Odd. The presumptive Democratic gubernatorial front-runner, Jared Polis, did not receive the endorsement of the Colorado Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, in partnership with the Colorado Federation of Teachers. We never expected the union to endorse her opponent, Mike Johnston, who is considered an education reformer. We had questions about whether they would go all in for Polis since he’s the founder and still sits on the board of a charter school, but the Kennedy announcement today is interesting indeed.
Here’s what Kerrie Dallman, head of the CEA, said about Kennedy’s endorsement, which likely comes with money, boots on the ground, and other support (which she will need to beat back Polis cash):
“Cary is the best person to take Colorado into the future. She understands the challenges that Colorado faces across our great state. As an education advocate, she transformed our education system through policies and increased funding, and as treasurer and saw us through the great recession. Cary has what it takes to keep Colorado moving forward. We know that Cary can win in the primary and in November.”
We have to question the timing of this announcement. Hear us out. So, yesterday, Tom Tancredo, arguably the most conservative candidate, exits the GOP primary for Governor. Love him or hate him, Tancredo was a polarizing figure in the gubernatorial race. A match-up of Polis vs. Tancredo would have given Polis a victory so say the experts. But, does Polis take the “polarizing figure” title from Tancredo in the general election? Or, simply put, can Polis win in a general?
Is Kennedy a safer bet for Democrats than Polis in the general? Kennedy already is out there selling herself as the Democrat who can win in the general.
But, here’s the problem with Kennedy’s claim. She’s already lost to Republican Walker Stapleton statewide once. Can she beat any mainstream Republican statewide? History says no.