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Dozens of officials, civic luminaries back Democrat Cary Kennedy in her run for Colorado governor

Author: Ernest Luning - October 18, 2017 - Updated: October 18, 2017

Former State Treasurer Cary Kennedy greets Democrats outside the Denver County party's biennial reorganization meeting on Feb. 11, 2017, at Denver South High School. (Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)Former State Treasurer Cary Kennedy greets Democrats outside the Denver County party’s biennial reorganization meeting on Feb. 11, 2017, at Denver South High School. (Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)

Former State Treasurer Cary Kennedy, a Democrat gubernatorial candidate, announced this week she’s been endorsed by more than two dozen current and former elected state officials — including two former Senate presidents, two former lieutenant governors and the first woman nominated for governor by a major party in Colorado.

In addition, more than 50 officials, civic leaders and trailblazers from across the state are supporting Kennedy’s campaign, she said.

“I am honored to have the support of so many Coloradans,” Kennedy said in a statement. “Their leadership has helped make Colorado the place we all love. As governor, I will build on this progress and work to ensure that it reaches everyone.”

Kennedy is one of five Democrats running for governor in next year’s election. She was elected state treasurer in 2006 but lost a bid for reelection four years later to Republican Walker Stapleton, one of seven candidates vying in the GOP primary. She served as chief financial officer and deputy mayor of Denver from 2011 to 2016.

Below are the endorsements Kennedy released this week.

Current state officials:
Dan Kagan, state senator
Chris Kennedy, state representative
Pete Lee, state representative
Susan Lontine, state representative
Michael Merrifield, state senator
Dave Young, state representative

Former state officials:
Joan Fitz-Gerald, former Senate president
Betty Boyd, former state senator
Bernie Buescher, former secretary of state and former state representative
Mike Callahan, former lieutenant governor
Evie Hudak, former state senator
Doug Linkhart, former state senator and Denver city councilman
Alice Madden, former House majority
Rosemary Marshall, former state representative
Beth McCann, Denver district attorney and former state representative
Jeanne Nicholson, former state senator
Pat Pascoe, former state senator
Tom Plant, former state representative and former director of the Governor’s Energy Office
Joe Rice, former state representative and former mayor of Glendale
Peggy Reeves, former state senator
Chris Romer, former state senator
Dorothy Rupert, former state senator
Gail Schoettler, former lieutenant governor and former state treasurer, as well as former Democratic nominee for governor
Brandon Shaffer, former president of the state Senate
Gloria Tanner, former state senator and former state representative, and the first African American woman to serve as a Colorado state senator
Suzanne Williams, former state senator and former state representative

Other business, nonprofit and government leaders:
Allison Aichele, La Plata County treasurer
Wil Alston, communications strategist, former executive director of Five Points Business District
Dulce Anayasaenz, former Colorado state director for Bernie Sanders for president campaign
Veronica Barela, president and CEO of Newsed
Patricia Barela Rivera, former Colorado district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration
Chauncey Billups, former NBA All-Star player
Bennett Boeschenstein, Grand Junction mayor pro tem and city council member
Michael Brewer, philanthropic consultant
Mary Beth Buescher, commissioner on the Colorado Commission on Higher Education
Cathy Carlson, community leader
Diane Carman, communications consultant
Jim “Carpy” Carpenter, former chief of staff for Gov. Bill Ritter
Tyler Chafee, senior vice president of Strategies 360
Dede de Percin, health care advocate
John DeStefano, Platte Canyon School Board member, former president of the Jefferson County School Board, former president of the Colorado Association of School Boards
Evan Dreyer, deputy chief of staff to mayor Hancock
Mark Eddy, founder and principal of Mark Eddy Communications
Taryn Finnessey, senior climate change specialist at the Colorado Department of Natural Resources
Darrell Hanavan, former executive director of the Colorado Wheat Administrative Committee, Colorado Association of Wheat Growers and Colorado Wheat Research Foundation
Anna Jo Haynes, president emeritus of Mile High Early Learning Centers, Co-Chair of the Early Childhood Leadership Commission
Happy Haynes, deputy mayor of Denver, executive director of Denver Parks and Recreation, Denver Board of Education member
Carol Hedges, community leader
Melanie Herrera Bortz, Latina community leader, health advocate
Marcia Johnson, former Denver city council member
Peter Kirsch, Partner at Kaplan, Kirsch, Rockwell
Gwen Lachelt, county commissioner, La Plata County
Carol Lease, executive director of the Empowerment Program
Don Mares, former deputy mayor of Denver and executive director of Denver Human Services
Jim Martin, former regional administrator for the EPA, former executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources
Mary Mullarkey, former chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court
Derek Okubo, executive director of the Denver Agency for Human Rights and Community Partnerships
Erin Overturf, conservation advocate and energy attorney
Carla Perez, former assistant general manager for RTD and senior transportation advisor to Gov. Bill Ritter
Peg Perl, former senior counsel for Colorado Ethics Watch and principal at Democracy TNG
Monica Piergrossi, former director of external affairs in the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy
Bill Roberts, former editorial page editor of the Durango Herald
Kelly Romero-Heaney, Northwest Colorado water leader
Eric Rothaus, former Colorado deputy treasurer
Linda Shoemaker, vice chair of the University of Colorado Board of Regents
Jayson Sime, former state director of America Votes
Jacob Smith, former mayor of Golden
David Thomson, CEO of the Etre Corporation
Pat Waak, former Colorado Democratic Party chair
Paul Washington, former executive director of Denver’s Office of Economic Development
Phillip A. Washington, former CEO and general manager of RTD, CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Lisa Weil, executive director of Great Education Colorado
Ken Weil, principal at Social Impact Solutions and former deputy chief of staff for Gov. Bill Ritter
Gerrit Westervelt, former president of Educare Colorado
Denise Whinnen, Colorado Springs community leader
Mary Wickersham, co-founder and principal of Social Impact Solutions, former senior education policy advisor for Gov. Bill Ritter
Jenny Willford, former executive director of Emerge Colorado
Meredith Williams, former executive director of PERA
Thomas Williams, former vice president and general manager of TIAA-CREF’s Western Division

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.