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]