The Denver Post is Obsessed with Donna Lynne

Lieutenant Governor Donna Lynne

Donna Lynne is the current Lieutenant Governor of Colorado. If you are a regular reader of Colorado Pols, you might already know this, but it’s important that we start here because even political junkies tend to forget that Colorado even has a Lieutenant Governor.

Lynne is a former executive vice president of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals who was nominated in March 2016 by Gov. John Hickenlooper following the departure of  Joe Garcia. The Lieutenant Governor (LG) plays an important role in Colorado’s chain of command as the person who would step in should anything happen to the Governor…but aside from that duty, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who knows what the Lite Gov. actually does on a day-to-day basis. That isn’t a knock on Lynne or Garcia or anyone else who has held the LG job — it’s just a quirk of Colorado’s Constitution.

When Garcia resigned in November 2015 to take a job with a nonprofit education organization, there was some minor speculation about potential successors, but Hick ultimately settled on Lynne — a political outsider — to take the office across the hall. At the time, both Hickenlooper and Lynne made it a point to note that this was absolutely not a stepping stone to higher office for Lynne. This headline from the Denver Post is pretty unambiguous: “Colorado’s Lieutenant Governor nominee won’t seek higher office.”

We haven’t mentioned Lynne as a potential candidate for Governor in this space in part because of that declaration, but also because we hear very little buzz about Lynne in general. The Denver Post, however, can’t seem to stop talking about Lynne as a potential gubernatorial candidate. Check out this headline from the Post today that was blasted out as a “Breaking News” email: “As door closes on Rep. Ed Perlmutter’s run for governor, will it widen for Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne?

The Post has included Lynne’s name as a potential gubernatorial candidate for months now, and we apparently aren’t the only folks around town wondering where this is coming from. As Mike Littwin writes for the Colorado Independent:

And then there’s the strange case of Donna Lynne, John Hickenlooper’s hand-picked lieutenant governor, who was nominated, in large part, because she was seen as apolitical and Hickenlooper would not be seen as giving anyone a leg up in the race to succeed him.

Well, you can forget all that. The rumor has been out there for a while that Hickenlooper had been pushing Lynne to get into the race. And Lynne now freely admits that she’s looking strongly at the race, which almost certainly means she’s getting in.

Lynne has been mentioned here and there by other news outlets as a potential gubernatorial candidate, but no other media source regularly includes her name in its list of candidates. We’re not knocking Lynne here — it’s just difficult to understand where this “Lynne for Governor” stuff is coming from. Lynne might very well be a fine candidate for governor, but if she were to actually enter the race, she’d be behind at least three other Democrats in our book (Jared Polis, Mike Johnston, and Cary Kennedy).

9 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. FrankUnderwood says:

    Hick's behavior is interesting…..

    When he was leaving the mayor's office, he selected an apolitical guy to be his successor. It was Vidal, if I recall correctly. When Vidal started to make noises about possibly being interested in running for mayor, he was called out on it.

    I doubt she would be thinking about this unless Hick was encouraging her.

    • ModeratusModeratus says:

      Hickenlooper doesn't want Jared Polis to destroy Colorado's economy. He's smart.

      • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

        Moderaputz, how exactly would Jared Polis "destroy Colorado's economy"? He's actually boosted CO's economy in several ways:

        1. As an entrepeneur, Polis started 4 for-profit companies. How many Coloradans did Bluemountain, Proflowers, Cinema Latino, and Aquacopia Ventures employ? Don't know, but I'd bet it's more than his Republican opponents or you have employed. 

        2. Polis also started some non-profit charter schools, the New America Schools and Academy of Urban Learning. How many students who were not being served in traditional schools found a path forward through these schools? Again, more youth than you'll ever help.

        3. I'd guess that what you're getting at here is Polis' support for cannabis-based businesses – which have contributed 2.39 Billion to Colorado's economy – the fastest growing sector in the state.

        4. Or perhaps you're criticizing Polis' support for an all-renewable energy goal for Colorado – which has generated millions of jobs nationwide. Wind turbine technician is now the job most in demand in Colorado.

        If Polis is an economy destroyer, lets have more of that "destruction" ASAP.


      • Diogenesdemar says:

        You mean Hickenlooper's "great economy" — right, Fluffywuffy??  

        Shot your weenie-brain off again, there, child?!? . . . 

      • unnamed says:

        Smart is backing up your assertions with some explanations.  Like explauning why Americans would be better off after ACA repeal.

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