DENVER (CBS4) – Former Senate President Kevin Grantham says he was able to raise the $10,000 needed for the portrait in less than two days.
“This is about the history and this is about the building. It’s not about whether you like or dislike the person in the painting,” Grantham said.
Grantham said he didn’t realize Trump’s portrait hadn’t been painted until a prankster left a picture of Russian President Vladimir Putin in its place.
“Used the publicity surrounding that to attract donors from across the state and we got all that done in approximately a 36 hour period,” he said.
Among the donors, he says, was former Democratic State Representative Dan Pabon.
“You can ask him point blank — he doesn’t like the president but he sees the greater need for this being done here in this gathering,” Grantham said. “There are 45 Presidents of the United States and we’re putting up number 45.”
Pabon is among those who will be speaking at a public unveiling next Thursday at 3 p.m. It will take place on the third floor of the Capitol Rotunda.
Grantham says they invited Gov. Jared Polis and Democratic leadership in the legislature — but haven’t heard back.
The portrait was painted by the same Colorado Springs artist who did President Barack Obama’s portrait. Grantham is keeping it under wraps until the ceremony, but he says it’s more like Obama’s serious pose than President Jimmy Carter’s smiling portrait.
“The smiling ones just aren’t necessarily him. I think it is very austere and it captures a very serious-minded president. I think he would love it.”
Grantham says they raised nearly $2,000 more than they needed so they donated that money to a nonprofit that sends WWII veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit the WWII monument.