Heidi Ganahal, the CU regent and Colorado Republican to take down Gov. Jared Polis in 2022, said Colorado is in decline as she kicked off her campaign at the memorial Tuesday morning.
“I am deeply saddened by what is happening to our state. I see that everything is going in the wrong direction,” she told reporters at Rosie’s Diner, arguing that crime must be curbed and that the police are a hindrance to the person’s upward move. “At some point you have to raise your hand and that should be the change you want to see in Colorado.”
The 55-year-old, who also declined to say whether she accepts the results of the 2020 presidential election, made little secret of her candidacy, writing a column for the Colorado Springs Gazette and hosting a podcast called Heidi’s Colorful Colorado. increased its statewide visibility. For months, Republican leaders have touted him as the party’s best man to go up against the 46-year-old governor in 2022.
Any piece of mystery remaining regarding the plans disappeared on Friday when his campaign was filed with the Secretary of State’s office.
Republicans hold less electoral power in Colorado than at any point since World War II, to which Ganahal said: “I think we need to better convey our platform, and how we can fix Colorado’s problems.” We do.”
On Saturday, state party officials will vote on the GOP side on a controversial proposal to end open primaries that would exclude millions of voters from the process of selecting their candidates for major offices. Ganahal declined to take a side in that debate, and also declined to say whether he believed the 2020 presidential election was legitimately held.
“I’m not going into it yet,” she said. Several state lawmakers say electoral integrity is a problem, and a small faction questions whether the election was outright plagiarism.
Ganahl serves on the University of Colorado Board of Regents and is the only remaining Republican who holds a statewide elected office in Colorado. He won that seat in 2016, trailing former House Speaker Alice Madden by four points and outperforming former President Donald Trump.
If she wins the race, she will become the first female governor in state history and the second elected Republican governor of Colorado since 1975.
Addressing a few dozen supporters in the diner parking lot during her nearly 15-minute speech, Ganahal said what she sees are issues in Colorado.
“Higher gas prices, mental health crises, inflation, unemployment, new taxes, more violent crime – it all shows a pattern: Jared Polis listening to his party elite, his friends, in San Francisco, D.C. and New York, ” He said.
Ganahal did not limit his criticisms to out-of-state cities, arguing that Colorado is drifting toward Boulder’s Pearl Street and away from the proverbial Main Street. In addition to insulting the governor’s hometown, he criticized him as wealthy and out-of-touch. But even Ganahal has openly admitted that it would be difficult to remove a high-spending office bearer like Polis.
“He’s smart, no question, and a good politician,” he said, “he doesn’t get to climb because he’s never had to climb. Remember that silver spoon?”
Police is worth millions and is the son of parents who founded a successful digital company before the dot-com bubble burst. But Ganahal is also a millionaire.
Following the death of her first husband in a 1994 plane crash, Ganahal founded the pet care service Camp Bow Wow, shortly before entering state politics, until selling animal health care giant VCA in 2014. grew rapidly.
She is now the mother of four children, and is married to Jason Ganahal, who founded the Colorado businesses GQue BBQ and Ice Cream Farm.
As a regent, Ganahal has been a staunch defender of the conservative perspective on campus, speaking out against what he sees as marginalizing conservative students. He also publicly supported former CU Boulder scholar John Eastman, a law professor who tried to help Trump reverse the 2020 election results.
Earlier this summer, she told The Denver Post that her podcast, on which she interviews Coloradans from many walks of life, is part of her wider effort to celebrate the diversity of ideas she’s missing on campus. Is.
Democrats took control of the Board of Regents in 2020 and fired Republican and then-CU System Chairman Mark Kennedy, with Ganahal alleging he was coerced “for the high offense of not being a Democrat or a left-wing academic.”
Colorado Democratic Party spokesman Nico Delgado accompanied a statement about Ganahal’s announcement on Tuesday, saying he “won’t hide his long track record of being in lockstep with Donald Trump, Corey Gardner, Lauren Boebert and the far-right Fringe.” can.”
“Ganahal’s association with right-wing politicians and groups does not match his dishonest rebrand – and Coloradans will see right through it,” he said.