Primary recap: Ballots due by Tuesday will decide choices on November ballot

Thursday, June 21, 2018 11:43 AM

The Democratic ticket for governor includes a particularly strong mix of candidates, including out-going Congressman Jared Polis, former state senator Mike Johnston and former two-term state treasurer Cary Kennedy. And, Colorado’s current lieutenant governor, Donna Lynne, who for two years has worked side by side with Gov. John Hickenlooper and has a significant background in corporate healthcare leadership.

Polis would support teachers and the minimum wage, has been a frequent critic of the president. Johnston has extensive ideas about how to improve pre K-12 education and would make the first two years of college tuition free for students who agree to fill needed positions in rural parts of the state. Kennedy worked to put PERA on a more sustainable footing and led the creation of B.E.S.T. to fund the construction of schools in low-assessed value parts of the state.

The Herald’s editorial board endorses Donna Lynne. Most importantly, she is familiar with the multiple issues Colorado faces and has a head start compared to the other candidates in making the state an even more appealing place.

Republicans ought to consider Walker Stapleton the best candidate for governor from their party. Stapleton is in his second term as state treasurer, and he may be best known for advocating for more transparency in PERA’s operations and more caution in its economic predictions. PERA underpins hundreds of thousands of Colorado employees and retirees, and Stapleton was early in pointing out that there was a significant mismatch between retiree obligations and incoming revenues and investment expectations.

Doug Robinson has raised money for technology companies. He would commit $250 million from the state’s general fund to bond for highway construction, and he would incentivize Medicaid to encourage healthy patients.

Victor Mitchell would reduce state government by 20 percent and create low-cost clinics to deliver health care at a savings.

Greg Lopez was the Colorado director of the Small Business Administration and would encourage ready-to-work college graduates. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran.

Walker Stapleton has the strongest background for governor among the Republicans.

Democrats have a three person primary race in their challenge to Rep. Scott Tipton, who is seeking a fourth term. Dianne Mitsch Bush, a former two term state representative from Steamboat Springs, has the strongest background and receives The Herald’s editorial board endorsement.

Mitsch Bush has degrees in sociology, taught full time at a campus of Colorado Mountain College and has been a member of Club 20’s executive committee. She supports the expanded state’s Medicaid and would look for extra funding for rural health care.

Karl Hanlon is a rancher in Routt County and an attorney who knows water law. He talks of “ideas not ideology” and wants a foreign policy which is not based on military strength.

Arn Menconi founded a youth social services organization, and ran for the Senate in 2016 as a member of the Green Party.

In a hotly contested party race in La Plata County, Durango Business Improvement District executive director Tim Walsworth is challenging incumbent county treasurer Allison Aichele on the Democratic ballot.

Aichele is being faulted for her office having improperly posted a handful of tax receipts, which triggered an auditor’s review. Walsworth says that with his experience with BID and as the former United Way director, that misstep would not have happened under his watch.

Nevertheless, we believe that Allison Aichele has a thorough understanding of the complexities involved in operating the treasurer’s office, which she has brought up-to-date with new technology. She deserves to be advanced to the November ballot.

Primary ballots are due at the county clerk’s office by 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26. Unaffiliated voters should certain to vote only one party’s ballot.