The election results for the University of Colorado Board of Regents are in, and two of the three seats in play will be filled with newcomers.
Linda Shoemaker and John Carson will join incumbent Irene Griego on the board that oversees, among other things, the $3.2 billion budget of the state’s most prominent public university. CU has upwards of 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students in more than 100 academic programs.
The 2nd Congressional District is in the north-central part of the state and encompasses mountain stretches and towns like Vail, Grand Lake and Idaho Springs, as well as Front Range cities and suburbs like Boulder, Broomfield, Fort Collins and Loveland.
Shoemaker beat Republican Kim McGahey and Libertarian Daniel Ong to fill the seat of Joe Neguse, who lost his bid for secretary of state on Tuesday. Shoemaker, a lawyer and former journalist, has extensive history in educational policy and will bring years of philanthropic work to her role as a regent. McGahey ran a limited campaign, without a website or Facebook page, making it difficult for voters to understand his vision for the state’s oldest public academic institution.
The 6th Congressional District is in central Colorado and encompasses much of the southern part of the Denver-Aurora metropolitan area, including Littleton and Centennial, plus Brighton and Henderson.
Carson beat Democratic candidate Naquetta Ricks to fill Jim Geddes’ seat when his six-year term ends in January. Carson has been a strong supporter of athletics at the university as a means of recruitment and fundraising. “Athletics are important to a well-rounded education,” he said. “And top athletic teams … raise private funding for the University contributing to an affordable education for all students.”
The 7th Congressional District is in the central part of the state; the district encompasses most of the northern and western parts of the Denver-Aurora metropolitan area, including Golden, Lakewood, Arvada and Westminster.
The 7th CD seat was retained by vice chairwoman Griego who was appointed by Gov. John Hickenlooper in 2011 and first elected by voters in 2012. She beating Libertarian Steve Golter. Griego pledges to continue her efforts in “keeping tuition as low as possible, supporting faculty and staff, promoting transparency in all Board of Regent actions, (and) ensuring that the CU budget is spent efficiently and in the best interest of our students.” She would like the regents to be clearer about budget and policy decisions that impact students and their families.
Golter — like McGahey in CD2 — also ran a limited campaign without a website or much accessibility for information.
The CU Board of Regents is Colorado’s only elected higher education board. The body was established in Colorado’s original 1876 constitution The regents work voluntarily — unpaid — in positions that influence key decisions about the University. The incoming board will face ongoing controversy about rising tuition costs and likely will pick a new president after businessman, GOP heavy-hitter and mega-fundraiser Bruce Benson retires, as predicted, from the job.
Correction: an earlier version of this story incorrectly listed Northglenn and Thornton as part of the 2nd Congressional District.