Rep. Jared Polis has officially thrown his hat into the Colorado governor’s race, saying he wants to work at a state level to fight the Trump administration.
The Democratic congressman from Boulder says he feels like he can do more good working in Colorado on renewable energy and improving education than he can in Washington right now.
He joins almost two dozen people already running for governor, including more than a half-dozen Democrats. Among those running: U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter and Ex-State Treasurer Cary Kennedy both Democrats, and Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler, a Republican.
The seat is being vacated by Gov. John Hickenlooper, who is term-limited next year.
Polis, who has been a member of Congress since 2009, has openly weighed the decision to run for governor for a couple of months. But he said over the weekend that President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord helped motivate him that work needed to be done at the state level to keep the renewable energy economy moving forward.
“My focus has always been where can I have the biggest positive impact on the state and the country,” Polis said, in an interview with CPR News. “Particularly in light of President Trump pulling out of Paris and all of the movement in the wrong direction on oil and gas and renewable energy and coal. Any progress will need to be made at the state level.”
Polis is among the wealthiest members of Congress: financial disclosures note his worth at more than $300 million. He committed to spending some of his own money on the gubernatorial race and said he will not accept any PAC money or campaign contributions over $100.
“I want to have a broad base of support rather than spend my time in the living rooms of millionaires and billionaires,” he said.
As governor, Polis says he hopes to set a goal of the state running on 100 percent renewable energy by 2040 and plans to back an effort to fund statewide, all-day kindergarten.
Democratic candidate Mike Johnston also said late Saturday that he, too, was committing to a 2040 100 percent statewide renewable energy plan.
Polis kicks off his campaign on Monday with events in Pueblo, Colorado Springs and Denver.