Jun 23, 2022 - News

1-minute voter guide: GOP governor candidates fight long odds

Greg Lopez, left, at a debate in 2018. Heidi Ganahl at a campaign event in 2021. Photos: Andy Cross and RJ Sangosti/Denver Post via Getty Images
Greg Lopez, left, at a debate in 2018. Heidi Ganahl at a campaign event in 2021. Photos: Andy Cross and RJ Sangosti/Denver Post via Getty Images

Two Republicans are competing for a chance to do the improbable: Defeat an incumbent with tens of millions to spend and become their party's first governor in Colorado in 15 years.

What to know: Heidi Ganahl, a University of Colorado regent, and Greg Lopez, a former Parker mayor, are the GOP's two options in the June primary election.

  • Ganahl called a bid to defeat Gov. Jared Polis a "moonshot." Polis spent $23 million of his own money to get elected in 2018.
  • Neither Republican is mounting a high-profile campaign at this point.

Meet the candidates: Ganahl, who lives in Lone Tree, is the only current Republican elected to statewide office. She founded and ultimately sold Camp Bow Wow, a pet care facility. She now works for causes on behalf of nonprofits.

  • She lost her first husband at age 27, and survived a recent brain tumor scare.

Lopez, who lives in Elizabeth, once served as the Democratic mayor of Parker, later switching parties. He’s now embracing the most conservative policies after losing bids for the U.S. Senate in 2016 and Colorado governor in 2018.

  • He previously served as the Small Business Administration's Colorado director. After leaving the office, he admitted in a case brought by federal prosecutors in 2020 that he intervened to help a friend obtain a loan and broke the law.

Zoom in: On the issues, the two candidates are divided, the Colorado Sun reports.

  • Lopez believes fraud influenced the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, while Ganahl — who initially refused to discuss the matter — says it didn't.
  • Lopez opposes all abortion, but Ganahl supports the practice in cases of rape and incest.
  • Lopez rejects suggestions of human-caused climate change. Ganahl wouldn't answer the question
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