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Republican lawmaker Kevin Lundberg exploring run for state treasurer

Author: Ernest Luning - June 1, 2017 - Updated: June 1, 2017

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State Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, talks with audience members after the premiere of "The Last Bill, a Senator's Story," a documentary featuring Lundberg produced by former state Sen. Linda Newell, D-Littleton, on Saturday, March 18, 2017, at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Littleton. (Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)
State Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, talks with audience members after the premiere of “The Last Bill, a Senator’s Story,” a documentary featuring Lundberg produced by former state Sen. Linda Newell, D-Littleton, on Saturday, March 18, 2017, at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Littleton. (Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)

State Sen. Kevin Lundberg, a Berthoud Republican and former congressional candidate, announced Thursday he’s testing the waters for a campaign for state treasurer in next year’s election.

“I’ll be looking at the spot of running for state treasurer and seeking counsel from those who want to give it,” the lawmaker and member of the powerful Joint Budget Committee told The Statesman on Wednesday. “It’s not to announce a candidacy but to announce the intention to look into it pretty seriously and see if there are others who agree.”

Lundberg, 64, threw out the question in a Facebook post on Thursday morning, noting that he faces term limits after next year’s election and asking, “Can I help liberty-loving Coloradans band together to become a more effective political force?”

“The experience and knowledge I have gained as a legislator in the House and Senate, and particularly my membership on the Joint Budget Committee has given me a well-rounded knowledge of the state’s government and its finances. I know I am prepared to take on the job of CFO for the State of Colorado. Additionally, my consistent conservative principles can serve the People well in this critical office,” Lundberg wrote. “But beyond all of that, the office of state treasurer is a position that can be so much more. The state treasurer, as a statewide elected official, can take on any issue that concerns the people of Colorado and the finances of our state government.”

For example, he continued, pointing to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, “When the legislature and/or governor strays from the letter and spirit of this vital constitutional law, the state treasurer can and should speak loudly, with the megaphone of this statewide office.”

First elected to the state House of Representatives in 2002, Lundberg has represented Senate District 15 on the northern Front Range since 2009, when he was appointed to fill a vacancy, and has won election to the seat twice since. He owns a video production company.

State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, a Republican, is term-limited and is widely thought to be running for governor next year, although he hasn’t declared his intentions.

On the Democratic side, state Rep. Steve Lebsock, D-Thornton, has declared he’s running for the office, which manages roughly $6.5 billion in more than 750 state funds and comes with ex officio membership on the Public Employees’ Retirement Association board.

State Rep. Justin Everett, R-Littleton, is so far the only Republican in the state treasurer race, although there are whispers that several others — including Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn; state Rep. Polly Lawrence, R-Roxborough Park; and Arapahoe County businessman Brian Watson — are considering jumping in the race.

Lundberg, considered one of the Legislature’s more conservative members and a fierce civil libertarian, won a heated GOP primary against Boulder businessman Eric Weissmann in 2012 for the chance to challenge Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Polis in the 2nd Congressional District. Lundberg trailed Polis by about 17 points in the general election.

“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 told The Statesman. He added that he anticipates taking a few weeks “to sort it out” and decide whether to run.

ernest@coloradostatesman.com

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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