which would make her the first woman to hold that office—she could end up breaking such ground anyway: Governor Hickenlooper has been widely mentioned as a potential cabinet member should a Democrat win the White House in November.
If that happens, Lynne would be presiding over our state government at a time when budgetary concerns (many of them related to our growing health care costs) have dominated the political debate. Encouragingly, state Republican officials have spoken favorably about Lynne’s appointment and qualifications, so hopefully lawmakers will confirm her nomination quickly so she can get to the business of running Colorado’s government more efficiently.
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