Two Remain in Colorado’s Gubernatorial Race

Jared Polis and Walker Stapleton face off in final election.

As Democrat John Hickenlooper ends his second term as Colorado governor, the race to be his successor is already in full swing. The two candidates now attempting to secure this position are Democrat Jared Polis and Republican Walker Stapleton.

Illustration by Annabel Driussi

Stapleton, the two-term state treasurer, is striving to become the second Republican governor elected in 44 years and to push back against the blue wave occurring in nearby states. His main campaign issues involve fiscal policy and fighting against raising taxes, which he believes to be vital to the state.

Polis, a five-term congressman, if successful, would become the nation’s first openly gay man elected governor. His main focus for this election is the education sector; he believes the most worthwhile use of funds is investing in the state’s children and schools.

Comparing where they stand on the issue of education, Stapleton is a proponent of charter schools as well as expanding school choice for Colorado residents. Polis is in support of free, full-day preschool and kindergarten, as well as the Building Excellent Schools Today program, which looks to strengthen infrastructure.

For gun laws, Stapleton is in support of teachers voluntarily carrying concealed weapons, along with increased security and “properly investing in mental services” in schools. Polis stands by the Second Amendment for defense and sport, but still would like to “get weapons of war off our streets,” with restrictions directed specifically towards domestic abusers.

In terms of transportation, Stapleton believes in using gasoline tax to pay for transportation and to help the Colorado Department of Transportation work within its budget, as well as funding more transportation through reducing administrative costs across state governments. Polis would like to expand broadband access in order to minimize travel needs and has emphasized that in pursuit of transportation funding, he would like to protect K-12, seniors, public safety, and healthcare.

When it comes to healthcare, Stapleton views it as an economic problem, and is seeking price transparency and increased access to community health clinics to address costs. He is against the single-payer system, whereas Polis is in pursuit of a regional “western single-payer” system for universal health care among western states, as he views health care as a right.

As for the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, which is a foundational and defining issue in Colorado politics, Stapleton sees it as a critical check on the growth of state government. Polis, on the other hand, would like to build a bipartisan coalition to work towards modernizing Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Both candidates are gearing up for the election which will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 6. For those of you who would like to vote in Colorado, the last day to register and the first day that mail ballots will start being sent out is Monday, Oct. 15. In order to check your voter status, or register to vote, the website provides a simple and user-friendly system that takes roughly five minutes. If you are reluctant to switch to voting in Colorado, please make sure you fulfill your civic duty and request absentee ballots in advance from your home states.

Josie Kritter

Josie Kritter

Josie, class of 2019, is a political science major from Culpeper, Va. She writes for the news and opinion sections of The Catalyst. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading, and scuba diving (which is unfortunately almost impossible in Colorado).
Josie Kritter

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