Vail Daily editorial: Good grief
January 17, 2017
While people complain loudly and often about our nation's system of elections, that system actually works pretty well, mostly. But here's another complaint: Can we please stop stretching out the next election cycle to the barely-cooled heels of the one just past?
State Sen. Mike Johnston, who grew up in Vail and now represents Denver in the Colorado Legislature, Tuesday announced his intention to run for governor. That election is in November — 2018.
It's easy to understand Johnston's desire to quickly enter what's expected to be a fairly crowded field. Current Gov. John Hickenlooper is serving his second and final term in the job, and both Democrats and Republicans will surely line up to try to replace him.
The interest will be particularly keen on the Democratic side. Colorado is still fairly split politically, but Democrats have an edge in statewide races. Thanks, Denver and Boulder.
The Democrats haven't had a competitive gubernatorial primary in 20 years or so, but it looks like a number of the party's heavy hitters want a shot at the top elective job in the state.
According to an Associated Press report, former U.S. Interior Secretary (and Senator) Ken Salazar may be interested. U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter may also be eyeing the job. Denver businessman Noel Ginsburg has already announced his candidacy, and there are others presumably waiting in the wings.
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Republicans are also starting to line up for their partisan auditions — with luck, they'll do better than 2014 candidate Dan Maes, an unbelievably flawed candidate whose sole qualification for the job was that he'd apparently looked up "governor" one day in a dictionary.
That's all fine. Our system of government should make sure each party carefully evaluates candidates for office before sending them off to face the general electorate.
It's now (let's take a moment to count) roughly 21 months until Election Day, 2018. Please, candidates, if you're thinking about running for higher office, then do your exploratory work, reach out to possible donors and take care of everything else you need to do.
And then come back in a year or so and tell us all about it.
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