Election 2018News

Four Democratic gubernatorial candidates endorse Jena Griswold for Colorado secretary of state

Author: Ernest Luning - February 22, 2018 - Updated: February 22, 2018

Democratic secretary of state candidate Jena Griswold (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)

Four of the leading Democrats running for governor of Colorado on Thursday threw their support behind Jena Griswold in her bid to unseat Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams, her campaign announced

The 33-year-old attorney received endorsements from U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, former State Treasurer Cary Kennedy, former state Sen. Mike Johnston and businessman and civic leader Noel Ginsburg, four of the seven Democrats running in a primary to succeed term-limited Gov. John Hickenlooper.

“It is clear that now more than ever we need to protect the integrity of our elections,” Kennedy said in a statement. “Jena has the experience, vision, and energy needed to safeguard our democracy, and I am proud to support her campaign for Colorado secretary of state.”

Johnston sounded similar notes in his endorsement.

“Our state needs bold and forward-thinking leaders who will bridge divides and work to expand opportunities for all Coloradans,” he said. “Jena has innovative ideas and the energy necessary to make them happen. She will work to expand voter participation and ensure every eligible Coloradan can vote. She is part of the new generation of Colorado leaders, and I am in full support of Jena Griswold for secretary of state.”

Ginsburg, founder and CEO of Intertech Plastics Inc., a Denver manufacturing firm, and a leading organizer of several nonprofits, including the youth apprenticeship operation CareerWise Colorado, talked about the secretary of state’s role minding the state’s businesses and charities.

“As a successful businessman and non-profit founder, I know first-hand that starting a new business can be a difficult process,” he said in a statement. “I am endorsing Jena Griswold because she will work to help small business owners by making the secretary of state’s office a resource center for new businesses and entrepreneurs.”

Saying she was honored to have the support of the four candidates, Griswold said, “I admire each one of them for their dedication to our state and their work to ensuring we have a bright future. Like them, I will work to ensure that Colorado remains strong by protecting our right to vote, reducing the role of dark money in campaigns, and supporting businesses and entrepreneurs.”

Griswold is running against political newcomer Phillip Villard for the Democratic nomination for secretary of state, an office no Democrat has won in an election since 1958. (Democrat Bernie Buescher was appointed to the office in 2009 after Republican incumbent Mike Coffman won a seat in Congress but lost a bid for election the next year.)

Williams, a former El Paso County clerk and recorder, is unopposed for the GOP nomination for a second term.

Other Democrats running for governor include Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, activist Erik Underwood and newcomer Michael Schroeder.

Precinct caucuses are March 6, and the primary election 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.