Trump organizer joins packed governor’s race
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.