LONE TREE, Colo. (CBS) – Colorado’s next governor won’t be elected for more than a year, but there is already a big crowd of candidates who are all making an effort to stand out.
Many took part in an education forum in Lone Tree on Friday afternoon, the first event so far in the race where Democratic and Republican candidates both appeared.
The Colorado Association of School Boards hosted the event at Denver Marriott South at Park Meadows as part of their Fall Delegate Assembly Conference.
Republican candidates spoke first to the group and then the Democrats.
“I want to see school choice like I have — spread out across the metro area and throughout the state so we have those options,” said George Brauchler, a Republican district attorney. He’s among the candidates who say education faces a funding crisis but aren’t calling for changes to the way the state regulates the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, or TABOR.
“We need to expand the pathways for charter schools,” said Doug Robinson, another Republican.
“We’re going to have to work on TABOR. There is no question that that is the gloom in terms of our ability to find more money,” said Donna Lynne, Colorado’s lieutenant governor and a Democrat.
“Who are you going to have as an ally who actually understands the school finance issues well enough to be able to fix it and change it,” said Mike Johnston, a former school teacher and principal and also a Democrat.
“It is unacceptable that our economy ranks No. 1 in the country and our investment in public education ranks at the bottom,” said Cary Kennedy, another Democrat.
The race’s two best financed candidates were no-shows on Friday:
– Republican Walker Stapleton, Colorado’s State Treasurer, didn’t commit to the forum.
– Democrat Jared Polis, a Democrat who represents Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District, recorded a video statement which was played during the event but he did not show up in person.
View more headlines on the Campaign 2018 races.