MONUMENT, Colo. (AP) — Republican Heidi Ganahl, an entrepreneur and University of Colorado regent, formally launched a longshot campaign Tuesday to challenge Gov. Jared Polis’ re-election bid next year, citing crime and the cost of living as two of her campaign issues.
Ganahl is the second prominent Republican to announce a gubernatorial bid. Former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez is running for the GOP nomination after mounting an unsuccessful campaign in 2018.
Ganahl launched a multi-city tour after her campaign announcement at a diner in Monument.
As a CU regent, she is the only Republican to hold statewide office. As an entrepreneur, she created Camp Bow Wow, a dog day care chain that became a $140 million brand, The Colorado Sun reports. She sold the company in 2014.
Polis, a tech entrepreneur, education advocate and former U.S. congressman, won his first term in 2018, defeating then-state Treasurer Walker Stapleton.
Bill Owens was the last Republican governor in Colorado, serving from 1999 to 2007. The state has trended increasingly Democrat in recent years, and Democrats currently control the legislature and every state office save Ganahl’s lone regents position.