Election 2018Hot Sheet

Joe Biden throws weight behind secretary of state hopeful Jena Griswold

Author: Ernest Luning - June 19, 2018 - Updated: June 19, 2018

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In this April 10, 2018, file photo, former Vice President Joe Biden takes part in a question and answer session at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)In this April 10, 2018, file photo, former Vice President Joe Biden takes part in a question and answer session at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday endorsed Jena Griswold, the Democratic nominee for secretary of state,  saying the attorney “understands the importance of making sure every vote counts.”

“Now more than ever, we need leaders who are committed to protecting our democratic institutions and the integrity of our elections,” Biden said in a statement.

Griswold is hoping to deny Republican Wayne Williams a second term as the state’s top election officer.

“Jena will fight to stem the tide of dark money flooding Colorado elections, and she is committed to making sure that every Coloradan votes in free and fair elections,” Biden said. “Jena has the knowledge, experience, and backbone Coloradans need in this important office.”

A Washington Post columnist last month credited Williams with “paving the way as a leader in election security” while making Colorado the safest state in the country to vote.

Griswold called it an honor to win Biden’s endorsement, adding: “In the era of Donald Trump, it is critical that we elect people who will protect our democracy.  I am running to stand up for all Coloradans’ voting rights — Republicans, Democrats, and Unaffiliateds, alike — and to expand voter participation.”

Colorado voters are registered at the highest rate in the country and turned out at the fourth-highest rate nationwide in the 2016 election.

Biden, a former Delaware senator who served two terms as vice president under President Barack Obama, is considered a leading potential 2020 presidential candidate. Earlier this month, he endorsed Democrat Joe Neguse, who faces a primary against Mark Williams in the 2nd Congressional District.

Griswold, 33, worked on Obama’s 2012 campaign and later directed Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office representing state interests in Washington, D.C.

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.