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Democratic secretary of state candidate Jena Griswold announces slate of endorsements

Author: Ernest Luning - September 25, 2017 - Updated: September 25, 2017

Democrat Jena Griswold is announcing she's running for Colorado secretary of state on Wednesday, July 12, 2017. (Photo courtesy Jena Griswold campaign)Democrat Jena Griswold is announcing she’s running for Colorado secretary of state on Wednesday, July 12, 2017. (Photo courtesy Jena Griswold campaign)

Jena Griswold, one of several Democrats running for secretary of state in next year’s election, unveiled a list of more than a dozen endorsements from current and former Democratic officials Monday.

State Sens. Mike Merrifield, John Kefalas, Matt Jones and Rachel Zenzinger and state Rep. James Coleman added their names to a roster of Griswold backers that already included more than 20 sitting state lawmakers.

“I am proud to endorse Jena Griswold for secretary of state,” Zenzinger said in a statement. “With the hacking of the DNC in 2016, we saw that the world is changing. We need a secretary of state who will bring innovative ideas to the office, protect our right to vote and get big money out of politics.”

Griswold is one of four Democrats running in a primary for the chance to challenge Secretary of State Wayne Williams, a Republican seeking his second term. The others are Bernie Sanders supporter Gabriel McArthur, who was running for Congress until a couple months ago, and two candidates who have filed paperwork to run as Democrats but have so far been invisible on the campaign trail — Phillip Villard and Jerold Munster. (Denver Director of Elections Amber McReynolds recently told Colorado Politics she’s considering a run, although she’s currently registered unaffiliated.)

Griswold said the latest round of endorsements demonstrates that the state’s progressive leaders are coalescing around her campaign.

Earlier this month, EMILY’s List, a national group that recruits and helps fund Democratic women candidates, announced it was putting Williams on its list of top targets for defeat in next year’s election.

The other Democrats Griswold’s campaign said are supporting her are former House Speaker Mark Ferrandino; former state Sen. Gail Schwartz; Denver School Board member Mike Johnson; CU Regents Jack Kroll and Irene Griego; County Commissioners Elise Jones, Jill Ryan, Jeanne McQueeney and Kathy Chandler-Henry; Boulder Mayor Suzanne Jones; Superior Mayor Clint Folsom; and early education pioneer Anna Jo Haynes.

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.