There’s been plenty of buzz about potential candidates of both persuasions for the open seat in the 2nd Congressional District next year now that five-term incumbent Democrat Jared Polis is running for governor. But state Sen. Kevin Lundberg, the Berthoud Republican who ran against Polis in 2012, wants to make it clear he isn’t one of them.
“I do not have any intention, nor have I since 2012 had any intention, of running for Congress in the current 2nd Congressional seat,” Lundberg tells Colorado Politics.
This blog passed on speculation from another blog earlier this week that Lundberg and former state Rep. B.J. Nikkel were considering runs for the congressional seat, but Lundberg says he never gave it a thought. (Nikkel, on the other hand, has been weighing a bid, as yet another blog confirmed with a statement from the Loveland Republican.)
In fact, Lundberg is exploring a run for state treasurer, as this publication was first to report, and he’s still exploring.
“I have not thrown my hat in the ring, but if I can find the support to go that way, I think it is a good step, and this is what primaries are all about is to figure out who the best guy or gal is to carry the banner,” Lundberg said a couple weeks back. He added that he intended to take a few weeks to decide whether to launch a run for state treasurer.
Lundberg, a member of the powerful Joint Budget Committee, faces term limits after next year’s election. He was first elected to the state House of Representatives in 2002 and has represented Senate District 15 since 2009.
State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, a Republican, also faces term limits next year and is said to be considering a run for governor next year, although he hasn’t declared his plans yet.
If Lundberg gets in the GOP primary for treasurer, he could have lots of company. Already, state Rep. Justin Everett, R-Littleton, and Routt County Treasurer Britta Horn are in the race, and several others — including state Rep. Polly Lawrence, R-Roxborough Park, Republican National Committeeman George Leing and Arapahoe County businessman and former legislative candidate Brian Watson — have said they’re considering it. (Leing, incidentally, ran against Polis in 2014, coming closer than any of the five Republican Polis opponents have in the Democratic-leaning district, although he still lost by about 7 1/2 points.)
State Rep. Steve Lebsock, D-Thornton, is the lone Democrat to have jumped in the race.