Denver manufacturing entrepreneur and civic leader Noel Ginsburg, a Democrat, announced Thursday that he is running for governor in 2018—an announcement that comes a year-and-a-half ahead of the primary.
Early announcements are generally considered dangerous, as there’s more time for a candidate to fall apart on the campaign trail. But Republican El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn proved the political world wrong when he announced his run for U.S. Senate nearly a year-and-a-half ahead of this year’s June primary.
Glenn, who lost to incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet by about 6 points, cleared a crowded field of Republican candidates and gave Bennet more of a challenge than expected toward the end of the race, though Glenn largely struggled throughout the campaign.
Ginsburg’s campaign said the chief executive of Intertech Plastics and founder of CareerWise Colorado was confident that he was going to run for governor, so he didn’t want to wait any longer. The campaign says it is in the process of filing paperwork with the Secretary of State’s Office to make the run official.
“I am running for governor because I want to bring my business and civic leadership to Colorado as a whole,” Ginsburg said in a statement. “As a state, we need fresh ideas that will allow us to increase access to good jobs for good pay.”
Ginsburg is likely to compete in a crowded field in which he may struggle to gain statewide recognition. He could be overshadowed by high-profile Democratic names, including former Interior Secretary and U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar, and U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Golden, two names that continue to be mentioned by Democrats as possible contenders.
Ginsburg also might find it an uphill battle to compete for Democratic activist votes, as candidates such as state Rep. Joe Salazar could emerge as a gubernatorial competitor. Salazar is viewed favorably among the Bernie Sanders faction of the Democratic Party.
With Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat term-limited in two years, the seat is up for grabs, with crowded races expected in both the Republican and Democratic parties.
Ginsburg wasted no time updating his online presence, editing a Wikipedia page to reflect that he is running for governor as a Democrat in 2018.
A Colorado native, Ginsburg founded Intertech Plastics while still in college. The company, operating in Northeast Denver, offers plastic injection molding services. He also has been praised for his civic engagement, launching CareerWise Colorado, which provides youth business apprenticeships.
Ginsburg’s work in the community could help him to fundraise with philanthropic interests, as he has supported and served with organizations such as Mile High United Way and the Denver Public Schools Foundation.
The gubernatorial candidate plans to tour Colorado in 2017, listening to voters about their concerns ahead of the 2018 election.
“Everyone needs to be lifted up by economic growth,” Ginsburg said. “That involves our education system, skills development, and the creation of new pathways and choices for people to enter the middle class and beyond.”
Six other candidates have filed paperwork to run for governor in 2018, though none have significant name recognition or posted fundraising.
Two of the candidates are Democrats, one is a Republican, another is unaffiliated, and the remaining two candidates represent the Green and Unity parties.
In addition to Ken Salazar, Perlmutter and Joe Salazar, other prominent Democrats mentioned in Democratic circles for a run for governor include state Sen. Mike Johnston of Denver, state Sen. Mike Merrifield of Colorado Springs and former state Treasurer Cary Kennedy, to name a few.