DENVER — Colorado Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne said Tuesday she is considering a run in the 2018 Democratic race to succeed Gov. John Hickenlooper, who is term-limited.
Lynne, a longtime health industry executive who also worked for four New York City mayors, said in a statement that she’ll decide by early September.
As lieutenant governor and the state’s chief operating officer, Lynne has focused on health care affordability and accessibility, protecting rural hospitals and more efficient budgeting by state agencies.
She said her experiences across the state led her to reconsider entering the race to succeed Hickenlooper, who’s in his second term. When she was nominated in 2016, she said she wasn’t interested.
“Given the current state of affairs in this country, I believe we need pragmatic leaders who care about people and are willing to put politics aside and get things done,” Lynne said in her statement Tuesday.
Hickenlooper praised Lynne. “Her long record of exemplary success, both in business and in public service, more than earns her the right to run for governor,” he said.
Lynne, a longtime supporter and political donor to Hickenlooper, served as executive vice president of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals. She previously was executive vice president and chief operating officer at Group Health Inc., a $2.5 billion managed-care organization, and chaired the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.
She also spent 20 years in New York City government in various posts.
Rep. Jared Polis, former Colorado Treasurer Cary Kennedy and former state Sen. Mike Johnston are running on the Democratic side. Early Republican contenders include George Brauchler, who prosecuted Aurora theater shooter James Holmes, former state Rep. Victor Mitchell and Doug Robinson, an investment banker.