One of the first declared statewide candidates for 2022 is getting some decent media attention, though it’s not clear that the seat in question will even appear on the next Colorado ballot.
Charles Ashby reported this week for The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel on the candidacy of Scott Mangino, a Denver Democrat seeking to win an at-large seat on the University of Colorado Board of Regents. Katie Langford of The Boulder Daily Camera first picked up on Magino’s candidacy late last month:
Mangino, a 34-year-old Democrat, announced his candidacy for at-large regent this week. The seat is currently held by Republican Regent Heidi Ganahl, who was elected in 2016.
Ganahl did not respond to emails requesting comment on whether she will run for reelection…
…Mangino said he was partially inspired to run for the Board of Regents because of the lack of transparency around the hiring of CU President Mark Kennedy, who is leaving on July 1 after two years on the job.
The political maneuverings around this particular seat are interesting in part because of who holds the position currently: Heidi Ganahl, the sole remaining statewide Republican elected official who is a likely GOP candidate for Governor in 2022. As The Colorado Times Recorder noted last week after the Camera story, Ganahl has repeatedly refused to respond to questions about her political intentions in 2022, though she is clearly working hard to raise her profile in the meantime.
Ganahl recently stuck both feet in her mouth on the subject of departing CU President Mark Kennedy, who seems to have been widely disliked among both the faculty and student body at Colorado’s flagship university. Ganahl’s statements on Kennedy will hurt her candidacy for whatever office she seeks in 2022.
But Ganahl may not have to choose between running for re-election as Regent or taking a shot at Governor. The seat that she currently holds may not even exist in 2022.
As Langford reported earlier this week, the makeup of the CU Board of Regents will change with Colorado’s redistricting process. The first group of nine CU Regents in Colorado were elected in 1974; at the time, Colorado had six Congressional districts, which meant one regent per CD and three statewide “at-large” positions. When Colorado was awarded a Seventh Congressional District in 2001, there was a corresponding change that added another Regent position from the 7th CD by reducing the number of at-large seats from three to two (eliminating the at-large seat then held by Maureen Ediger).
Colorado’s population has grown enough over the last decade that our state will get an 8th Congressional District, which will be up for grabs in 2022. This will likely alter the CU Board of Regents in the same way that adding a 7th seat changed the makeup in 2001. Ganahl’s term as Regent expires in 2022, but the other at-large seat (held by Democrat Lesley Smith) isn’t up for re-election until 2024; the obvious move here will be to eliminate the at-large seat held by Ganahl and turn it into a position representing the still-to-be-determined CO-08. The decision on changing the makeup of the CU Board of Regents will ultimately be up to the state legislature.
These changes will complicate Mangino’s plans for 2022, but it should clarify things where Ganahl is mentioned. Ganahl won’t say whether she will run for re-election in 2022…but that’s the wrong question to ask.