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Who Will Replace Hickenlooper As Colorado’s Governor?

A year out from election day, we predict the odds that these eight candidates have of becoming our next governor.


11/03/2017 Editor’s Note: At press time of our November 2017 issue, some candidates had not yet officially announced their 2018 run for Colorado governor. This article has been updated to include more candidates.

So far, Colorado’s 2018 gubernatorial race has been full of firsts: More candidates than ever have entered the race (26 at press time), and political forecasters suggest that, by Election Day, campaign spending will reach a new state record.

We calculated a few figures ourselves and considered the likelihoods that each of these eight candidates, who have the best chances of winning in our eyes, will become the Centennial State’s next governor.

Jared Polis

Party: Democrat
Current Position: U.S. Representative, Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District
Governor Goals
‣ Provide free, full-day preschool and kindergarten statewide
‣ Make Colorado energy independent, with 100 percent renewables by 2040
‣ Create a more inclusive economy through profit-sharing and employee-ownership programs
Odds: 4.5 out of 5

Walker Stapleton

Party: Republican
Current Position: Colorado Treasurer
Governor Goals
‣ Protect the jobs of 230,000 Coloradans by supporting the responsible development of Colorado’s natural resources.
‣ Fix Colorado’s failing infrastructure by encouraging the Department of Transportation to direct more funding toward roads and bridges.
‣ Reform Colorado’s broken pension system, PERA, which has upward of $50 billion in debt, almost twice Colorado’s annual budget
Odds: 4.5 out of 5

Tom Tancredo

Party: Republican
Current Position: Former Congressman
Governor Goals
‣ Make Colorado a safer place to live by eliminating sanctuary cities
‣ Reduce the cost of living in Colorado by lowering utility rates and breaking up the monopoly held on utilities by Xcel Energy
‣ Prioritize the construction of new roads to accommodate the state’s rapid growth
Odds: 1.5 out of 5

George Brauchler

Party: Republican
Current Position: District Attorney, 18th District
Governor Goals
‣ Encourage the state Legislature to prioritize transportation and road improvement projects
‣ Expand parental choice in education
‣ Protect Colorado’s businesses—large and small—from excessive regulation and government overreach
Odds: 4.5 out of 5

Donna Lynne

Party: Democrat
Current Position: Lieutenant Governor of Colorado
Governor Goals
‣ Expand access to health care and protect the Affordable Care Act
‣ Strengthen the state’s education system from preschool through college
‣ Maintain business policies that have made Colorado’s economy one of the strongest in the country
Odds: 4 out of 5

Doug Robinson

Party: Republican
Current Position: Businessman
Governor Goals
‣ Prepare Colorado for its internet-based future by investing in the tech industry
‣ Expand STEM education opportunities in Colorado schools
‣ Develop programs to address the state’s opioid epidemic
Odds: 2 out of 5

Mike Johnston

Party: Democrat
Current Position: Former U.S. Senator
Governor Goals
‣ Provide students with two years of free college or job training in exchange for service to the state
‣ Solve the budget crisis created by the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) to repair roads and rebuild our underfunded education system
‣ Convert Colorado to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040
Odds: 2 out of 5

Stephen Barlock

Party: Republican
Current Position: Denver Co-Chair For Trump
Governor Goals
‣ Secure funding for the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association
‣ Implement legislation to protect the state’s water resources
‣ Protect TABOR
Odds: 1 out of 5

Cary Kennedy

Party: Democrat
Current Position: Former Colorado Treasurer
Governor Goals
‣ Invest in the state’s public education system and increase teacher pay
‣ Keep Colorado’s budget balanced
‣ Ensure our natural resources and preserved and protected
Odds: 2 out of 5

Greg Lopez

Party: Republican
Current Position: Former Mayor of Parker
Governor Goals
‣ Create environments for small businesses to grow
‣ Foster economic development in all 64 Colorado counties
‣ Provide career and technical training in Colorado schools
Odds: 1 out of 5

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