Get ready for a new player in the Democratic primary hoping to take on Republican Mike Coffman in Congressional District 6 next year. Levi Tillemann would bring a rich Democratic family heritage to the race.
He also brings an impressive resume of his own, as an inventor and author.
Tillemann’s grandmother is Nancy Dick, the state’s first female lieutenant governor who served from 1979 to 1987. His grandfather is the late U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos from California, who is the only Holocaust survivor to serve in Congress.
His father was the highly regarded Denver businessman and inventor Timber Dick, who was killed in a car accident on Floyd Hill in 2008.
Soon after Joel Warner of Westword wrote about the large, dynamic and overachieving family that had lost its patriarch:
Eventually, 26-year-old Levi Mills and 29-year-old Tomicah Sterling should be stopping by, just as soon as the former takes a break from his research for Pulitzer Prize-winning economic writer Daniel Yergin and the latter gets away from his duties as a staffer for the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
His Wikipedia page will make you ask what you’ve done with your life.
Coffman, however, has never lost a race in his long political career, and he dispatched two big name Democrats, former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff and former Senate President Morgan Carroll, the last two elections, respectively, with relative ease.
Tillemann is on a listening tour of the district to hear ideas and concerns to map out a platform, he told Colorado Politics. The tour includes community meetings and gatherings in diners and taquerias, his campaign said.
“We are very, very serious,” he said. “I would say something very big has to happen for us not to run at this point.”
Ernest Lee Lunning of The Statesman was the first to report Tillemann’s potential candidacy..
The Democratic primary field for next year already includes attorneys Jason Crow and David Aarestad, as well as Littleton resident Gabriel McArthur, a 25-year-old Bernie Sanders delegate to the Democratic National Convention last year. He supports single-payer health care and free college tuition.
Tillemann’s platform includes health care coverage for all Coloradans, growth industries for the future and fighting defending “our Western heritage from corporate land grabs and climate change.”
He grew up in working-class Berkeley Park, a neighborhood that was and is very hispanic. He had 10 brothers and sisters.
“The concerns of that community were the concerns of my family,” Tillemann said
He enrolled at Regis University when he was 15 on a debate scholarship and transferred to Yale. While he works working on a doctorate at Johns Hopkins University, he founded a company that patented the highly efficient combustion IRIS engines. Here’s the story National Geographic wrote about in 2010. Like I said, what have you done?
Tillemann was an Obama administration adviser on innovative companies for clean energy and climate change and in 2015 published “The Great Race: The Global Quest for the Car of the Future.” He’s a fellow for the technology think tank New America, and he’s done commentary in all kinds of media.
Editor’s note: This blog was updated to correct a misspelling in Tillemann’s name.