KUNC | By Scott Franz

Published September 14, 2021 at 5:52 PM MDT

Heidi Ganahl is hoping to become Colorado’s first Republican governor in more than a decade.

The University of Colorado regent from Lone Tree formally launched her campaign Tuesday morning at a diner in Monument.

In a campaign video, she touts her background as an entrepreneur and says she has overcome many storms in her life, including a brain tumor last year and the death of her husband in a 1994 plane crash.


She also blasts Democratic Gov. Jared Polis for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This storm doesn’t have to last,” she said. “We need a change. We’re ready for the sun to shine on the mountaintops of Colorado again.”

Ganahl started a statewide tour on Tuesday with stops planned in Aurora, Greeley and Fort Collins.

She faces an uphill battle in her campaign to challenge Polis in the 2022 election.

Recent opinion surveys show most Coloradans have been supportive of the governor’s pandemic response.

And a July poll released by a Democratic research firm showed Ganahl trailing Polis by 20 points in a theoretical matchup.

Ganahl joins nine other Republicans in the gubernatorial primary taking place in June. She is the only candidate to hold a statewide office.

Watch Ganahl’s campaign announcement here.

The field also includes Greg Lopez, the former mayor of Parker.

Polis was elected in 2018 after defeating former state treasurer Walker Stapleton.

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