2018 Colorado Governor Candidate Guide

Jared Polis (D) vs Walker Stapleton (R)

Governor | Election | Nov 6, 2018

The Candidates

Jared Polis

Jared Polis

Democrat

Incumbent
Walker Stapleton

Walker Stapleton

Republican

The Issues

Abortion

Mostly ban or mostly legal?

Jared Polis (D)

Legal. Strong pro-choice advocate.

Walker Stapleton (R)

Mostly ban, with exceptions for rape, incest and life of mother. Won’t say if he’ll sign abortion restriction bills.

Campaign Finance

Require political ads to disclose their largest funders?

Jared Polis (D)

Yes. Co-sponsored DISCLOSE Act requiring full disclosure of independent expenditures.

Walker Stapleton (R)

Unknown.

Support Citizens United decision, allowing unlimited political donations from corporations and unions?

Jared Polis (D)

No. Has consistently sought to get campaign finance reform bills through Congress.

Walker Stapleton (R)

Unknown.

Climate Change

Consider climate change a critical threat, so limit the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere? Support participation in U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition of states committed to climate change action?

Jared Polis (D)

Yes to limiting greenhouse gases. Supports participation in Alliance. Introduced “100 by ‘50 Act” to transition to 100% clean and renewable energy by 2050.

Walker Stapleton (R)

No to limiting greenhouse gases. Says a major reason he is running is to “offer a full-throated defense of the state’s oil-and-gas industry against [those] that want it regulated more tightly.

Contraception

Let employers withhold contraceptive coverage from employees if disagree with it morally?

Jared Polis (D)

No.

Walker Stapleton (R)

Unknown.

Economy

Support Trump’s imposition of tariffs on Chinese steel and other products?

Jared Polis (D)

Unknown.

Walker Stapleton (R)

No. Is concerned about escalating trade war hurting Colorado industries.

Education

Increase funding for K-12 education?

Jared Polis (D)

Yes. Advocates for increased across-the-board funding and preschool for all. Has also supported related levies and bonds and will continue to do so.

Support recent teachers’ strikes?

Jared Polis (D)

Yes. Stop underpaying teachers, “instead of criminalizing [their] right to…demand fair compensation.”

Walker Stapleton (R)

Unknown.

Support providing vouchers or tax breaks to parents to send their children to private schools with public money?

Elections

Support the 2 ballot measures to amend the Colorado constitution to explicitly prohibit gerrymandering?

Jared Polis (D)

Yes. Strongly supports.

Walker Stapleton (R)

Unknown.

Gay Rights

Support LGBT rights?

Jared Polis (D)

Yes. Supports same-sex marriage & would be 1st openly gay governor in US.

Walker Stapleton (R)

Unknown.

Gun Control

Support more restrictive gun control legislation? Restrict semi-automatic weapons?

Jared Polis (D)

Supports gun rights for defense & sport, but would ban bump stocks, end black market gun sales, temporarily suspend dangerous people’s access to firearms, & increase gun safety.

Walker Stapleton (R)

No. Wants to repeal 2013  gun control laws & will oppose all efforts to limit guns. Supports letting law enforcement seize weapons from people deemed a threat.

Healthcare

Support or Repeal ACA, aka Obamacare? Accept ACA’s Medicaid expansion to subsidize low-income participants?

Jared Polis (D)

Keep ACA and improve it. Work toward universal single-payer system. Believes Medicaid expansion in Colorado has been an enormous success.

Walker Stapleton (R)

Repeal ACA & end Colorado’s Obamacare exchange. Shrinking Medicaid expansion would be among main changes he’d champion.

Let Planned Parenthood receive public funds for non-abortion health care?

Jared Polis (D)

Yes.

Walker Stapleton (R)

Unknown.

Immigration

Support DACA, allowing “Dreamers” who arrived illegally as children, then grew up in the US, to achieve legal status if meet certain conditions? Support path to citizenship for America’s 11 million illegal immigrants?

Labor

Enact right-to-work law, eliminating the right of unions to mandate dues for workers they represent?

Marijuana

Keep marijuana legalization?

Jared Polis (D)

Yes. Only candidate who supported legalization in 2012. Treat it like alcohol. Opposes Justice Department’s  war against states with legalization.

Walker Stapleton (R)

Unknown. But is concerned about unintended consequences of legalization, including mental health issues.

Minimum Wage

Raise the minimum wage?

Jared Polis (D)

Yes. Also let municipalities raise minimum wage in their area.

Walker Stapleton (R)

Unknown. But generally opposes regulation of business.

Net Neutrality

Support requiring internet providers to provide equal access to all users?

President Trump

Percentage of key votes supporting Trump’s positions while in Congress? Response to President Trump’s actions and policies?

Walker Stapleton (R)

Voting not applicable. Supports Trump “on virtually every issue” except tariffs.

Renewable Energy

Support government subsidies for renewable energy?

Jared Polis (D)

Yes. Increase regulatory incentives for energy efficiency & renewables.

Walker Stapleton (R)

No. Favors “free enterprise & open & competitive marketplace.”

Voting Rights

Support stricter voting rules such as voter ID requirements or reduced registration times, even if they prevent some people from voting?

Jared Polis (D)

No. Voted to restore voting rights protections. Signed letter to Trump condemning stricter voter rules & asking to investigate voter suppression.

Walker Stapleton (R)

Unknown.

Other candidates for governor include George Allen Cantrell (Constitution Party),  Scott Helker (Libertarian Party), Bill Hammons (Independent), Matthew Wood (Independent), Kathleen Cunningham (Unaffiliated), Paul Willmon (Unaffiliated). Due to limited space, we can’t include their responses, but encourage you to check out their websites.

guides.vote is a nonpartisan effort to show where candidates stand, with links to credible sources. Vote411.org and Ballotready.org  offer guides to local races.