Loveland Republican JoAnne Silva, who was running for governor until late July, is endorsing George Brauchler in the race, although she wishes he’d clean up his language just a bit.
The retired banker told Colorado Politics she decided to end her bid after realizing she wouldn’t be able to raise the funds needed “to get to the finish line,” but after months on the campaign trail, she said she got a good sense of the other Republicans in the crowded primary field.
“I thought, I can do a lot of good backing a very solid candidate,” she said. “I think George will be our next governor. He’s a very smart man, and I think what really is better about him than the rest of the Republican candidates is he has good people skills. I noticed when I was campaigning with him, he always seemed to stand out when it came to people skills. Not only does he have a good background and good experience, but he’s a very open person — very personable. That’s the kind of governor we need for Colorado.”
Calling Silva’s support an “unexpected honor,” Brauchler, the 18th Judicial District attorney, lobbed some praise back toward his former fellow candidate.
“In choosing to run for this important office at this critical time, JoAnne showed exactly what Colorado needs now more than ever: guts,” Brauchler told Colorado Politics in a written statement. “This election is important for the future of our state and I am honored that JoAnne has chosen to throw her support behind my grassroots campaign for governor.”
Silva, a political neophyte, said she was inspired to seek the state’s top job by Donald Trump’s presidential run — “If Donald Trump can do it, so can I,” she told the Loveland Reporter-Herald in December — but felt that Colorado would be in good hands with Brauchler at the helm.
“Most of the Republican candidates basically have the same goals for the state,” she said. “I believe George is headed in the right direction for what he wants to accomplish.”
Silva noted, however, that she wasn’t thrilled when Brauchler used a “strong swear word” in a video his campaign posted recently on Facebook. (Discussing education policy, Brauchler said he wants Colorado to be the “best damn state in the United States.”) Silva said she hopes Brauchler isn’t planning to emulate Trump’s bluster but added it wasn’t a deal-breaker for her endorsement.
With Silva out of the race, there are seven Republicans running for governor in next year’s election — Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, is term-limited — with at least five prominent GOP candidates in the wings.
In addition to Brauchler, the declared candidates in the Republican primary are former investment banker Doug Robinson, entrepreneur and former state lawmaker Victor Mitchell, Colorado Trump campaign co-chair Steve Barlock, Larimer County Commissioner Lew Gaiter III, former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez and activist Jim Rundberg. Republicans who have said they’re considering a run include State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, motivational speaker and business owner Barry Farah and former CSU Athletic Director Jack Graham, who finished second in last year’s U.S. Senate primary.
Fewer Democrats are running: U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, former State Treasurer Cary Kennedy, former state Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Denver, and businessman Noel Ginsburg have launched campaigns, while Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, a former top executive with health care giant Kaiser Permanente, has said she’s exploring whether to make her bid official.