CongressElection 2018News

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette endorses Democrat Jena Griswold for secretary of state

Author: Ernest Luning - February 5, 2018 - Updated: February 7, 2018

In this Jan. 5, 2017, file photo, U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, a Denver Democrat, speaks during a news conference discussing women's health care, on Capitol Hill in Washington. She says former U.S. Rep. Bob Filner tried to kiss her in an elevator when they served in Congress together. Filner, who later served as mayor of San Diego, denies the allegation. (AP Photo/Zach Gibson, File)In this Jan. 5, 2017, file photo, U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, a Denver Democrat, speaks during a news conference discussing women’s health care, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Zach Gibson, File)

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette and her husband, attorney Lino Lipinsky, on Monday endorsed Democrat Jena Griswold in her campaign for Colorado secretary of state.

“Jena Griswold has the experience and tenacity to safeguard our democracy while making a mark as Colorado’s next secretary of state. Jena will be the first Democratic woman in Colorado’s history to hold that office,” DeGette said in a statement. “I’m proud to announce my support of Jena Griswold in breaking that glass ceiling, trust that she will effectively execute on the needs of Coloradans and endorse her candidacy for Colorado’s secretary of state.”

DeGette has represented Colorado’s 1st Congressional District since 1996 and was a harsh critic of President Donald Trump’s Commission on Election Integrity, a position shared by Griswold. Last summer, DeGette called on the commission — which has since disbanded — to drop its request for voter data.

“This bogus commission not only puts voters’ personal information in jeopardy, it also creates a chilling effect that deters people from participating in the democratic process,” DeGette said in a July statement, noting that more than 3,000 Colorado voters canceled their voter registration following the request.

Griswold has heaped criticism on Secretary of State Wayne Williams, the Republican incumbent she’s challenging, for complying with the commission’s request, although Williams points out he was simply following Colorado law, which considers the voter data he provided public records available to anyone who requests them.

Griswold said in a statement she was honored to have DeGette’s support.

“As the Women’s March showed, there is a national movement demanding justice, fairness, democracy, and equality,” she said. “We need less political stunts, better decision-making and more women in office. I am proud to be one of the few women running for Colorado statewide office, and hope to be Colorado’s first Democratic woman Secretary of State.”

A Democrat hasn’t been elected secretary of state in Colorado since 1958, although one was appointed and served two years a decade ago. Five women have been elected to the office, starting in 1974, but they’ve all been Republicans.

Democrat Phillip Villard is also running for the office.

Griswold, 33, is a lawyer and small business owner who grew up in Estes Park. She worked on President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign to protect voting rights and later served as director of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office representing state interests in Washington, D.C. She lives in Louisville.

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. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.