Two races this year decided key statewide offices in Colorado.
Republican Treasurer Walker Stapleton held his seat against Democratic challenger Betsy Markey. And Republican Cynthia Coffman beat Democrat Don Quick to succeed John Suthers as the state’s attorney general.
Stapleton beat Markey in a race that will determine the future of state employees’ benefits system. The state retirement-benefits plan, Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA), has a $27 billion deficit and will be a major issue for the treasurer’s next term.
Stapleton’s major goals for a second term are “to safely and prudently invest Colorado’s tax dollars, reform Colorado’s PERA, and bring a higher level of accountability and transparency to government.” He has been vocal about his position that employees should pay more into their retirement.
Such efforts aren’t new, as state workers’ contributions were increased in a decision passed in 2010 that also allowed the state to lower retirees’ cost-of-living increases and raise the retirement age for state employees.
Cynthia Coffman (wife of Mike Coffman, who was re-elected as U.S. Representative in the 6th Congressional District) beat Democrat Don Quick and Libertarian David K. Williams to replace the current AG, term-limited Republican John Suthers.
Coffman has spent the last 10 years working as chief deputy attorney general under Suthers. A supporter of Colorado’s TABOR amendment, she has vowed to work to protect the amendment and “take up the fight for TABOR and for other constitutional initiatives adopted by Colorado citizens.”