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August 09, 2019 05:02 PM UTC

Jena Griswold Declines U.S. Senate Clown Car

  • by: Colorado Pols
Secretary of State Jena Griswold (D).

Late breaking this Friday evening, a press release from the Senate exploratory committee for Secretary of State Jena Griswold announcing a no-go on her possible run for the nomination to take on vulnerable Sen. Cory Gardner:

Today, Colorado’s Secretary of State Jena Griswold announced that she will not seek the Democratic nomination for US Senate, and remains committed to her work on voting rights, campaign finance reform, and ensuring Colorado continues to have the most secure elections in the nation. Griswold released the following statement:

“I was surprised and humbled when Coloradans began to approach me about running for the US Senate. I knew I needed to take this encouragement seriously and give it real consideration. After some heartfelt deliberation, I have decided that now is not the right time for me to run for the Senate. Last year, Coloradans gave me the honor of electing me to serve as their Secretary of State. Together, we’ve already passed bi-partisan reform to shine light on dark money, we’ve made it more accessible for Coloradans to vote, we lead the nation in election security, all of which makes Colorado a national model on democracy. I am moved by the encouragement I have received, and sincerely want to thank everyone for their support. I look forward to continuing to work to ensure that Coloradans have a democracy they can believe in.”

Griswold set up an exploratory committee after a July poll showed strong early support from Democratic primary voters. The committee raised over $200,000 in just 2 weeks.

It’s a wise decision for Secretary of State Griswold, who pole-vaulted out of obscurity to win a statewide Colorado election in 2018 and certainly has demonstrated the chops to run for higher office–after perhaps spending a little more time consolidating her position, and earning by experience the gravitas to match her considerable ambition. SoS Griswold is no doubt also aware of big changes in the Senate race on the horizon. Presiding over Colorado’s elections in a pivotal presidential year is a full-time job that deserves the full attention of a qualified public servant, and that’s where Griswold is best suited today.


23 thoughts on “Jena Griswold Declines U.S. Senate Clown Car

  1. Jena Griswold has totally lost my confidence because of her even toying with running for the senate (and I donated to her campaign for Secy of State).  It was absurd for her to run, and it was unwise for her to listen to those who urged her to run.  Face it, Griswold won in November because she surfed in on a big blue wave.  I know that in her "exploratory phase" she talked with supporters and said she had already accomplished everything she wanted to do at State.  What??? She hasn't even conducted an election yet.  It was all about ego.  In the future, she will NOT find me on her supporters list, for any office.  To be so flippant about being a public servant was disgraceful.

    Furthermore, your categorization of this crowded field as "a clown car," is WAY OFF base.  There are a number of excellent candidates already in the field.

    I realize you have been on the John Hickenlooper cheering squad (for senate) for some time.  But there are candidates more promotive of progressive issues, particularly on the environment, than him.  And there are candidates already in the campaign who can whoop Cory Gardner's patoot.   Even though I like Hick, I will be extremely disappointed if he enters the race, and we get a far less stellar candidate than some already in the race.

    Quit the "clown car" label.  It demeans some great candidates!!! Very unhappy with POLS for this.


    1. Naaaaaaah . . .

      . . . Nearly every politician is mostly little more than a bipedal ego — no matter how much we in the adoring public regularly and unfailingly buy into that everyman/everywoman, selfless public servant horseshit.

      It’s a rare politician, even a breath of fresh air, who ever backs away from siren songs before making an utter fool and spectacle of themselves ( . . . see also: Frackenquacker, J.); one of those few who may have some actual reality-based groundedness and good sense.

      Odysseus listened well enough to take the advice of Circe that he had himself tied to the mast . . .

      I’ve got more respect for Griswold now, as a result.


      And, so, what do you call a car crammed full laughlingly beyond capacity?

      1. Give Jena a break, Doremi.  She's young and was offered a spot on a rocket ride that would have made her the only candidate for the Senate who was actually coming off a victory in a statewide race.  So she tested the water, found it chilling, and stepped back.

        as politcal sins go, this ranks with eating meat on Friday, not high treason.    So, let it go.

