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Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 24, 20173min626
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper will be joined in Fort Collins next week by two other governors, Steve Bullock of Montana and Matt Mead of Wyoming to talk about the changing landscape of Western energy. The panel discussion at the 21st Century Energy Transition Symposium will be moderated by another governor, Bill Ritter, a Democrat who […]

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Peter MarcusPeter MarcusAugust 17, 20174min894

Jason Crow, who is seeking to replace Colorado’s Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman in the 6th Congressional District, received impressive endorsements from top Democrats Thursday.

Former U.S. senator and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar – one of the state’s highest profile and most respected Colorado Democrats – threw his support behind Crow. State Sen. Irene Aguilar of Denver, who represents a more progressive side of the party, also announced her endorsement for Crow Thursday.

“I am extremely honored to have the endorsements of Secretary Ken Salazar and State Senator Irene Aguilar,” Crow said in a statement. “Secretary Salazar has been a trailblazer, fighting for Colorado his entire career. He has worked hard for years on immigration reform, expansion of public lands and renewable energy, and civil rights and his commitment to Colorado and bipartisanship is inspiring. I am humbled to have his support.”

Aguilar was the main backer of ColoradoCare, the failed ballot initiative last year that would have established a state single-payer healthcare system. Crow noted Aguilar’s work on health care.

Amendment 69, the ballot initiative that would have made Colorado the first state to provide universal healthcare, failed by nearly a 4 to 1 margin in November.

“Senator Aguilar has been a long-time friend and progressive leader for Colorado,” he said. “Her dedication to bringing health care to every Coloradan and her commitment to progressive values shows true leadership. From day one, this campaign has been about focusing on what unites us, not what divides us, and I am incredibly humbled to have these two leaders in my corner.”

Crow is competing in a primary against attorney David Aarestad and former Obama administration energy policy adviser Levi Tillemann.

“Jason has served our nation with distinction in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Salazar said. “He is a stellar community leader and father, and loves Colorado. He has proven his ability to unify the community through positive leadership and build coalitions to get things done – from his work with other veteran leaders in the fight for the VA Hospital in Aurora, to helping build organizations to address the growing substance abuse crisis in our community. In Congress, Jason will find solutions that help the people of the 6th Congressional District and end the gridlock in Washington. I enthusiastically endorse him.”

Aguilar said in a statement. “I first came to know Jason as a community leader and was extremely excited to learn of his candidacy. I have always admired Jason’s military career but what I have come to appreciate most is his good heart and the kindness he was able to maintain through his three combat tours. Jason is a strong progressive with courage of conviction and a dedication to public service. He cares deeply for his family and community and I know that the 6th District and Colorado will benefit greatly with him as a representative.”

Crow previously received endorsements from former U.S. Sen. Mark Udall and former Gov. Bill Ritter.


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Ernest LuningErnest LuningAugust 7, 201712min2814

Will voters care if Democratic congressional candidate Jason Crow represented some unsavory characters early in his career as an attorney? It’s a serious vulnerability, says one of his primary opponents, and a veteran Republican strategist who won two statewide races in Colorado thanks to similar attacks on another Democrat agrees. Crow’s campaign team, however, says his background and experience will only serve to strengthen his bid to unseat Republican Mike Coffman, a five-term incumbent.


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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirJuly 18, 20175min706

Her name is almost synonymous with “liberal” in Colorado political circles. The indelibly Democratic Barbara O’Brien has served in many capacities over the years, including as Colorado’s 47 lieutenant governor with Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter, 2007-2011.

The onetime calling with which she is still most identified, of course, is as longtime director of the Colorado Children’s Campaign, the unapologetically left-ish children’s-advocacy mega-group whose for-the-kids appeals on assorted policy initiatives over the decades have been music to the ears of legislative Democrats and cause for tooth grinding among Republicans.

Now the vice president of the Denver Public Schools board, she’s still advocating for kids, still doing so in the midst of Colorado’s lopsidedly Democratic capital city, and she is taking plenty of shots at a Trump administration — and particularly its polarizing education secretary — of whom she is no fan.

So, when she asked to address a rally planned for Wednesday morning at the Capitol in protest of an anticipated visit to Denver Thursday by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, O’Brien was, as one would expect … turned down?

Her campaign (she’s running for re-election to the DPS board) confirmed it. Attempts to get the organizers of tomorrow’s rally to comment have been unsuccessful so far.

So, what gives? Maybe it’s that O’Brien, as reliably left of center as she always has been in general, is not in sync with an influential faction of her tribe when it comes to one of her own touchstone causes: education reform. She and her fellow DPS board members have championed a range of innovations over the years, including “innovation” schools and charter schools, which have rankled teachers unions.

Organized labor and especially public-sector employee unions like the Denver Classroom Teachers Association and the Colorado Education Association, comprise a cornerstone of the Democratic Party’s power base. The unions are also helping run the Wednesday rally.

Which translates to, “No podium for you!” It wasn’t put that way, of course; an O’Brien campaign staffer said the rejection was vague; something about the roster being full.

The speakers list on the event’s Facebook page includes a number of union reps and teachers in the union. It also includes another candidate for the Denver Public Schools board — Tay Anderson, the precocious 18-year-old student body president at Denver’s Manual High School, who drew media attention when he announced his run this spring.

Anderson, whom we were unable to reach, is the lead organizer of the Wednesday protest, and he set up its Facebook page. The youthful candidate also is, by all indicators, running against the prevailing reformist agenda on the school board.

O’Brien shared her thoughts on the affair via a campaign staffer who texted her comments to us:

“One of the most frustrating things about politics is when all candidates agree on the same thing but won’t embrace each other in the shared mission … It is always disappointing to be excluded because of politics, but I won’t be excluded from standing up and fighting against this administration’s harmful policies. This is about kids, and I will do everything to fight for their rights and equal treatment.”

UPDATE FRIDAY JULY 21: A Facebook post this morning by Anderson clarifies that O’Brien was welcome to attend the rally even if she wouldn’t be able to address it.