NewsCapitol Watch

Actions

Polis vetoes bill that would allow lieutenant governor candidate to run for two offices simultaneously

jared polis april 2021
Posted at 6:54 AM, May 10, 2021

DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis signed 17 bills into law Friday, but also vetoed one bill that would allow a candidate running for lieutenant governor to run for another elected position at the same time.

In the veto explanation letter for House Bill 1092, Polis said he recognizes some states allow this, but he doesn't "believe it's a practice to be admired."

"Instances of the same candidate running multiple offices on the same ballot only serve to further the ambitions of professional politicians at a great cost of increased voter confusion and disengagement," the letter says. "We believe all our elected officials should run for office because they believe in public service and doing the best job possible for Colorado."

If a candidate were to win both offices he or she ran for, the candidate would be required to take the lieutenant governor position, leaving the other office vacant. The bill allows an unelected nominating committee to appoint an individual to fill the vacancy, something Polis said should be reserved only for necessary situations.

"This process would not be fair; not to the electorate, government, parties, or other candidates. Instead, it simply serves the personal interests of the candidate and insider political party committees," Polis says.

Polis also says the bill could stifle competition in down-ticket elections.

House Bill 1092 easily passed both the Colorado House and the Senate. Rep. Dave Williams, R-Colorado Springs, and Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert, R-Parker, were the bill's prime sponsors.

The legislature could override Polis' veto.