A press release today announces that Rep. Dave Young of Greeley, an experienced fiscal policy legislator and member of the powerful Joint Budget Committee, is throwing his hat in the ring for Colorado Treasurer in 2018 as term-limited Walker Stapleton moves on:
“As a Greeley resident and teacher, I know the challenges Colorado families face. The state is growing rapidly. But not everyone is sharing in our state’s prosperity. Places like Greeley and rural Colorado where I come from continue to struggle. I am running for treasurer because I believe we need to put Colorado on better financial footing, where prosperity from our growth is shared,” said Young. “As just about anyone can tell you, teaching 13-year-olds and 14-year-olds requires patience, commonsense and fairness. And teaching requires you to listen, too. Those are the values I will bring to the job of getting Colorado on the right track.”
After 24 years in the classroom, another 10 spent as a professor, and 4 in the private sector, Dave was elected to the Colorado State House in 2012 after filling a vacancy in 2011 left by Rep. Jim Riesberg. While serving Greeley in the legislature, Dave has brought common sense solutions, supported Veterans, lowered health care costs, and improved Colorado’s schools.
Dave has been a member of the Joint Budget Committee since 2015. A bi-partisan budget solver, Dave has been a key architect in balancing the state’s $29 billion budget, and helped to navigate multiple fiscal crises. On the state’s budget committee, Dave has championed greater transparency and accountability in Colorado’s budgeting process, and fought against right-wing attacks to gut Colorado’s pension system, PERA, which some 560,000 Coloradans count on for their retirement.
“We cannot treat Colorado’s investments like a casino where rich investors gamble our money. As Colorado’s chief financial officer, I will focus on making investments that support Main streets and middle-class families across Colorado,” Dave continued. “I will get back to basics by eliminating risky and costly investments, ensuring our tax dollars are invested wisely, and protecting the pension system so many Coloradans depend on. I believe Coloradans deserve absolute transparency when it comes to how we are spending their tax dollars, and to know that those dollars are being spent for the benefit of them and their families.”
We do expect that Rep. Young will be the candidate to beat in the Democratic primary for Treasurer, if he doesn’t clear the field outright. Young has exactly the kind of high-competency low-gaffe record Democrats need to run for this office, which like most constitutional offices in Colorado below the governor have proven frustrating for Democrats to win even as they’ve enjoyed success in the legislature that at the top of the ticket. Young’s most significant opponent in the Democratic primary to have gotten in the race, Rep. Steve Lebsock, hasn’t really mounted what you’d call a serious effort.
Can Dave Young buck the Democratic trend of struggling in this important but consistently underreported race? We’d say he’s got a real shot.