Colorado's next Lieutenant Governor is poised to be Donna Lynne, a top executive at Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. Governor John Hickenlooper made the nomination on Wednesday, and he said Lynne, an Executive Vice President at Kaiser, would be very capable filling his shoes if he doesn't end up finishing his second term as Governor. Hickenlooper has long been rumored as a possible cabinet pick for a Democratic President.
"If I were offered something in Washington I would certainly look at it, but especially right now I could not be happier to be the Governor of Colorado," said Hickenlooper.
Lynne has worked for Kaiser for eleven years. She has a master's degree and a doctorate in public health from Columbia University. She serves on a number of business and civic boards.
"I don't think I would have done this had not the Governor not asked me," said Lynne.
She would also play a dual role. Hickenlooper is creating the position of Chief Operating Officer.
"Someone who is really focused on, how do you integrate the operational capacity of the entire state," said Hickenlooper. He went on to add that he wants her to help the state government deliver more services for less money.
"You don't have to lay anyone off, baby boomers are going to be retiring in large numbers over the next five or ten years and we can use technology, we can actually make government smaller," said Hickenlooper.
Lynne's nomination would need confirmation from both the Republican controlled Senate and the Democratic controlled House. Democratic leaders from both chambers were on hand for the announcement. Republican Senate President Bill Cadman wasn't present, but he said he supports the nomination.
"As a longtime community leader and activist she certainly would bring valuable experience and perspective to the job if confirmed," said Cadman. "At a time when health care is such a significant focus of public concern for government, business and individuals, hopefully she'll be just what the doctor ordered."
Lynne would replace outgoing Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia who is taking another job. His last day is April 29th and the Governor's office is hoping Lynne will begin her position a few days after that. While the possibility remains that Hickenlooper might depart his second term early if asked to go to Washington D.C., Lynne doesn't have her eyes on becoming the state's top executive. She said she would not run for governor in 2018.