Trump or­ga­nizer joins packed gov­er­nor’s race

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Jesse Paul

Steve Bar­lock, the Amer­i­can-flag-shirt wear­ing co-chair of the Don­ald Trump’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign in Colorado, an­nounced this week that he is join­ing the crowded 2018 race for gov­er­nor, ty­ing him­self to the pres­i­dent and say­ing he plans to tackle the “swamp” of the state’s pol­i­tics.

The Den­ver man, who sells real es­tate and art, is among at least six GOP can­di­dates vy­ing for the seat.

There are also at least five Democrats run­ning for gov­er­nor in what is shap­ing up to shat­ter state spend­ing records.

“Af­ter be­ing a part of two po­lit­i­cal vic­to­ries,” Bar­lock said Tues­day in an­nounc­ing his can­di­dacy, “I think it’s time for one of my own. … I will be the only Repub­li­can can­di­date in the cur­rent po­lit­i­cal field who is truly loyal to Don­ald Trump from the very be­gin­ning. I will be the only can­di­date who truly be­lieves in mak­ing Amer­ica great again.”

Bar­lock didn’t reg­is­ter as a Repub­li­can un­til fall 2015. A life­long in­de­pen­dent who years ago worked to get Democrat John Hick­en­looper elected as Den­ver mayor, Bar­lock wrote his own name in for pres­i­dent ev­ery four years lead­ing up to the Trump cam­paign.

He served as an al­ter­nate del­e­gate for Trump at the Repub­li­can Na­tional Con­ven­tion in Cleve­land last year.

Trump lost Colorado — which backed U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz — to Democrat Hil­lary Clin­ton.

Bar­lock said in his cam­paign an­nounce­ment that one of his plans is to en­sure the trou­bled Colorado Pub­lic Em­ploy­ees’ Re­tire­ment As­so­ci­a­tion is fully funded.

On the Demo­cratic side, U.S. Reps. Jared Po­lis and Ed Perl­mut­ter, for­mer state Sen. Mike John­ston, for­mer state Trea­surer Cary Kennedy and In­tertech Plas­tics founder Noel Gins­burg are all run­ning.

Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne also is con­sid­er­ing a run as a Democrat.

The GOP field cur­rently also fea­tures Ge­orge Brauch­ler, the pros­e­cu­tor of the Aurora the­ater shooter; Doug Robin­son, the nephew of Mitt Rom­ney; Greg Lopez, the for­mer mayor of Parker; Larimer County com­mis­sioner Lew Gaiter; and busi­ness­man and for­mer state law­maker Vic­tor Mitchell.

State Trea­surer Walker Sta­ple­ton is ex­pected to join the race too and DaVita CEO Kent Thiry is con­sid­er­ing it.

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