DENVER (CBS4) – After considering a run for months, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman says she’s joining the crowded Republican race for governor.

Cynthia Coffman (credit: CBS)

“I would love to see a Republican governor again, and I think it would be great if it was a female,” Coffman told CBS4.

Coffman becomes the ninth Republican to announce their candidacy in what will be one of the most contested races for the state’s top job in decades.

“What do you bring to the table that those other eight candidates don’t?” Boyd asked.

“I don’t see anyone talking about the issues that I’m going to be talking about. And in the positive tone, growth has outpaced our infrastructure, and there has been a lack of planning for affordable housing, for health care and schools,” she said.

Managing the state’s growth is the No. 1 issue facing the next governor, according to Coffman. She says it’s important for both Colorado’s Front Range and rural Colorado. She says the affordability of health care is a key part of that.

“We need to be more creative in the ways that we deliver health care in communities and mental health services and the way that we serve the disabled in Colorado,” she said.

Cynthia Coffman was elected attorney general in 2014. (credit: CBS)

“Are you satisfied with state Republican leadership right now?” CBS4’s Shaun Boyd asked.

“The leadership of this party is very well intentioned, but they’re dealing with a fractured electorate. And we need to unite the people behind the causes that are important and leave behind some of the petty fights,” Coffman said.

Coffman was at the center of a messy in-party fighting two years ago. Steve House, the chair of the Colorado Republican party, accused her of blackmail.

“He has said in public interviews that the hatchet is buried. That it’s a non-issue,” Coffman said. “I certainly feel that way.”

Perhaps Coffman’s biggest issue is financing her campaign. She comes in with only $42,000 in the bank.

“It will be a challenge, but I’m up to the challenge. I have lots of phone numbers ready,” she said.

Prior to becoming attorney general, Coffman served as deputy director of Colorado Department of Health and Environment and chief legal counsel for Bill Owens, Colorado’s last Republican governor.

The state’s Primary Election takes place on June 26, 2018.