Colorado politics

Colorado voters could well decide this fall which party controls the U.S. Senate.

But first, on Tuesday, voters will pick the Democrat to challenge GOP Sen. Cory Gardner. Former Gov. John Hickenlooper is the national party's first choice for the nomination, but his campaign has hit some snags in recent weeks. He was a two-term governor, former mayor of Denver and had a short-lived presidential bid.

Updated 12:54 p.m.

Some of the biggest players in Colorado’s billion dollar legal marijuana industry are gearing up to flex their political muscle in the upcoming 2020 U.S. Senate race. On one side sits Republican incumbent Cory Gardner. Democrats haven’t chosen their nominee yet, but all eyes are on former two-term Gov. John Hickenlooper.

If that’s the matchup, industry support will likely fall to Gardner.

A recently confirmed member of the state’s Independent Ethics Commission was investigated in 2016 for workplace harassment, ultimately agreeing to undergo counseling and spend six months away from an office she oversaw to avoid contact with employees who complained about her conduct. 

Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

Colorado Senator Cory Gardner’s job may be in jeopardy next year, if new polling numbers hold true. As The Denver Post reports, Gardner, who is a Republican, is seeking reelection next year.

But according to a new poll by Keating Research, Gardner’s favorability ratings lag those of President Trump—and Colorado has been growing increasingly blue in recent years. In the poll, Gardner was viewed favorably by 40% and unfavorably by 39%.

Still reeling from historic losses that put Democrats in charge of Colorado’s government, a group of current and former Republican state lawmakers say it’s time for a different strategy. They created a new organization to recruit and train more moderate candidates. The aim is to appeal to a broader swath of voters, especially the state’s growing segment of unaffiliated voters.

Backers see it as part of a larger rebranding the party needs to stay relevant in Colorado. But it could put them at odds with an existing soft money group controlled by House GOP leadership.

Longmont resident Ingrid Moore went to the state Capitol on Tuesday carrying a stack of maps she said illustrates why Colorado should change the way it chooses U.S. presidents.

"Over 57 percent of all the 2016 campaign events were held in just four states," she said as lawmakers on the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee reviewed the map. "Virtually all campaign events ... were held in just 12 states. And those 12 states just have 30 percent of the population."

Colorado’s House of Representatives is in an exclusive club. It’s one of only two legislative chambers in the country where female lawmakers hold a majority. Overall, women make up nearly half of the state’s 100 lawmakers.

Gov. Jared Polis gave his first State of the State address Thursday morning. During his campaign Polis, a Democrat, ran on a progressive platform and was expected to address some of those topics during his speech.

Jena Griswold, who will soon become Colorado's first Democratic Secretary of State in 60 years, has announced who will help her lead the office.

Meanwhile, outgoing Secretary of State Wayne Williams told the Colorado Springs Gazette he is thinking about running for city council next year.

Colorado Republicans are preparing for life in the political wilderness.

After election night’s midterm blue wave receded, the party was left without a foothold in the state government. Democrats won every statewide office and both chambers of the legislature for the first time since the New Deal.

GOP Chairman Jeff Hays said losing a narrow majority in the state Senate was particularly painful.

Democrats and Republicans didn’t waste any time choosing new leaders for the upcoming legislative session in Colorado.

It felt almost like a lively and cheerful family reunion when the growing Democratic House majority gathered in the Old State Library Thursday afternoon to promote KC Becker of Boulder to the position of House Speaker.

The morning after the highly anticipated 2018 midterms, friends Pam Whittall, Tom Moore and David Onn sit at a small table at the Linden Street Cafe in old town Fort Collins. They come here no fewer than three days a week after yoga class.

On this day, between sips of coffee, they talked about the outcomes of Tuesday’s election.

Published 11.06.2018 11:22 p.m. | Updated 11.07.2018 2:59 p.m.

Democrat Phil Weiser has officially won the state attorney general's office after Republican candidate George Brauchler conceded the race Wednesday morning.

Brauchler lost by a narrow 40,000 votes. Weiser, a law professor and former Obama administration staffer, had already made a victory speech Tuesday night.

Democrat Jared Polis is the governor-elect. In the 6th Congressional District, Jason Crow takes the win, unseating five-time incumbent Republican Mike Coffman.

