DENVER (AP) – The Democratic primary for the 2018 Colorado governor’s race is off to an early start.

Former state Sen. Mike Johnston will announce he’s running for governor on Tuesday. He’s the first to join what’s expected to be a long list of Democratic politicians throwing their hats in the ring to replace Gov. John Hickenlooper at the end of his second term.

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Johnston is a former principal and Obama education adviser who has been active on Colorado school issues. He says he has a record of working across the aisle to expand opportunity.

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There hasn’t been a truly open Democratic gubernatorial primary in Colorado for a decade. Denver businessman Noel Ginsburg has already announced. Other candidates could include former interior secretary Ken Salazar, Rep. Ed Perlmutter and former state treasurer Cary Kennedy.

– By NICHOLAS RICCARDI, AP Writer

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