Colorado Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Hickenlooper announced Thursday Joe Garcia, president of CSU-Pueblo, as his pick for lieutenant governor.
Hickenlooper chose Garcia as a running mate because of his ability to solve problems in a party-blind way, according to the Associated Press.
If elected in November, Garciaâ€™s focus will be on the state economy and education â€“ both higher education and K-12 â€“ the AP reported.
Hickenlooper and Garcia will run unopposed in the Aug. 10 Democratic primary and will face one of two Republican candidates – Scott McInnis or Dan Maes – and several other third party candidates, including former presidential hopeful Tom Tancredo.
Chair of the Colorado Republicans Dick Wadhams said in a statement that he thinks Garcia needs to step down as president of CSU-Pueblo if heâ€™s going to run on Hickenlooperâ€™s ticket.
Wadhams said, as a state employee Garcia is expected to carry out the duties of his job at CSU-Pueblo, not travel the state campaigning for votes, “otherwise taxpayers are subsidizing the Hickenlooper-Garcia campaign.”
Garcia earned his bachelorâ€™s degree at CU-Boulder and his law degree at Harvard. Prior to signing on with the CSU system, he served as president of Pikes Peak Community College, worked as the Rocky Mountain States representative for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and spent time as the executive director of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, according to a press release from CSU-Pueblo.
The Colorado lieutenant governor serves as chair of the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs and takes the place of the governor if he or she is absent.
Assistant News Editor Kirsten Silveira can be reached at email@example.com