Primaries Set Candidates for Major Statewide Races
GAC Takes Positions on Ballot Measures

Primaries Set Candidates for Major Statewide Races

The outcome of every political season is important to Colorado's economy, business climate and homebuilding industry, but the 2018 election likely will be the most critical for a while. With Coloradans picking a new governor and attorney general, and the political balance of the state Senate in question, there is much at stake for homebuilders across our state.
As you probably already know, Democrat Jared Polis, a U.S. Congressman from Boulder, will face Republican state Treasurer Walker Stapleton for governor. Each easily won their primaries, and both campaigns will have large war chests. The gubernatorial primary set a new spending record, with more than $40 million spent by candidates and super PACs on both sides of the aisle.
As for what's ahead for the campaign trail, Polis has already indicated that he will campaign on increased health care and education spending, as well as fighting the Trump administration. Stapleton embraced President Trump, immigration reform and pro-energy development messages and may likely continue with that theme toward Election Day.
There was a lot of talk about the possible importance of unaffiliated voters in these primaries, with a 2016 statewide initiative giving independent voters the right to cast ballots in partisan primaries. According to the Secretary of State, only about 25 percent of the votes cast were from unaffiliateds.
In the attorney general race, Republic Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler was unopposed and will likely face Democrat Phil Weiser, the dean of the CU Law School, who has a narrow lead over fellow Democrat Joe Salazar, an Adams County state House member. For the other two statewide offices, Democrat Jena Griswold will challenge incumbent Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams. In the contest to replace state Treasurer Walker Stapleton, Democrat House member Dave Young will face Republican businessman Brian Watson.
In the coming weeks, CAHB will be determining the best way to engage in these races. It is incumbent upon us to utilize these open seat races to inform and educate candidates about the importance of our industry to Colorado and to create a dialogue with them that will help us determine who best will support our principles of free markets and private property rights. Please continue to watch for future updates on these vital races for both our industry and the state of Colorado.
There were several key legislative primaries across Colorado, and the CAHB participated in several by supporting candidates. CAHB-backed candidates prevailed in four out of those five races. Those races included: 
  • Senate District 2 - CAHB successfully backed former El Paso County Commissioner Dennis Hisey to succeed Senate President Kevin Grantham.
  • House District 5 - CAHB supported Alex Valdez to represent the northwest Denver seat previously held by Speaker Duran. Valdez defeated several other candidates.
  • House District 21 - CAHB supported incumbent House member Lois Landgraf, who defeated a Republican challenger.
  • House District 22 - CAHB supported newcomer Colin Larson, who will likely represent the south Jefferson County district. This was the closest race of any primary with a vote differential of 105 votes, but Larson prevailed over his opponent. HD22 is a prime example of why we choose to support candidates in these primaries, and how CAHB's support helps our allies triumph in tight contests. Without our support, Larson would not have prevailed.
  • House District 24 - CAHB supported Kris Teegardin, who lost to fellow Democrat Monica Duran.
There were several other primaries in Senate and House seats, as well as primaries for U.S. Congress races. Notably, in the Colorado Springs Congressional District 5 race, incumbent Rep. Doug Lamborn defeated multiple challengers. U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman will be challenged by Democrat Jason Crow in what will again be a top nationwide congressional race.
For a complete post-script on the 2018 Colorado Primary click here.

GAC Takes Position on Ballot Measures

Statewide ballot measures:
The Government Affairs Committee met last week and took positions on two statewide ballot initiatives:
  • Initiative 97 - Opposed - This measure on oil and gas setbacks would require a 2,500-foot setback for O&G development from any occupied structure or "vulnerable area." The measure's text is silent on the issue of reverse setbacks - whether homes can be built within 2,500 feet of existing O&G development. Reverse setbacks should be considered a concern with implementation of the initiative if it passes. Proponents must collect nearly 100,000 valid signatures to place this measure on the 2018 ballot. Signatures are due to the Secretary of State on August 6.
  • Initiative 153 - Support - This transportation funding measure would allow a $0.62 state sales and use tax increase, which would raise about $366 million in FY 2018-19 and $766 million in FY 2019-20. The measure would also allow CDOT to bond up to $6 billion over a 20-year term to jump-start statewide transportation projects. The measure also includes dedicated revenue for local governments and transit projects. The transportation funding measure likewise must collect about 100,000 petition signatures, with those also due in August. The measure is being supported by a large statewide coalition of business and transportation advocates, which includes the CAHB.
The HBA and CAHB will keep its members updated on the top races this election cycle, as well as key statewide ballot initiatives. Please look for future updates on the 2018 candidate elections and ballot measures, as well as CAHB's positions on the coming races and initiatives.

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