In her concession speech Wednesday night, Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush, who campaigned beautifully for U.S. House against incumbent Republican Rep. Scott Tipton, said, “We have so much work to do. Having a Democratic governor, attorney general, treasurer, secretary of state, state House and state Senate will help us move Colorado ahead.”
That is a breathtaking list, starting at the top.
Governor-elect Jared Polis will come into office with a mandate and majorities for his ambitious goals, a green grid by 2040 and healthcare for all.
Walker Stapleton campaigned against him as the business-friendlier man of the pair, but that is not necessarily true, and not anymore.
The same voters in their same wisdom also defeated a Colorado constitutional amendment that would have raised corporate taxes by a whopping 30 percent to fund education. They throttled every new state tax. And Polis, on the cusp of victory, told Rolling Stone, “I’m most excited about cutting the income tax for small businesses and residents.”
We think his mandate says, “Do great affordable things.”
We also think the wealthy Polis, who has spent a small fortune to get this far, will be more conservative with Coloradoans’ money.
On Wednesday night, Democratic challenger Jena Griswold rode the same blue-and-unaffiliated wave to take the state treasurer’s office from incumbent Wayne Williams, a Republican. “We won!” she shouted to her supporters in Denver. “We’re not going to let the politics of fear divide us.”
Griswold was a terrific candidate, engaging, compelling, and with the right message for Democrats nationwide. There was just one hitch: Williams was a terrific secretary of state for Colorado. It is thanks in part to him that Colorado leads the nation with the ease and security of its voting.
With the bipartisan redistricting commission amendments that voters overwhelmingly approved Wednesday, we have nothing to fear in our voting – in contrast to the message that Griswold and her supporters put forth.
We think so highly of Griswold, however, that we believe she knows, campaigning aside, that the task before her is not to break with the past but to continue the work that Williams and his staff have done. We hope she is so smart that she will get in that office tomorrow to start mending fences and learning.
Phil Weiser, a Democrat and Colorado’s next attorney general, brings a formidable intellect and impressive résumé to the post. He is so sharp that we believe he will see the wisdom of protecting the gains Colorado has made, from federal overreach and Trump administration politics, without borrowing trouble. We hope he would never shoot first and claim self-defense.
While the Colorado Senate went blue, in District 6, Republican Don Coram held off Democratic challenger Guinn Unger, who was looking to move up from the La Plata Electrical Association board. This was a modest race in all the best ways.
Coram seems to think he can serve his constituents just as well in the Senate minority and we think, knowing his formerly-purple-state pragmatism, that he is right.
Coram set as one of his priorities finding funding for the Colorado Water Plan. It would certainly be more easily and perhaps sooner done than powering the state grid with renewable energy, and we are not sure that it is less important, especially if we are to protect Colorado, including from ourselves.
As for Mitsch Bush, we learned something last night, or rather we had something confirmed by the people of Congressional District 3. Congressman Tipton, a forthright conservative, is a lot like the Energizer Bunny.