Kopp taps Vera Ortegon as lieutenant in bid for governor

Former Pueblo councilwoman is also an immigrant from Colombia and healthcare professional

Kopp taps Vera Ortegon as lieutenant in bid for governor

 
DENVER — Today, in the midst of a white-hot primary competition for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, former state senate minority leader Mike Kopp announced his choice for Lieutenant Governor running mate.

“I can think of no better partner in this mission than my dear friend, Vera Ortegon of Pueblo,” said Kopp from a Holiday Inn in Denver.

Ortegon has long been a strong supporter of Kopp, nominating him for governor at the Republican Assembly this spring. Kopp named Ortegon, whom he calls the “Colombian Hurricane,” when asked about women he respects during a candidate debate held by Colorado Christian University.

Ortegon, a biologist, immigrated to the United States from Colombia and now works in healthcare in Pueblo, where she served as a councilwoman. She also served as a federal elector in 2012.

“Most Latinos are really Republicans — we’re a very religious people, we’re pro-life, very conservative,” Ortegon told Business Insider that year.

Ortegon could brig in support for Kopp at the statewide level, drawing in women, Hispanics, and voters across southern Colorado at a time when healthcare is on the top of most Republicans minds.

So far, Kopp is the only GOP candidate to have named his running mate.

If Kopp and Ortegon win the June 24 primary, they’ll square off against incumbent Governor John Hickenlooper and Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia in November.

[Image of Mike Kopp from the candidate’s website]

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About the Author

Tessa Cheek

She writes and makes photos about communities. Her book, Great Wall Style, a monograph-profile-lyric essay, is out from Images Publishing. tcheek@coloradoindependent.com | 720-440-2527 | @tessacheek

3 Comments

  1. ryecatcher on said:

    With all due respect for Mrs Ortegon, the perfect running mate for Kopp claiming “most Latinos are really repubs”, she fits nicely with Kopp’s tea bagging agenda. Surely Mrs Ortegon is aware of Kopp’s political bed fellow, Dave Schultheis religious fanatic, resident homophobe and no friend to the Hispanic community.

    Schultheis opposed affordable housing for undocumented workers and called Speaker Mark Ferrandino and his partner’s adoption “deliberate child abuse”. Dave Schultheis is politically toxic and perfect for the Kopp Ortegon ticket.

    Just for Mrs Ortegon’s enlightenment most Latinos might be pro life, conservative and religious. But according to PEW and Gallup they haven’t voted that way since the Godlike Reagan ran in 1980. Every democratic candidate for president has won the Hispanic majority. Here’s the scoop.

    1980 Carter 56% Reagan 35%
    1992 Clinton 61% Bush 25%
    2000 Gore 62% W 35%
    2012 Obama 71% Romney 27%
    Democrats won the Hispanic vote in every presidential election since 1980.

    Here in Colorado Obama won an overwhelming majority in 2008 and 12.
    2008 Obama 61% McCain 38%
    2012 Obama 77% Romney 23%

    The above numbers do not suggest most Hispanics are repubs as Mrs Ortegon imagines. Hispanic women voted for Obama in droves 76% for Obama and a mere 23% for Romney.

    Colorado Hispanics makeup 14% of the electorate with 404 thousand eligible voters. Here in the 6th Mike Coffman stands an excellent chance of being shown the door because of the Hispanic vote in the 6th. Coffman like Kopp are no friends to the Hispanic community and they know it. Kopp’s choice of his “dear friend” Vera Ortegon will not save his sinking ship.

    Mrs Ortegon is smoking the wrong stuff cozying up to a tea bagging extremists like Mike Kopp and Dave Schultheis the absolute worst narrow minded politician this state has ever witnessed.

    With friends like Dave Schultheis I doubt Kopp will survive the first cut June 24.

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