(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
University of Colorado Regent John Carson, a Republican representing a Democratic-leaning district, has decided not to run for re-election next year, widening the highway for Democrats to color Colorado a deeper hue of blue.
Republicans currently hold a tenuous one-seat majority on CU’s Board of Regents, which fell under intense scrutiny after it voted in a 5-4 party line vote in May to appoint CU President Mark Kennedy, a former GOP Congressman, to be CU’s President.
Carson’s departure from the race leaves Republicans without the advantage of incumbency in a district where Democrats have a distinct, but not overwhelming, advantage. The district covers Aurora and suburbs south, east, and north of Denver.
A Democratic victory next year would likely flip CU’s governing board, as two regents up for re-election next year come from solid blue districts that would be expected to elect Democrats.
Gaining a majority on the board of regents would mark another step in a steady takeover of statewide representative bodies and offices by Democrats, having flipped the state Senate and Colorado State Board of Education last year–as well as the secretary of state, treasurer, and attorney general offices.
Only two Colorado Republicans remain in offices that require approval by voters statewide: U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), who will defend his seat next year, and CU Regent at-large Heidi Ganahl, who’s up for re-election in 2022.
Republicans have held a majority on the Board of Regents for a jaw-dropping 40 years, and the board has a history of appointing Republican Presidents, like Kennedy, Bruce Benson, Hank Brown (a former Colorado Senator), and others.
Carson told the Colorado Times Recorder that he decided not to run primarily because he’s been dedicated to public service, in various capacities, for 14 years, and he wants to spend more time with family and elsewhere.
Asked if the political climate in Carson’s district was a factor in his decision, Carson said it would have been a close race that would have demanded a lot of his time.