Democrats have controlled the Governor’s office for the last decade, which gives Republicans some hope that voters might be ready for a change. At the same time, Democrats believe that Colorado has become more blue than purple. Both sides will host competitive primaries. There are five announced Democratic candidates, including former Denver CFO Cary Kennedy, Lt. Gov. Donna Lynn, and U.S. Rep. Jared Polis. Polis is believed to be at least the nominal frontrunner, but the state’s caucus system means that none of these candidates can take anything for granted. There are eight announced Republicans, including Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and state Treasurer Walter Stapleton. Republicans caught a break when former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo exited the race. Tancredo ran for Governor in 2010 as the Constitution Party’s nominee and then lost the GOP gubernatorial primary in 2014. A staunch conservative, he takes a hard line against immigration. GOP strategists feared that the crowded field might have provided an opening for Tancredo, who would have doomed their chances in the general election as the nominee. Now, Republicans are likely to nominate a candidate who will be competitive in the general election. Party caucuses start in March and should shed some light on how competitive some of these candidates really are. The primary is June 26. For now, the race is in the Lean Democratic column, and the rating will be reassessed once the parties have chosen their nominees.
Image: AP Photo/David Zalubowski