DENVER – With a promise to “Keep Colorado Climbing,” Colorado Lt. Governor and Chief Operating Officer Donna Lynne formally announced on Thursday she is entering the Democratic gubernatorial field.
Lynne will immediately hit the campaign trail with stops in eight communities across Colorado including Alamosa on Sunday, September 10, at 11 a.m. at Milagros Coffee House, 529 Main Street, Alamosa.
“As the State's Lieutenant Governor and Chief Operating Officer I work every day on behalf of all Coloradans, making sure we are delivering on our promises and overseeing the day to day operations of state government. I believe working to make government more accountable and transparent, especially in today's supercharged political environment, is essential. In traveling to all 64 counties, I have heard first hand what Coloradans want from their elected officials, and understand what the state needs in our next governor,” said Lynne, who has served in her current position since May of 2016. "These experiences, as well as a life long commitment to service, have strongly influenced my decision to run."
“Colorado has made a lot of progress under Governor John Hickenlooper, but there’s more to be done. Many of the challenges we face are tough and complicated. But, that doesn’t scare me, because I’ve been doing tough and complicated my whole life.”
With her husband, Jim Brown, supporters, and friends by her side, Lynne pointed out that her family motto has always been, “You can, and you will.”
The mantra served as inspiration when she worked as a waitress to put herself through college in three and a half years; as a single, divorced mother of three children who obtained two advanced degrees while working full time; and as an avid explorer of Colorado’s highest peaks.
Lynne, 63, has spent more than half of her career in the public sector. In the private sector, she worked as an executive providing affordable health care to millions of Americans. That background — as the candidate who has managed large budgets and tens of thousands of employees — is a differentiator.
She pointed out that under Gov. Hickenlooper, Colorado has the country’s top-ranked economy, but more must be done to increase wages and bring health care costs under control.
“Infrastructure is the key to keeping the economy growing, too,” Lynne said.” Our roads, our water, and broadband access must be improved.”
“Together, Governor Hickenlooper and I have fought to save the Affordable Care Act,” she said. “It’s not perfect, but we shouldn’t ignore its successes: especially in Colorado. The ACA has allowed the number of uninsured Coloradans to be cut in half and more than half a million Coloradans received coverage through the Affordable Care Act.”
Lynne made her announcement at Denver’s Spring Cafe, which employs refugees and provides training programs to prepare them for customer-service jobs. That backdrop served as a counter to the Trump administration.
“What we are seeing today is absolutely reminiscent of what we saw back in the 1960’s: racism, sexism, disregard for the environment, and disregard for women’s rights,” she said. “Just look at the president’s cruel action to repeal DACA. We are here in a small business that understands the value that immigrants have in this country. We have to stand together for the values we share, and refuse to lose the progress we’ve made together.”
As the state’s Lt. Governor and Chief Operating Officer, Lynne has launched key initiatives to increase accountability and transparency in government and to make government services more efficient and effective. She also brought renewed attention to education for all Coloradans.
“The state needs a leader with the vision, the experience, and the tenacity to keep Colorado strong for years to come. A state where every Coloradan has a good job, where they can get the health care they need, and where our environment and great outdoors are protected for all,” she said. “We can achieve this vision if we face up to the tough and complicated challenges we have in front of us. We must Keep Colorado Climbing.”
An avid outdoor enthusiast, Lynne has climbed all of Colorado’s 14ers, has skied at 29 of Colorado’s 30 ski areas, and has participated in various bike rides throughout the state including Ride The Rockies and Pedal The Plains. The mother of three adult children, she lives in Denver with her husband Jim Brown, who has two adult children.
Lynne said she will make bringing all areas of Colorado together one of the focal points of her campaign.
“There’s a clear divide in this state between growing metropolitan areas and rural areas. That affects us all. We’re better than that, wherever we live. And for those of us living in urban Colorado, let’s not forget where our food comes from, the source of our water, and the economic power of Colorado as an outdoor destination.”