And so it begins again: Election season, partisan sniping begins in earnest as primaries pass |

And so it begins again: Election season, partisan sniping begins in earnest as primaries pass

Mike Johnston, center, embraces Flavio Barragan, right, a former student who was one of the speakers during Johnston's announcement last year that he was running for governor. Unofficial election results from Eagle County posted early Wednesday morning, June 27, put Johnston at 2,428 votes, or 42.48 of the total, for this county. Statewide, 2nd Congressional District Rep. Jared Polis ultimately won the governor's seat.
George Lange | Daily file photo

131 days until it’s over

When this article was written Wednesday morning, there were 131 days, 14 hours and 6 minutes until the 2018 general election, according to

VAIL — Vail native Mike Johnston will not be Colorado’s next governor, but said he is proud that he helped point us back toward the light.

Johnston was the first candidate in the Colorado governor’s race, shortly after the 2016 presidential campaign and its contentious aftermath — riots and demonstrations, confrontations, charges of racism — the list is long and unpleasant. When we did not withdraw, we lashed out at each other, Johnston said.

“We doubted the goodness of our neighbors. We gave up on the idea of a nation, indivisible,” Johnston said in a letter Wednesday afternoon, June 27, to his supporters.

Johnston called his campaign “a movement” that’s helping point us “back toward the light.”

‘Democracy is an act of love’

“Our movement is built on the truth that democracy is an act of love,” Johnston said. “Across history, America’s best advocates have shared this same belief — that democracy is an illogical act of unconditional love, from Lincoln’s call ‘to bind up the nation’s wounds’ to King’s claim that ‘hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.’”

Politics are not: Sniping begins in Polis vs. Stapleton

Boulder Democrat Jared Polis won his party’s nomination for governor.

On the Republican side, State Treasurer Walker Stapleton will carry his party’s banner into the governor’s race.

Both Stapleton and Polis took shots at each other during their victory speeches Tuesday night, June 26, a small sample of what’s certain to come as the campaign grinds on toward November’s election.

“Just three weeks ago, my opponent authored a bill in Congress that would roll back the Trump tax cuts, stopping $4 billion in economic benefit for Colorado and raising taxes on 75 percent of Coloradans,” Stapleton said. “And make no mistake, as governor, Jared Polis will raise every tax and fee he can to take more money from hardworking Coloradans.”

Polis also took a shot at his opponent during Tuesday’s victory speech.

“Even though we’re celebrating tonight, we’re not there yet. We have to go up against Walker Stapleton and Walker’s starkly different vision for our country and state. On almost every question … whether health care is a human right or whether immigrant children deserve human decency and human rights … Walker Stapleton come out on the wrong side, and the people of Colorado know that,” he said.

Alexandra Smith, executive director of the America Rising PAC, took aim at Polis, insisting, “Rep. Jared Polis arrives in the general election bruised and battered after a Democratic primary that cost him over $10 million of his own money. Rep. Polis’ lackluster record in Congress and his liberal positions on single-payer health care and raising taxes for Coloradans put him markedly to the left of the Colorado electorate.”

Polis would be the country’s first openly gay governor, if elected. Annise Parker, president and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, said Stapleton opposes LGBTQ equality and “voters will have a stark choice in November — between a longtime public servant who governs with values and the Republican nominee who stands behind the divisive rhetoric and destructive policies of Donald Trump.”

Locally, no primaries

No Eagle County candidates faced a primary. In fact, all are running unopposed except Jeanne McQueeney, who faces a challenge from Basalt resident Jacqueline Cartier for a county commissioner seat.

In other contested primaries, Democrats nominated Boulder’s Joe Neguse to run for the 2nd Congressional District seat.

Former Eagle County Commissioner Arn Menconi captured 13.65 percent of the Eagle County Democrat support in his bid to unseat Republican Scott Tipton for his seat representing Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush will face Tipton in the November election.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and

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