Election 2018News

Carpenters union endorses Democrat Jared Polis in Colorado governor’s race

Author: Ernest Luning - February 15, 2018 - Updated: February 16, 2018

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U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, a Democratic candidate for governor of Colorado, speaks at a candidate forum on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, held in conjunction with the Colorado Democrats’ inaugural Obama Dinner at the Hilton Denver City Center. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)

Calling the Boulder Democrat a fighter for the working people of Colorado, the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters threw its support Thursday behind U.S. Rep. Jared Polis in the gubernatorial race.

The union, which operates in six western states, represents more than 2,500 carpenters in Colorado.

“Jared has been fighting for better wages and critical benefits and is committed to cracking down on payroll tax fraud that cheats Colorado workers and taxpayers,” said Jim Gleason, the western district representative for the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and a Fort Collins resident, in a statement.

Gleason also praised Polis for his support for apprenticeship and other workforce training initiatives, adding, “We look forward to rallying behind Jared to make sure the workers of Colorado are protected by a governor that will properly enforce Colorado’s labor laws and to help him turn his bold vision into a reality.”

“Jared has spent his career fighting for the working people of Colorado, and we are proud to endorse him to be Colorado’s next governor,” said Mark Thompson, a Colorado Springs resident and the union’s lead Colorado carpenter.

Polis is one of seven Democrats running to succeed term-limited Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper. Nine Republicans are seeking the GOP nomination for the office.

Polis called it an honor to win the endorsement.

“I’m running for governor to make our economy work for all Coloradans, not just those at the top — and the leadership of unions like the Carpenters is critical to making that goal a reality,” he said in a statement. “I’m excited to partner with them and with working families across our state to build an economy where Coloradans get paid enough to afford a place to live, save for retirement, and provide for their kids.”

Labor unions have divided their support between Polis and primary rival Cary Kennedy, a former state treasurer. Last week, he was endorsed by the Denver-based Pipefitters Local 208 union and received the backing last September the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ Colorado State Conference of Electrical Workers. She’s been endorsed by the Colorado Springs-based Pipefitters Local 58 union and the state’s powerful teachers unions, the Colorado Education Association and the state chapter of the American Federation of Teachers.

The other leading Democrats running in the primary include Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, former state Sen. Mike Johnston and plastics manufacturer and civic leader Noel Ginsburg.

Colorado’s primary is June 26.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.