Colorado Gov. Jared Polis tells Eagle County Democrats to ‘keep showing up’ | VailDaily.com

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis tells Eagle County Democrats to ‘keep showing up’

Governor touts record on health care, sustainability, eduction at annual fundraiser

Gov. Jared Polis works the room Friday night at the EagleVail Pavilion at the annual fundraiser for the Eagle County Democrats.
Kelly Getchonis | Special to the Daily

EAGLEVAIL — Amplify the message.

That was Gov. Jared Polis’ directive to a crowd of about 130 on Friday night at the annual Eagle County Democrats dinner, held at the EagleVail Pavilion.

“Look, we need to keep showing up,” Polis said. “We need to keep getting involved. Winning Eagle County by 27 points last year, that’s a good indicator, but you can never take it for granted for the next election. It’s only as good for that moment in time. And in politics, you’ve got to fight and crawl your way, door to door.”

Among the attendees at Friday night’s dinner: Eagle County commissioners Matt Scherr, Kathy Chandler-Henry and Jeanne McQueeney, state Sen. Kerry Donovan and state Rep. Dylan Roberts, as well as U.S. Senate candidates Diane Bray, Lorena Garcia, Andrew Romanoff, and Trish Zornio, and U.S. House of Representatives candidates Diane Mitsch Bush and Donald Valdez.

Polis, sporting a tie covered with the red “C” of the Colorado state flag, and matching, custom Altra sneakers, went on the stump for about 15 minutes, touting his record on lowering health care costs, paying for kindergarten statewide and putting Colorado on a pathway to 100 percent renewable energy. He also spoke about a commitment to public lands and the recent addition of state’s 42nd state park, Fisher’s Peak, near Trinidad.

“We need to keep talking to people about making sure we maintain a majority in the state Senate and the state House because we will have real achievements to run on,” Polis said. “And you’ll be able to go to people, and we’ll be able to go to Republicans and say, ‘Look, we saved you money on health care, we saved you money on kindergarten. Maybe you don’t like our policy on guns or whatever it is, but look who’s looking out for you? It’s the Democrats.’”

Former county commissioner Jill Ryan, who Polis appointed to be his executive director of public health and environment in January, introduced the governor.

Polis praised Ryan for her work to make Colorado a cleaner, healthier place. That includes pushing auto manufacturers to bring more electric car models to the market and fighting to improve air quality, which in turn lowers medical costs.

Polis joked that he and Donovan and Roberts are much less anxious than they were at this time last year, six weeks out from election day. He then stressed just how important it is for Democrats to keep amplifying their message for the 2020 races.

“When you’re talking to your neighbors and they say, ‘Why are you going to these political events, and why are you always bugging me?’ Because it matters,” Polis said. “Do we care about saving a third on health care? Do we care that every child in our state can now go to kindergarten? Do we care that diabetics no longer have to pay more than $100 a month out of pocket? And the list goes on and on and on. Elections matter. Policies matter.”

He ended his speech by retelling an old, worn story about Benjamin Franklin leaving the Constitutional Convention and being approached by citizens asking what kind of government the delegates had created.

“His answer,” Polis said. “Was a Republic if you can keep it. I think in this day in age, even when we see some of the news today about the current administration talking to foreign governments about investigating children of other presidential candidates, day after day after day we’ve become somewhat inured, but I think it’s important for us to rise to the occasion and, in fact, recognize that this is about keeping the republic. This is about making the republic work for us and work for the people rather than the special interests.”