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10 Republicans Want To Run Against Gov. Polis. The Latest Candidate Brings Statewide Political Experience

Scott Franz
/
Capitol Coverage

Heidi Ganahl is hoping to become Colorado’s first Republican governor in more than a decade.

The University of Colorado regent from Lone Tree formally launched her campaign Tuesday morning at a diner in Monument.

In a campaign video, she touts her background as an entrepreneur and says she has overcome many storms in her life, including a brain tumor last year and the death of her husband in a 1994 plane crash.

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Heidi Ganahl campaign video (screengrab)

She also blasts Democratic Gov. Jared Polis for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This storm doesn’t have to last,” she said. “We need a change. We’re ready for the sun to shine on the mountaintops of Colorado again.”

Ganahl started a statewide tour on Tuesday with stops planned in Aurora, Greeley and Fort Collins.

She faces an uphill battle in her campaign to challenge Polis in the 2022 election.

Recent opinion surveys show most Coloradans have been supportive of the governor’s pandemic response.

And a July poll released by a Democratic research firm showed Ganahl trailing Polis by 20 points in a theoretical matchup.

Ganahl joins nine other Republicans in the gubernatorial primary taking place in June. She is the only candidate to hold a statewide office.

Watch Ganahl's campaign announcement here.

The field also includes Greg Lopez, the former mayor of Parker.

Polis was elected in 2018 after defeating former state treasurer Walker Stapleton.

Copyright 2021 KUNC. To see more, visit KUNC.

Scott Franz is a government watchdog reporter and photographer from Steamboat Springs. He spent the last seven years covering politics and government for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, a daily newspaper in northwest Colorado. His reporting in Steamboat stopped a police station from being built in a city park, saved a historic barn from being destroyed and helped a small town pastor quickly find a kidney donor. His favorite workday in Steamboat was Tuesday, when he could spend many of his mornings skiing untracked powder and his evenings covering city council meetings. Scott received his journalism degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is an outdoorsman who spends at least 20 nights a year in a tent. He spoke his first word, 'outside', as a toddler in Edmonds, Washington. Scott visits the Great Sand Dunes, his favorite Colorado backpacking destination, twice a year. Scott's reporting is part of Capitol Coverage, a collaborative public policy reporting project, providing news and analysis to communities across Colorado for more than a decade. Fifteen public radio stations participate in Capitol Coverage from throughout Colorado.