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EMILY’s List sticking with Cary Kennedy endorsement as Donna Lynne enters gubernatorial primary

Author: Ernest Luning - September 6, 2017 - Updated: September 7, 2017

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Colorado gubernatorial candidate Cary Kennedy, a former state treasurer, speaks with voters prior to a forum sponsored by the El Paso County Democratic Party and the Colorado College Democrats on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, on the college's campus in Colorado Springs. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)Colorado gubernatorial candidate Cary Kennedy, a former state treasurer, speaks with voters prior to a forum sponsored by the El Paso County Democratic Party and the Colorado College Democrats on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, on the college’s campus in Colorado Springs. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)

EMILY’s List, a national group that recruits and helps fund Democratic women candidates, is doubling down on its endorsement of former State Treasurer Cary Kennedy as Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne prepares to join her in the Democratic primary for governor of Colorado.

“The fact that we have multiple women running for governor in Colorado, a state that has never before elected a woman as governor, is extremely exciting,” Bryan Lesswing, EMILY’s List director of campaign communications, told Colorado Politics.

“Ultimately, EMILY’s List is proud to stand by its endorsement of Cary Kennedy because of her long record fighting for good jobs, great schools and building a strong Colorado economy,” he said.

The group endorsed Kennedy in June, months before Lynne went public with her intentions to explore a run for governor. Lynne plans to make her candidacy official Thursday and launch a statewide tour in the following days.

Three other Democrats — U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, former state Sen. Mike Johnston and businessman Noel Ginsburg — are also running in next year’s primary for the office held by Gov. John Hickenlooper, a term-limited Democrat.

EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock said in June that the group believes Kennedy has a good chance of being elected Colorado’s first woman governor. “Cary will not only break through that glass ceiling but will bring all Coloradans with her,” Schriock said.

An endorsement from EMILY’s List — in its early days, the acronym stood for “Early Money is Like Yeast,” which it said “helps raise the dough” — comes with help fundraising from a nationwide donor list. The group boasts it’s raised more than $500 million since its founding in 1985 for Democratic women who support abortion rights.

Earlier this summer, EMILY’s List said it was putting U.S. Reps. Scott Tipton and Mike Coffman “on notice,” meaning the group is making it a priority to recruit candidates to oppose the Republican incumbents. It’s also targeting the Colorado state Senate in next year’s election, hoping to win the majority in the chamber from Republicans in advance of the 2020 Census and redistricting.

State Rep. Brittany Petterson, a Lakewood Democrat, won the group’s endorsement in the primary for the open 7th Congressional District in June but withdrew from that contest in August when the Democratic incumbent, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, announced he had changed his mind and was running for a seventh term.

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. Since 2009, he has been the senior political reporter and occasional editor for The Colorado Statesman.


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