2022 Colorado Governor Candidate Guide

Heidi Ganahl (R) vs Jared Polis (D)

Governor | Election | Nov 8, 2022

The Candidates

Heidi Ganahl

Heidi Ganahl

Republican

Jared Polis

Jared Polis

Democrat

Incumbent

The Issues

Climate Change

Should climate change be a top priority? Tax or limit the output of greenhouse gases, or support renewable energy?

Heidi Ganahl (R)

No. Says, “we’re going too far too fast on green energy policies,” and will take a “more balanced” approach to energy production, including fossil fuels.

Jared Polis (D)

Yes. Says “we need to beat the climate crisis head on.” Has pledged to power the state’s electrical grid with 100% renewal sources by 2040.

Education

Use public funding for private and/or for-profit schools?

How to address the teaching of issues around racism and gender identity?

Heidi Ganahl (R)

“Our kids need to learn about our country’s troubled past and the long-term impacts of racism,” but says schools should avoid “controversial concepts like critical race theory.” Supports parental control of teaching about sex and gender.

Increase funding for K-12 and higher education?

Elections

Did Joe Biden legitimately win the 2020 Presidential election?

Environment

Loosen or tighten environmental regulations?

Heidi Ganahl (R)

Loosen. Would fight an EPA requirement to sell special gasoline formulated to address air pollution in the Denver area. Would repeal new oil and gas industry regulations.

Jared Polis (D)

Tighten. Recently signed a bill to strengthen the state’s air quality rules to go beyond the federal Clean Air Act. Signed a bill to restrict sale of toxic “forever chemicals.”

Gun Laws

Pass less or more restrictive legislation on guns?

Health Care

Increase government role in health care, such as expanding Medicaid, limiting drug prices, or promoting COVID safety?

Heidi Ganahl (R)

No. Spoke out against the Colorado public insurance plan, scheduled to be available in 2023, saying it’s “not the broad solution politicians claim.” On COVID, opposed mask and vaccine mandates.

Immigration

How to handle immigration? Support a path to citizenship for “DACA” participants brought to the US as children?

Heidi Ganahl (R)

No recent position found. As a University of Colorado regent, voted for a 2017 resolution to support students enrolled in DACA programs.

Labor

Make it easier or harder for unions to organize?

Heidi Ganahl (R)

Likely harder. “It’s time to tell teachers’ unions to knock it off and get out of our lives.”

Jared Polis (D)

Easier. Signed the first-ever partnership agreement with the state employees’ union. Signed a bill expanding bargaining rights to 36,000 Colorado county workers.

LGBT Rights

Limit or expand LGBTQ rights?

Heidi Ganahl (R)

Unclear. Doesn’t think Supreme Court will return gay marriage to the states, but Colorado should have that right, because those decisions “should be made by the states.”

Minimum Wage

Keep or raise the state minimum from $12.56 per hour? If so, how much?

Student Financial Aid

Support lowering interest on student loans or forgiving them?

Heidi Ganahl (R)

Supports student loan reforms, such as “enabling employers to help their teams pay back loans tax-free, restoring bankruptcy protection for student loans, and forcing colleges to risk-share with borrowers.”

Jared Polis (D)

Supports debt cancellation and extension of the student loan payment pause. Signed a law banning colleges from withholding diplomas or transcripts because of a student’s unpaid debt.

Taxes

Should corporations and wealthier individuals pay less or more taxes?

Voting Rules

Support tightened restrictions on such voting rules as absentee and early voting, and voter ID?

Jared Polis (D)

No. Signed a bill that lets eligible voters register online, notifies college students to register, and eases ballot return. Also signed a bill providing multilingual ballot access and added a multi-language voter hotline.

We have space to include only candidates polling 15% or more, but check out others including Paul Fiorino (U), Danielle Neuschwanger (C), and Kevin Ruskusky (L).

guides.vote is a nonpartisan effort to show where candidates stand, with links to credible sources. We do not support or oppose any political party or candidate for office. Vote411.org offers guides to local races.