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DENVER – Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton officially announced over the weekend that he’s joining the crowded Republican field vying for Colorado’s governorship in 2018.
Stapleton is in his second term as state treasurer after being elected in 2010, and is currently the only two-term Republican serving in a Colorado state office.
He is the grandson of Benjamin Stapleton, the former mayor of Denver who had ties to the Ku Klux Klan, and is also related to the Bush family. Some have raised eyebrows at his fundraising methods in the run-up to his announcement.
In a video announcement, Stapleton said he would “put the people of Colorado above politics.”
“I’ve been the CEO of a successful company, I’ve balanced budget, and I know what it takes to create successful businesses and jobs,” Stapleton said. “We’re tired of wasteful spending, like our Department of Transportation, which has spent $150 million of our money on new offices instead of new roads, leaving us all sitting in traffic.”
Stapleton also touted his work on reforming the state pension system, and says he’ll “return government’s focus back to the taxpayers.”
Running against Stapleton in the Republican primary are 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler, former state lawmaker Victor Mitchell, banker and Mitt Romney nephew Doug Robinson, Steve Barlock, who was the co-chair of Donald Trump’s campaign in Colorado, ex-Parker Mayor Greg Lopez and Larimer County Commissioner Lew Gaiter.
U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, former lawmaker Mike Johnston, businessman Noel Ginsburg and Stapleton’s predecessor at the treasurer’s office, Cary Kennedy, are running on the Democratic side.