Colorado Lt. Gov. Lynne closing in on official gubernatorial bid
Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne took the next-to-last step late last week to enter the crowded Democratic race and become Colorado’s next governor.
According to statute, a person does not become an official candidate until he or she formally announces their bid, but the Secretary of State’s Office confirmed Thursday afternoon that the 63-year-old former Kaiser Permanente executive filed her candidate affidavit on Friday, Aug. 11. The administrative requirement communicates Lynne’s intent to run and allows her to receive campaign contributions and make expenditures toward capturing the state’s top job — and working toward taking office as Colorado’s first-ever female governor.
As part of the new development, Lynne is scheduled to appear at a Summit County Democrats mixer in Breckenridge on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 20, with gubernatorial candidates Mike Johnston, Cary Kennedy and Rep. Jared Polis. The private party event will include brief introductions followed by a short Q&A.
Reached Thursday afternoon, Curtis Hubbard of OnSight Public Affairs — an advisor to Lynne — said she has received a groundswell of encouragement to run, but is still lining up formal support before making an announcement.
“Donna is using this exploratory phase to identify supporters and to hear from key Democrats across the state,” Hubbard said in a statement. “Sunday’s appearance is part of that ongoing effort. She expects to make a formal announcement in the weeks ahead.”
Lynne previously filed campaign committee paperwork with the office on Aug. 1, telling the Denver Post at the time she would do so as part of an exploration into running through initial fundraising and campaigning.
“I am actively exploring a bid,” she said then. “I want to make sure that I have everything in order. A lot of people urge candidates to run. But you really want to make sure that you can solidify that — that they will be endorsers, that they will be financial supporters and that’s a process.”
Gov. John Hickenlooper also weighed in with public comments in early August, stating that should Lynne opt to run, she would be a strong choice to become the state’s 43rd governor.
“I do think she is a remarkably talented person, and if she were to run and to win she would be a great governor,” said Hickenlooper. “The last thing she needs is for everyone to say, ‘The governor is trying to get her elected’ or ‘pushing her out there to do this.’”
Hickenlooper nominated Lynne to her current role in March 2016 and she subsequently became Colorado’s 49th lieutenant governor May 4, 2016.
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