Governor candidate Heidi Ganahl cried softly during her concession speech, paused to recover, and showed a softness – a vulnerability – noticeably absent during the election campaign.

Ganahl’s preteen daughter joined her mother on stage and was sobbing loudly, panting and burying her face in Ganahl, who spoke of being a “mom on a mission”.

Ganahl’s words were touching. And disconcerting. Other than running on a common conservative phrasing – choice of school, no taxes, suppression of crime and drugs, freedom and inflation in the snare – we could never get a solid plan from her. Like others behind Donald Trump, you ran a populist campaign with no credible and detailed content. You floated ideas without connecting the dots. That Trump attitude – choose me, choose the Republican Party – without a real roadmap to results cost her.

His words didn’t make fun of the missionary moms we know, who sit at the kitchen tables, pencils pinning his hair, outlining exactly what needs to happen. Ganahl’s mission breakdown did not go beyond sitting behind the governor’s desk. So many questions. One is, how could Ganahl eliminate the income tax And finance the state? No spreadsheet presented.

From the start, Ganahl avoided questions about the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election. Then Danny Moore, an election denier, became his running mate. Things got kinky in late September on Jimmy Sengenberger’s KNUS show, where Ganahl said students from Colorado identified themselves as cats.

Ganahl said, “It’s happening all over Colorado and the schools are tolerating it.”

In early October, Lauren Boebert repeated the well-refuted lie in Mesa County, adding that Durango schools provided litter boxes for students. Educators have worked hard to set the record straight.

After getting 40.8% of the vote alongside Governor Jared Polis’s 57%, Ganahl donned his disappointment and exhaustion. His concession speech sounded sincere. But what was it really about? Being in tears after losing an election is understandable. Even more heartbreaking would be to lose after delivering a bulletproof plan to fix Colorado that wouldn’t see the light of day. A plan that never materialized.

Speaking of the forces against her, Ganahl mentioned the media “from day one”. Harsh words. We tried to get to the truth. But she wouldn’t be fully committed.

After stepping off the stage, candidates usually make concluding remarks. But Ganahl refused. His team screamed at reporters’ questions, chasing them away, according to a media partner. It’s sad to come out with this note. We never met the real Heidi Ganahl behind that steel facade. Granting her was our closest look.

It was a different story with Polis, who looked confident and seasoned, and ran on his own record. During the debates, he was cold, but he projected a “take it” challenge to Ganahl.

Polis has earned this next term. He did a good job, including capping the cost of insulin, offering property tax relief and more. A favorite result is the free kindergarten and preschool for the whole day. This levels the playing field for all young schoolchildren and provides an economic purpose as parents, especially mothers, can work more easily.

Another milestone of the Polis. Colorado was the ninth lowest place in the United States for COVID-19 deaths. During the pandemic, its actions were swift, rational and data-driven.

With green partners, Polis is committed to 80% renewable energy in Colorado by 2030 and 100% by 2040. It has a benchmark plan. We like it.

Polis supported women’s reproductive rights, positioning the state as a bulwark against the feds if necessary.

In his acceptance speech, Polis spoke of “a Colorado for all, where there is space and a place where everyone can be themselves”.

We share his sentiment.

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