I’m no expert in political stategery, but you’d think the Friday afternoon right before the 20th anniversary of 9/11 would be a time for a politician to dump unflattering news, not enter a race for governor. #copolitics https://t.co/f5cGrF5Pj9
— Kyle Clark (@KyleClark) September 10, 2021
UPDATE: It’s official, at 3:00PM on Friday afternoon via the Denver Post:
Heidi Ganahl, the only Republican to hold a statewide elected office, filed Friday as a candidate for governor, according to the Secretary of State’s website.
Ganahl is an entrepreneur who founded the pet care service Camp Bow Wow and currently serves as a University of Colorado regent.
She told Colorado Politics she is making an “announcement” Tuesday in Monument, but did not specify what she’d say. She did not answer The Post’s calls Friday afternoon. The filing shows a “Heidi for Governor” candidate committee, which is the finance arm of a campaign.
It’s not just you–this most certainly an unforced error that takes the suspense out of Heidi Ganahl’s announcement Tuesday. Then again, since it’s been obvious that Ganahl was running for something for many months now, her contrived “podcast tour” pre-launch campaign was turning into an ethical dilemma all its own.
Let the word go forth for the Friday news dump: Heidi Ganahl is definitely running for something.
As we first reported here at Colorado Pols, Republican CU Regent Heidi Ganahl — the sole remaining statewide elected official for the GOP — will announce next week that she will seek the Republican nomination for Governor in 2022.
As Joey Bunch and Ernest Luning report for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:
Ganahl…will end the mystery of her political future at an event next Tuesday in El Paso County.
She’s saving the news until then. The event is being planned in Monument, but the time and location have not yet been disclosed.
Apparently Ganahl’s entire announcement is one big riddle wrapped inside an enigma stuffed inside a gum wrapper:
At various times, observers have speculated that she might run for state treasurer, which has long been a springboard to higher office for Colorado politicians — see Roy Romer, Bill Owens, Gail Schoettler, Cary Kennedy and Walker Stapleton…
…More remotely, Ganahl has been sized up to take on U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet in the Democrat’s re-election bid next year.
“I’m making a big announcement on Tuesday in the town where I grew up, Monument,” Ganahl told Colorado Politics Thursday night. “I love Colorado and our future is too important to risk.”
Ganahl has been prepping for a 2022 campaign of some sort since late 2020, and it’s not for re-election as CU Regent (that seat likely won’t even exist in 2022). She was initially focused on challenging Democratic incumbent Gov. Jared Polis, but earlier this summer her thinking was drifting more toward a potential run for State Treasurer — in no small part because many observers (including some prominent Republicans) worry that Polis could be unbeatable in 2022. We had heard some brief chatter about a potential bid for U.S. Senate against incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet, but that never seemed to be a serious consideration for Ganahl.
Thus Ganahl has zeroed in on Polis, particularly in recent weeks, and Tuesday’s announcement is almost certainly going to be that she is running for Governor. Ganahl won’t be the only Republican candidate seeking the top job in the state — former 2018 gubernatorial hopeful Greg Lopez basically never stopped campaigning for another chance — but she’ll be the frontrunner for the Republican nomination.
Ganahl’s big move toward running for higher office in Colorado has been stage-managed as much as possible by GOP advisers (though it hasn’t been helped by regular rumors of waffling about WHICH office to seek in 2022), including a statewide “podcast tour” that was largely ignored by media outlets. This all changes next week, when Ganahl will have to start answering real questions about issues such as whether or not the 2020 election was fraudulent (get ready to hear a lot more about Ganahl’s connections with Trump insurrection adviser John Eastman) and how she would deal with the COVID-19 pandemic while preserving all of the freedumbs that a right-wing Republican base seems to value more than the health of their own families.
Assuming that Ganahl is actually running for something in 2022, she’ll immediately take the mantle as the best statewide candidate that Republicans can muster this election cycle. And, no, that’s not really a compliment.