Election 2018FeaturedGovernorOpinionTransportation

PRIMARY PREVIEW: How would candidates for governor steer transportation?

Author: Dan Njegomir - June 7, 2018 - Updated: June 7, 2018

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In this April 4, 2017, file photo, traffic backs up on snowbound Interstate 25 near Colorado Boulevard in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

This was supposed to be the year Colorado’s legislature at long last did something — something big — about our state’s aging and bottlenecked transportation grid and its backlogged list of highway projects.

Yet, when the gavel came down on the 2018 session in May, it was wincingly evident lawmakers had done little more than apply a bandage.

Sure, epic promises were made and endless debate was taken up by lawmakers who had labored days and some nights on a transportation compromise to suit both parties. And still, the highest praise that the finished product, Senate Bill 1, was able to garner was that it represented a good first step.

The upshot: Once again, future legislative sessions have their work cut out for them on this never-ending issue. And the same goes for Colorado’s next governor, whom voters will elect this November.

Which is why we felt this was an opportune point — as voting gets underway in a crowded gubernatorial primary election — to ask the eight contenders in both parties what they would do to address the state’s transportation woes.

We asked each candidate to shape up a commentary (only GOP candidate Greg Lopez didn’t respond to our request), and their input spans the known spectrum from more tax dollars to cutting waste.

Read on — and see who you think offers the most feasible, and plausible, solution.

(The candidates’ essays are presented in alphabetical order by last name.)


> MIKE JOHNSTON: We must ask voters for a stable funding source

> CARY KENNEDY: Fewer trips, lower emissions, more transportation options

> DONNA LYNNE: A statewide sales-tax increase — that meets local needs

> VICTOR MITCHELL: No tax hikes or bonds; reform CDOT and cut waste

> JARED POLIS: Sensible spending plus new revenue — and innovative solutions

> DOUG ROBINSON: Build more highway lanes with bonds — $3.5 billion worth

> WALKER STAPLETON: We can tackle transportation without a tax hike

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir is the opinion editor for Colorado Politics. A longtime journalist and more-than-25-year veteran of the Colorado political scene, Njegomir has been an award-winning newspaper reporter, an editorial page editor, a senior legislative staffer at the State Capitol and a political consultant.