Colorado Gubernatorial Election Preview

Jared Polis(left) and Walker Stapleton(right)

Jared Polis(left) and Walker Stapleton(right)

Dalton Deter, Reporter

With midterm elections fast approaching nationwide, Democrats and Republicans look to fill newly contested seats in congress and state houses across the country. One race of particular importance is for Colorado governor, contested by front runners Walker Stapleton(R) and Jared Polis(D).

Candidate Overview

Stapleton, a Republican who served two four-year terms as State Treasurer and worked as an worked primarily as an investment banker and CEO of various private companies, looks to bring traditional Republican small-government and free-market reforms to Colorado.

Polis, a Democrat who currently serves as the US Representative for Colorado’s Second Congressional District, aims to deliver much more progressive reforms into Colorado legislature.  

Policy Breakdown


Stapleton wants to expand school choice between public, private, or charter, and plans to provide a tax holiday on back to school shopping days, making supplies cheaper for students. Stapelton promises that more money will go directly to classrooms and teachers rather than administrators.

Jared Polis has a bold plan to provide free full day preschool and kindergarten, and wants to prioritize college graduation for low-income families. 


Both candidates agree something needs to be done as the issue of healthcare costs becomes increasingly relevant in the United States. Stapleton aims to uphold choice in providers, and to “emphasize improving primary and preventive care.”

Polis holds that healthcare is a human right, reflected by his campaign website, “Treating an illness or injury should never be a luxury afforded only to the wealthy few who can afford it.”

Second Amendment

If Stapleton were to become Governor he would support “repealing the misguided 2013 gun control laws that limit Second Amendment freedoms and caused job creators like Magpul to flee our state.”

Stapleton strongly emphasizes the importance of the second amendment rights of gun owners in Colorado and the U.S. as a whole.

Polis plans to ban the purchase of bump stocks as well limit the purchase of what he calls “military style weaponry.”

However, Polis has recognized the importance of the second amendment as a whole, saying “I believe it[a ban on private firearm ownership] would make it harder for Colorado families to defend themselves and also interfere with the recreational use of guns by law- abiding Coloradans.”


Polis plans to put Colorado in motion to rely 100% on renewable energy by 2040. Critics claim this would drastically increase costs, but Polis maintains the positive long-term impacts of going completely renewable.

According to Polis,“Projections show that reaching our renewable energy goals in Colorado will create over 49,000 construction jobs and over 21,000 operations jobs while saving consumers 10 percent on energy costs.”

Stapleton, on the other hand, is more open to current energy sources, “Colorado needs a leader that understands we must present a stable business environment to ensure a low-cost energy supply that will attract and retain businesses in Colorado,” he said.