College president enters Colorado governor’s race |

College president enters Colorado governor’s race

PUEBLO ” University of Denver President Marc Holtzman has decided to run for Colorado governor next year, joining state Treasurer Mike Coffman, Rep. Bob Beauprez and former Rep. Scott McInnis as potential Republican candidates.

“I’m spending my time now taking a pulse of what’s important to Colorado voters,” Holtzman told a Pueblo-area Rotary Club on Monday. “This summer I will visit all 64 counties in the state.”

Holtzman, 45, has never held elected office. He was appointed by term-limited GOP Gov. Bill Owens to be head of the state’s technology development in 1999, later leaving that post to take the university job in May 2003.

Aides and supporters of Beauprez and the newly retired McInnis say both are considering running for the GOP nomination next year. Coffman has already formed an exploratory committee.

Potential Democratic candidates include millionaire Rutt Bridges, former Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter and former Lt. Gov. Gail Schoettler, who narrowly lost to Owens in 1998.

Democratic Rep. Mark Udall had been mentioned as a potential candidate for governor but ruled it out earlier this month, saying he would run for re-election to the House next year and then run in 2008 for the Senate seat now held by two-term Republican Wayne Allard.

Holtzman, a former investment banker, said his campaign would stress his experience in economic development. He called New Mexico Democrat Bill Richardson an example of a governor who serves as a state’s “point man” on recruiting new businesses.

“In Colorado, we know we need to do more,” Holtzman said.

Holtzman also said the state’s teachers need to be more accountable through testing and said the GOP needs to develop a commonsense approach to protecting the environment instead of “some left-wing tree hugger approach that isn’t going to sell.”

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