After truly devastating losses in 2018 and again this year, the Colorado GOP is left with only one Republican who’s been elected by a statewide vote in Colorado.
That’s little-known University of Colorado Regent Heidi Ganahl, who won her statewide “at large” position on CU’s governing board in 2016.
Democrats will have a chance to claim Ganahl’s seat in 2022.
Ganahl did not return a call from the Colorado Times Recorder asking how she feels about being the last statewide-elected Republican in Colorado–or if she plans to seek re-election. She seems to have overcome some health challenges lately, and that’s, of course, great news that everyone wants to hear.
Publicly, Ganahl has expressed nothing but confidence in Colorado’s right-wing Republican leadership, even as the party was self-immolating here.
In a nomination speech last year for hard-line conservative Ken Buck to lead the Colorado GOP, she said that “we are on the right side of history.”
“It’s time to get to work to re-elect President Trump, to re-elect Senator Gardner, and to win back the state legislature,” she said in the same speech.
Comments like those portend a bleak future for Ganahl, for the simple reason that Trump proved last night he’s a pariah among Colorado’s must-win unaffiliated voters.
And Ganahl’s stances on key issues and her alignment with far-right elements of the Colorado Republican Party seem to cement her to the losses and failures of the past.
Ganahl’s unflinching nomination speech for Buck, who reigns over a region of Colorado that’s utterly insignificant in statewide elections now, puts her arm-in-arm and dancing with a man who elicits more eye rolls in Colorado than the most clueless boomer.
Another bad sign for Ganahl is, she’s a favorite of social conservative Jeff Hunt, of Colorado Christian University’s Centennial Institute, who introduced Ganahl at last summer’s Western Conservative Summit as “future governor of Colorado.”
Hunt’s feudal priorities include making pot illegal again, banning abortion outright, even for rape, and cracking down on gay marriage in Colorado–not issues that resonate with the electorate that’s exerting control here these days.
Ganahl may try to deflect attention from her political alliances by saying she’s a practical businesswoman.
But she appears to be using one of her businesses to inculcate a conservative ideology that’s out of favor in Colorado.
Here’s how she once described, The SheFactor, her digital platform that helps young women figure out how to navigate the opportunities they enjoy in America:
“It’s also a way for us to give young women a different message than they hear in the media, in entertainment, and in education. You better bet we are talking about free markets, free speech, individual rights, personal responsibility, all those things that we’re so passionate about,” said Ganahl last year. “We’re just not doing it as an overt political organization. But we’re making sure that happens and that those conversations are happening.”
That could be worse, but to me, it sounds like more of the Colorado Republican Party’s failing past.