        1. Doremi: "there are a number of excellent candidates already in the field….." Yet, the number in the field includes some "wanna be and couldn't cut it in prior races" candidates. Since MJ regularly berates me and says I should take care of the Republican party instead of commenting on Democrats, I’ll say that other commenters can decide if that constitutes a "clown car" or not.

          The issue that Doremi overlooks is who can handle the far right wing, dark PAC money, that will flow in for Gardner. Griswold probably could, but I agree it is too early for her to consider such a run. Hickenlooper is also a strong candidate.

          Mike Johnston has potential. Unlike some of you, I've met him and talked at length about some issues, particularly environment. He impresses me as a common sense, centrist, Democrat, with some progressive leanings. 

          1. Michael Johnston gives great speeches…having heard him many times.  Big problem….he's for school reform that has teachers pretty ticked.  That's why many outside of the state folks (including Michael Bloomberg) are sending money his way.

            The education reforms he got passed, with lots of Republican help, were a disaster for teachers.  I suspect it may be part of what plays into why we have a teacher shortage now.

            All the top tier candidates in that race have lost at least one race.  You should note that Andrew Romanoff lost to Michael Bennet when Obama put his OFA $7 million into pumping up Bennet, who frankly is a total disappointment as a senator. I think the only independence and leadership has shown is in castigating Ted Cruz.    Not enough for a prez campaign.

            1. Fa So La Ti Do! yes

              Michael Johnston was also the only candidate who couldn’t manage to get to 3 different Northeast Colorado Democratic forums. All of the other candidates showed up at least once. 

              This makes me question his commitment to resolving rural issues, including, of course, the teacher shortage. 

              But he is raking in the campaign dough – 3.4 million, last time I checked.

                1. No, it's coming from various donors.

                  Here's a list of the top individuals (not PACS) and what they're contributing to Federal candidates.

                  Here's what all of the Senate candidates have pulled in so far: (as you can see, folks seem less willing to donate to the female candidates in this race)

                  You can see the top contributors to the various Senate candidates here. Bloomberg as an individual is not listed as a donor to Michael Johnston. Bloomberg donated 20 million to the Senate Majority PAC, which will probably donate to whomever wins Colorado’s Democratic primary.

                  Liberty Media, which usually donates to Republicans, donated to both Johnston and Hickenlooper.

                  1. The named sources from "Liberty Media" are individuals who work there, not the corporation itself.

                    And since Hickenlooper is married to a Liberty exec, there's little wonder why he's getting some support.

            2. I'd say that's a solid read on how teachers regard Johnston, and I've had a front-row seat to much of the show. There's a strong anyone-but-Johnston sentiment among teachers across the state – it's just anecdotal, but I know plenty who have vowed to vote for Gardner or a third party if the Dem option winds up being Johnston.

              SB10-191 wasn't just a disaster for teachers: it's been a disaster for our administrators and students, as well. What's worse, Johnston has done nothing to mitigate the damage he caused – no legislation, no establishing a think tank focused on educator evaluation, not even a genuine apology.

              Finally, let's not forget that Johnston has never won a truly contested election. Something like sixty-eight votes in a meeting in 2009 made him a senator; after that, he had the power of incumbency in a safe Dem district until he was term-limited out. The one time he faced voters statewide, he was trounced – in no small part due to the fact that there are teachers living in virtually every political subdivision in Colorado.

    2. I’m also glad to see Secretary Griswold bow out of the Senate race, for all the reasons she stated. It will be good to have her focused on the job during the 2020 elections, plus a special election for the National Popular  Vote repeal, as I think that will happen. 

      Doremi, I agree that “clown car” is perjorative and unfair for this slate of qualified Senate candidates. It is, however, par for the course for Pols to diminish less-known candidates. They did that with Jena Griswold – didn’t think she had much chance against SoS Williams, either. 

      I will do my part to raise the Senate candidates profiles by finally publishing a diary on them. 

  2. Delighted to see this decision.

    Given Colorado's history with Senators, there will be another chance reasonably soon.  Bennet could be out as soon as the next President chooses a Veep and forms a cabinet.  If Hickenlooper gets into the race (not my preferred option) and wins (everyone who is here wants Cory gone, I think), I can't see him deciding to stay and run again when he is 74.

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