Colorado governor candidate aims for full green energy
Colorado would reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2040.
That’s U.S. Rep. Jared Polis’ goal if he becomes the state’s next governor.
Polis, a Boulder Democrat, announced his Colorado gubernatorial candidacy at a Monday morning appearance in Downtown Pueblo.
“Pueblo is leading the way (in renewable energy),” Polis said Monday, standing in front of Solar Roast Coffee on Main Street.
The five-term lawmaker said the Pueblo City Council under the leadership of Larry Atencio is committed to reach the same renewable energy goal by 2035.
“We are here at Solar Roast Coffee Shop because (David and Michael Hartkop), two brothers invented a solar-powered, coffee-roasting device, which they actually have on their rooftop,” Polis said.
“It really shows that businesses large and small are benefitting from the renewable energy economy and creating green jobs that can never be outsourced.”
Michael Hartkop said he was excited to host Polis’ campaign.
“Solar Roast Coffee is about solar energy and alternative energy and so is this gentleman running for governor. So we are excited to work with him and hear more about what he has to say,” Hartkop said.
Polis later toured the business.
Polis, a businessman and former Colorado Board of Education member, noted that Pueblo also is home to Vestas, one of the largest manufacturers of wind turbines in the wind industry with more than 800 employees.
“We are excited about Pueblo’s future and Colorado’s future in leading the way in the green energy economy. And as governor, I plan to have a bold agenda to move forward to help Colorado reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2040,” Polis said.
Polis is the second Democratic gubernatorial candidate to kick off his campaign in Pueblo.
In April, manufacturing entrepreneur Noel Ginsburg announced his run at the Historic Riverwalk of Pueblo.
“That’s really one of the reasons I chose to launch my campaign in Pueblo. It’s the very first stop. It’s my very first official announcement that I am running for governor and we wanted to do it at a local business right here in Pueblo that highlights Pueblo’s leadership role in creating green jobs that can never be outsourced,” Polis said.
Polis co-founded his first company, American Information Systems, while still in college. The company was followed by the launch of two more companies, bluemountain.com and Proflowers.com, one of the fastest-growing online start-ups.
In 2000, Polis was elected to the Colorado State Board of Education, where he later served as the first Democratic chairman of the board in more than two decades.
Polis said he has spent most of his life working to improve and invest in the state’s schools.
He said he wants to make full-day preschool and kindergarten available and free to all.
Polis also said he also wants to build an inclusive economy where employees of all levels make more, not just CEOs.
If he wins, Polis would be the state’s first openly gay governor.
The Democratic field for governor is getting crowded. Other candidates include U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, a lawmaker whom Polis has served alongside since Polis joined the House in 2009. The field also includes former state Sen. Mike Johnston; Cary Kennedy, a former state treasurer; and businessman Ginsburg.
Republicans seeking the job include Doug Robinson, the nephew of former presidential candidate Mitt Romney; George Brauchler, the prosecutor of the Aurora theater shooter; and former state legislator Victor Mitchell.