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Wellington Webb endorses Democrat Jena Griswold in Colorado secretary of state race

Author: Ernest Luning - October 9, 2017 - Updated: October 9, 2017

Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb speaks during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Monday, July 25, 2016. (AP File Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb speaks during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Monday, July 25, 2016. (AP File Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb endorsed Democrat Jena Griswold for secretary of state on Friday.

Griswold is one of four Democrats running in a primary for the office held by Republican Wayne Williams, who is seeking a second term.

“I support Jena Griswold for secretary of state because I know she is committed to what all Coloradans value: accessible elections, transparency, and supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs,” Webb said in a statement.

A former three-term mayor of Denver, Webb has been a towering political figure in Colorado across five decades. After serving two terms in the state House of Representatives, he was appointed regional director of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare under President Jimmy Carter and then served as director of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies under Gov. Dick Lamm. He won election as Denver’s auditor before becoming the city’s first African-American mayor. He runs Webb Group International, a political and government relations consulting firm.

Griswold said Webb’s endorsement underlines her dedication to fighting “voter disenfranchisement and any threats to our civil rights and democracy.”

“Our campaign is dedicated to ensuring every eligible Coloradan can vote, increasing cybersecurity in our elections, and making the secretary of state’s office a greater resource for small businesses and entrepreneurs,” Griswold, an attorney, continued. “I am thrilled that so many Coloradans are joining this campaign and look forward to continuing to share our vision of progress throughout this great state. “

The others Democrats running for secretary of state are Bernie Sanders supporter Gabriel McArthur, who was running for Congress until a couple months ago, and two candidates who have filed paperwork to run but have so far been invisible on the campaign trail — Phillip Villard and Jerold Munster.

A month ago, EMILY’s List, a national group that recruits and helps fund Democratic women candidates, declared it was putting Williams on its list of top targets for defeat in next year’s election.

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.