Former Colorado senator Ken Salazar considers run for governor amid Democratic upheaval | AspenTimes.com

Former Colorado senator Ken Salazar considers run for governor amid Democratic upheaval

Salazar will face competition in what’s shaping up to be a crowded Democratic field

Mark K. Matthews |
mmatthews@denverpost.com
John Frank |
jfrank@denverpost.com
The Denver Post

If he wants it, Ken Salazar has the chops and connections to make a hard run at the governor’s mansion in 2018.

His resume includes four years in the U.S. Senate, four years as U.S. Interior Secretary and a fortune’s worth of contacts in Democratic politics. He has more than a passing interest, too.

“Probably by the end of the summer, I will make a decision about what I’m going to do,” Salazar said in an interview with The Denver Post.

More notable, however, is that whatever Salazar decides, it won’t be enough to clear the Democratic field — a situation that speaks to the upheaval that has gripped the Democratic Party in the past year and only tightened since President Donald Trump captured the White House.

One prominent Democrat, former state Sen. Mike Johnston, already announced his candidacy. Congressman Ed Perlmutter of Arvada, former state treasurer Cary Kennedy and several others are eyeing a run, too.

The jockeying comes amid a surge of liberal activism that propelled Bernie Sanders to victory over Hillary Clinton in Colorado a year ago and more recently sparked a wave of anti-Trump protests across the state.

For Salazar, the big question is how much the party has changed since 2004 — the last time he appeared on a ballot — and whether he has the right approach, and maybe even the right level of anger, to carry the Democratic banner into the next election.

“I don’t think you have to be angry to be a Democrat, but I think Democrats are angry,” said state Rep. Jovan Melton, D-Aurora, who has not publicly backed a candidate in the primary.

Salazar said he shares many of the concerns that drove demonstrators into the streets Jan. 21 for the Women’s March on Washington; he was among the estimated 100,000 Coloradans who flooded Denver in a sister rally that same day.

Read the full story in The Denver Post.


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