Ballot measures were met with mixed support: Transportation measures 109 and 110, along with oil and gas well setback measure Proposition 112 failed, while amendments Y and Z, which address partisan gerrymandering, passed.

Colorado oil and gas companies landed a significant victory election night as voters rejected sweeping restrictions for the industry.

Proposition 112 would have required any new oil and gas development that's not on federal land to be set back at least 2,500 feet—a half mile—from homes and "vulnerable areas" like playgrounds, lakes and rivers.

Dan Haley, president and CEO of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, said workers got involved because their livelihoods were at stake.

Colorado voters rejected a tax increase for transportation projects by a decisive margin Tuesday.

Colorado’s campaigns delivered their final pitches across the state this weekend. 

As The Denver Post reports, there’s a lot at stake in Tuesday’s midterm election – for Colorado and the nation. Voters will elect the state’s next governor and decide control of the state legislature.

Democratic attorney general candidate Phil Weiser called on his Republican opponent George Brauchler this week to denounce an ad against him that calls Weiser a defender of a man convicted of pedophilia.

Weiser said the ad, run by the Republican Attorneys General Association, politicizes the legal profession’s obligations to uphold the constitution and mischaracterizes his work on a 2005 case.

Ballots are out and drop-off locations and polling centers are open for the 2018 mid-term election. For many voters in Colorado, the ballot is a long one. Here you will find links and information on how to vote, as well as information on the 13 statewide issues. 

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is rallying voters in Colorado ahead of the midterm election as part of a multi-state tour to bolster Democratic candidates up and down the ballot.

The candidates for state treasurer have largely stayed clear of the spotlight this election season. Colorado’s current treasurer, Republican Walker Stapleton, is term-limited and running for governor.

Democrat Dave Young is a state representative from Greeley and former math teacher. Republican Brian Watson is a real estate investor with no political experience.

Jared Polis and Walker Stapleton squared off Friday morning inside of a barn in Kersey, just east of Greeley. The debate venue was so rustic, the tables in the barn were all equipped with fly swatters.

Here are three things that stuck with us after the debate.

Constitutional Amendment 74 is one of the shortest measures on the Colorado ballot in November. In just two sentences, the proposal asks voters for more protections for private property rights and seeks payment for property owners if they’ve been wronged by government decisions.

The idea appeals to farmers like Marc Arnusch, who saw his wheat crop get hammered over the summer.  

He owns a small business that does contract work for some of Colorado’s largest oil and gas companies. She runs a marketing firm from home and lives within a half-mile of three well pads.

She’s voting yes on Proposition 112. He’s voting no.

This year is already the most expensive political campaign season in state history, and there are still three weeks to go before votes get counted. Donors have coughed up $186 million for ads and campaign staff and consultants so far, $35 million more than the last record-setting election in 2014.

Just a handful of entities are responsible for the spending spree. The oil and gas industry and Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Jared Polis are the most notable.

There are several Senate seats up for grabs this November at Colorado’s statehouse. KUNC’s Desmond O’Boyle sat down with Robert Duffy, a professor at Colorado State University’s political science department to discuss what’s at stake this fall.

Walker Stapleton and Jared Polis are on their final push in the battle to become Colorado's next governor. They're in the middle of a series of debates around the state, just in time for ballots to start arriving in mailboxes next week. Many Republicans and Democrats may have already made up their minds, but there are wild cards still in play, including the impact of unaffiliated voters and fallout over the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Colorado’s two state attorney general candidates agree the state’s criminal justice system needs improving — but they fundamentally disagree on the actual problem.

Democratic candidate Phil Weiser thinks there are too many people in jails and prisons. He supports diversion programs for drug addicts and those with mental illness. Weiser also wants to reform cash bond so people who can’t afford to post bonds don’t stay in jail longer than they should. 

Colorado's gubernatorial candidates didn't need to say a single word Friday night on the downtown Denver debate stage to start drawing a contrast with one another.

Democratic candidate Jared Polis walked onto the stage wearing blue tennis shoes, while Republican Walker Stapleton wore shiny black dress shoes.

The two men also clashed at the microphone when the cameras started rolling.

Voters are dissatisfied with both major political parties. Nearly 70 percent say the Republicans and Democrats fail to adequately represent the American people, according to a recent survey from the nonpartisan Democracy Fund.