COLORADO
     Nov. 8, 2022 Governor

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+Jared Polis/Dianne Primavera (D) i
1,468,481
58.53%
Heidi Ganahl/Danny Moore (R)
983,040
39.18%
Kevin Ruskusky/Michele Poague (L)
28,939
1.15%
Danielle Neuschwanger/Darryl Gibbs (ACN)
21,623
0.86%
Paul Noël Fiorino/C.Munhos de Aquino Sirianni (Uni.) 6,687
0.27%

2,508,770

Active Voters: 3,833,468.  Ballots Cast: 2,540,666.
Plurality: 485,441 votes (19.35 percentage points)

 CO Secretary of State



Notes: 
Gov. Jared Polis (D), won a second term, defeating Heidi Ganahl (R), a businesswoman, member of the Colorado Board of Regents, and the only statewide elected Republican in Colorado.  In addition, several third party and independent candidates were on the November ballot: Danielle Neuschwanger (ACP), a real estate agent from Elbert County, Kevin Ruskusky (L), a teacher in the Denver area, and frequent candidate Paul Noël Fiorino (Unity).

Throughout his campaign (1, 2), Polis focused on his accomplishments as governor.  His official website noted, "Polis delivered universal free full-day kindergarten, signed a number of bills to save families money on health care, and made significant progress towards the goal of 100% renewable energy by 2040, all while cutting taxes for small businesses and investing in affordable housing and transportation."  Polis also drew national attention for lifting the statewide mask mandate early on, in May 2021, as well as for his support of cryptocurrency.  A wealthy tech entrepreneur who co-founded an online greeting card company and an online florist, Polis was elected to the Colorado State Board of Education in 2000 then served five terms in Congress, before being elected governor in 2018.  Polis had ample resources for his campaign; by late Oct. 2022, he had contributed $12.1 million to the effort (>). 

Ganahl ran as a "mom on a mission."  She frequently criticized Polis' record, claiming in one debate that the state ranked "number one in inflation in the entire country, number two in fentanyl deaths, third worst state for crime in the country, and 60-percent of our kids can't read at grade level."  Ganahl was elected to the Board of Regents in 2016; in 2000 she founded the business for which she is best known, Camp Bow Wow, "the country's largest pet care franchise." 

Ganahl was initially planning to announce her running mate on July 7
.  Her choice, reportedly Las Animas County Commissioner Felix Lopez, fell through.  On July 18 she announced Danny Moore, a 24-year Navy veteran and businessman from Centennial, as her running mate; the two made their first joint appearance on July 22 (>).  Moore, who is Black, is president and managing partner of DeNovo Solutions, LLC and Thornberry Consulting, LLC.  In early 2021 he served for a week as chairman of the Colorado Congressional Redistricting Commission before being ousted for facebook posts questioning the 2020 election.

Polis and Ganahl met for several debates:

Sept. 28 - at CSU-Pueblo Occhiato in Pueblo (>).

Oct. 13 - hosted by CBS4 and the Colorado Sun in Denver (1, 2).

Oct. 16 - hosted by KOAA News5, The Gazette, and El Pomar Foundation's Forum for Civic Advancement in Colorado Springs (>).

Oct. 25 - hosted by Colorado Mesa University at CMU in Grand Junction (>).

June 28 Primaries
In April 2022, the GOP state assembly meeting in Colorado Springs pared the field down from a dozen candidates.  George
Lopez, who announced his candidacy on Mar. 4, 2021, finished first at the assembly.  He also sought the party's gubernatorial nomination in 2018, finishing third in the primary.  Lopez served as director of the U.S. Small Business Administration's Colorado office for six years, was Mayor of Parker in the early 1990s and is a U.S. Air Force veteran.  Ganahl formed a 501(c)4 and podcast, Heidi's Colorful Colorado, in early 2021 which served as a precursor to her campaign.  She formally launched on Sept. 14, 2021 (>).  Ganahl, who qualified for the primary ballot by petition, finished second at the assembly.  Neuschwanger finished third at the assembly, missing the 30% cut to qualify for the ballot; she subsequently accepted the invitation to be the nominee of the American Constitution Party.  In the June 28 primary Ganahl defeated Lopez by a margin of 53.9% to 46.1%. 

Polis, who launched his re-election bid in Feb. 2022 (1, 2),
kept Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera as his running mate.  He was unopposed for the Democratic nomination. 

 

Campaign Managers:
Jared Polis: 
Sarah Andrews
(July 2021)  Chief of staff at the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Jan. 2019-May 2021.  Coordinated Campaign director for the Colorado Democratic Party, June-Nov. 2018.  GOTV director on Polis for Colorado, Dec. 2017-June 2018.  Regional director for Sen. Michael Bennet, Mar.-Sept. 2017.  Deputy organizing director for Boulder, Fort Collins/youth vote director (Apr.-Nov. 2016), regional organizing director in Boulder, CO and Tempe, AZ (Feb.-March 2016); organizer in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (April 2015-Feb. 2016) on Hillary for America.  Regional organizer for the Center for American Progress, Aug. 2014-Jan. 2015.  B.A. in political science, peace and conflict studies from University of Colorado at Boulder, 2014; president of College Democrats at the University, May-Nov. 2014.

Heidi Ganahl:  Asa Dyer
Experience includes chief marketing officer for OEL Worldwide Industries from Jan. 2009 and photographer and creative director at Lee D. Photography from Sept. 2013.  Model for Wilhelmina Models, Dec. 2010-Dec. 2012.  Studied business, management and marketing at University of Northern Colorado.

initial campaign manager Tiffany Coolidge
(Sept. to end of Oct. 2021)  Owner of Blunt Force Training, June-Dec. 2020.  Political consultant and manager, Jan, 2007-Dec. 2010,.  Campaign manager on Mark Hillman for State Treasurer, Dec. 2006-Dec. 2007.  Legislative liaison for Alliance, Dec. 2005-Dec. 2006.  Campaign manager on Shawn Mitchell's campaign in SD23, Dec. 2003-Nov. 2004.  Deputy director on Victory 2002/Citizens for Bill Owens., May-Nov. 2002.  Deputy director of Advocate Corps for Gov. Bill Owens, 2001-02.  Studied at University of Colorado Denver.


See also:
Andrew Kenney.  "What to know about Heidi Ganahl, the Republican candidate for governor."  Colorado Public Radio, Oct. 17, 2022.

Nick Gillespie.  "Democrat Jared Polis: Most Libertarian Governor."  Reason, May 6, 2022.

Gabriel Debenedetti.  "Is This the One Democrat Who's Figured Out COVID?  Governors on the coasts are playing catch up to Colorado's Jared Polis."  New York, Feb. 14, 2022.

John Frank.  "Polis steps into the national political spotlight."  Axios, Jan. 4, 2022.

Sandra Fish, Jesse Paul and Shannon Najmabadi.  "Republicans Greg Lopez, Heidi Ganahl qualify for primary ballot in Colorado governor's race."  Colorado Sun, Apr. 9, 2022.





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