DENVER — Former Congresswoman Betsy Markey, a Democrat who represented Colorado’s conservative Fourth Congressional District for one term, announced Monday that she is running for state treasurer next year.
FOX31 Denver first reported the announcement on Sunday, when Markey confirmed her campaign in an exclusive interview.
Previewing her remarks Monday, Markey told FOX31 Denver that her experience in the private and public sectors will make her a better fit for the job than Treasurer Walker Stapleton, a Republican.
“As a small business owner, I have managed the investments and finances of two successful small businesses; and as a public servant, I have worked with state, local and federal officials on issues from budget reform to job creation,” Markey told FOX31 Denver.
“I think my varied experience, 30 years of experience, makes me a better fit. Colorado deserves a person who’s going to do this job full-time,”
Markey, a former small business owner in Fort Collins, ousted three-term GOP Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave in 2008 amidst the Obama wave.
She lost the seat to Congressman Cory Gardner in 2010, but not before casting a critical vote in favor of health care reform that the president singled out as being politically courageous.
Markey, who’s spent the last two years in Washington, DC working as a deputy secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, made the official announcement at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the State Capitol.
Congresswoman Diana DeGette and two former state treasurers, Cary Kennedy and Gail Schoettler, endorsed Markey at Monday morning’s press conference on the west steps.
Broomfield Mayor Pat Quinn also announced his candidacy for treasurer in a press release Monday.
Quinn, a Democrat, will likely face Markey in a primary with the winner advancing to take on Stapleton.
Colorado GOP Chairman Ryan Call issued a statement Monday morning labeling both Democrats as “radicals” but directed most of his fire at Markey.
“The people of Colorado already rejected Markey and her radical record in 2010 after she supported the Obamacare legislation that is raising the price of health care on struggling Coloradans,” Call said
“Betsy Markey lost because she ignored the people of Colorado and sided with the special interests in supporting Obamacare and Cap-and-Trade legislation. Markey supported both of these bills that are raising the cost of doing business and forcing small businesses across the state to shut their doors.”
Republicans also wasted little time blasting Markey for not taking a position on whether she supports a proposed $1.1 billion tax hike to generate new funding for education that voters will decide on this fall.
CU Regent Neguse to announce bid for Secretary of State Tuesday
An hour after Markey’s announcement, the Democrats informed the media that another down-ballot statewide candidate will launch his campaign on Tuesday.
University of Colorado Regent Joe Neguse will announce Tuesday afternoon that he will be a candidate to succeed Secretary of State Scott Gessler.
Gessler, a Republican, has filed papers to explore a run for governor next year but has yet to decide whether he’ll enter the field.
Democrats have attacked Gessler from the get-go for ethical transgressions and his efforts to curtail voter fraud, which they believe are thinly veiled attempts to disenfranchise Latino voters and the elderly.
Neguse, on his website, pledges to “work to return integrity, transparency, and accountability to the office.”
According to his press advisory, Neguse will be joined Tuesday by several high-profile Democratic supporters: Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia and former statehouse Speaker and congressional candidate Andrew Romanoff.
The announcement is set for 1:30 p.m. at the Blair Caldwell Library in Five Points.