The Denver Post’s Jesse Paul and Mark Matthews reporting–after Rep. Jared Polis’ announcement yesterday that he will run for governor of Colorado in 2018, a bevy of potential Democratic successors is already lining up–including two names familiar to everyone in Colorado who has followed the debates over gun safety legislation in recent years:
Within about a day of U.S. Rep. Jared Polis formally announcing his run for Colorado governor, two Democrats — Ken Toltz and Shannon Watts, both gun-control advocates — have already said they are eyeing the Boulder Democrat’s congressional seat.
It’s unlikely to stop there, however. Several other hopefuls soon could join a race that likely will be settled in the Democratic primary. The 10-county district includes the cities of Boulder, Fort Collins and Vail, and Democrats have a big edge in voter registration.
Other potential candidates for Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District include Joe Neguse, who served on the University of Colorado Board of Regents for that seat, and Dan Gibbs, a Summit County commissioner.
Ken Toltz ran for Congress a number of years ago, and has been a fixture at debates at the Colorado state capitol over gun safety legislation as the head of Safe Campus Colorado. Shannon Watts, on the other hand, has nationwide name recognition as the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America–one of the highest-profile groups advocating for tighter gun laws following several mass shootings around the country–though she has only lived in Colorado for a few years.
Toltz and Watts are close enough policywise (and personally as friends) that it’s likely that only one of them would mount a serious bid for the CD-2 nomination–and of those two Watts almost certainly has the stronger shot. With well-known and popular Democrats like Joe Neguse and Dan Gibbs now looking seriously at the race, it may well take more than single-issue politics to grab this nomination.