Meet Our Candidates

Diane Mitsch Bush (photo)

Candidate for U.S House of Representatives

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In her own words:

Colorado has been my home since 1976 when I moved from Saint Paul Minnesota to Steamboat Springs and fell in love with the rural, friendly, small town along the Yampa River, nestled in the mountains.

Growing up in Minnesota meant swimming in lakes, hiking the woods, skating on the creeks, and always, waiting for the first snow. I read all I could about nature, science, and the outdoors in our wonderful public library, and my dedicated public school teachers helped fill my thirst for more knowledge. Our Science Museum had great low cost or free summer programs for kids. While my mother was at work every day, I was learning about science and experiencing nature.

Politics were important in my family, and dinner table discussions often centered on problems of the early 1960’s and how we could solve them. When I was 10, I was inspired by our young President John F. Kennedy urging us to “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”.

My mother instilled in me the value of public service and volunteering. She expected me to think about others before myself. Caring, compassion, and love for others meant that we had a responsibility to make our world better than we found it. This is still one of my core beliefs. That’s what I have worked to do as a public servant.

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Jared Polis (photo)

Candidate for Colorado Governor

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Jared Polis is an independent leader with a proven track record of thinking big and attaining real results in business, non-profits, and government. As Governor, Jared plans to make Colorado energy independent with 100% renewable energy by 2040; improving education and delivering full day Kindergarten and preschool across the state; and building an inclusive economy where employees of all levels make more, not just CEOs.

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Jena Griswold (photo)

Candidate for Colorado Secretary of State

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Jena Griswold has long been passionate about working on behalf of Coloradans. As an attorney, Jena has worked to ensure that Colorado elections are accessible to all eligible voters. She served her home state as Director of the Colorado Governor’s Washington, D.C. Office, where she helped secure federal disaster recovery funding to help the state recover from the devastating 2013 flood. She then opened her own practice in Colorado.

In July 2017, just as President Trump’s sham Voter Commission started to collect personal data on Colorado voters, Jena announced her candidacy to become Colorado’s next Secretary of State. Jena grew up in Estes Park and now lives in Louisville.

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Dave Young (photo)

Candidate for Colorado State Treasurer

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In his own words:

My name is Dave Young and I am running for Colorado State Treasurer. I am a native Coloradan and a proven progressive running to fix TABOR and Gallagher, increase funding for public education, protect PERA, and advocate for public banking.

Colorado needs a Treasurer who invests our money safely, wisely, transparently, and avoids risky Wall Street firms that do not benefit everyday Coloradans. I worked as a math, science, and technology teacher for 24 years in the Greeley public schools where I served as the president and lead bargainer of the Greeley teachers union.

I am the only elected Democrat in Weld County, one of the most conservative counties in Colorado. I have served as the Representative for House District 50 for the past seven years.

As a State Representative, I sit on the Joint Budget Committee, where I work to develop our state’s 30 billion dollar budget. I am the Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, where I work to fund hundreds of bills that reflect our progressive values.

During my time in the legislature, I’ve been proud to champion progressive issues like improving services for people with disabilities, marriage equality, pay equity, paid family leave, gun safety, clean energy, and better funded public schools. As your next Treasurer, I will continue the fight for progressive change in Colorado and I hope to earn your support.

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Phil Weiser (photo)

Candidate for Colorado Attorney General

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Phil is an innovative, thoughtful leader who has dedicated his life to public service and teaching.

Twenty-five years ago, in 1992, Phil first came to Colorado to interview with his future mentor Judge Ebel. With the exception of serving in the federal government, Phil has worked in Colorado since he graduated law school.

After serving as a law clerk in Denver for Judge Ebel on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, Phil clerked for Justices Byron White and Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the U.S. Supreme Court and worked in President Clinton’s Department of Justice before coming home to Colorado to teach as a professor at the University of Colorado Law School. At CU Law, Phil founded the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship, co-chaired Governor Bill Ritter’s Innovation Council, and litigated civil rights cases pro bono before the Tenth Circuit.

After a leave of absence to serve in the Obama Administration as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice and as Senior Advisor for Technology and Innovation at the White House’s National Economic Council, Phil returned home again to serve as Dean of the University of Law School. During his time at the helm of CU Law, he held tuition flat and more than doubled student scholarships, attracted more applicants than ever before (at a time when applications to law school fell nationwide), took seriously the need to train the next generation of leaders of Colorado, helped students find jobs in a changing environment, and actively supported entrepreneurship on campus and in the community. Phil also emerged as a leader in the Colorado startup community, co-founding Startup Colorado and founding the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network, to help grow Colorado’s economy.

For Phil and his wife, Heidi, both the children of Holocaust survivors, protecting civil rights and civil liberties is very personal. Phil’s mom was born in a concentration camp in Germany, and Heidi’s dad left on the last boat from Germany that made it to the United States—the one before the St. Louis that was famously turned back. With this legacy, Phil recognizes that we cannot take our civil rights or constitutional values for granted.

Phil’s parents both started with nothing, had to support themselves after they graduated high school, were the first in their families to go to college, and worked hard to build successful lives for themselves and for Phil and his brother. As someone who benefitted from the American Dream that is slipping away for many of our citizens, Phil will use the inspiration from his parents’ example to work hard for all Coloradans.

Phil and Heidi, a physician, are raising their two children, Aviva and Sammy, in Denver.

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Guinn Unger, Jr. (photo)

Candidate for Colorado State Senate

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Currently a resident of Bayfield, Colorado, Guinn Unger was born in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. His paternal grandfather was a plant manager for Musselman’s in Adams County Pennsylvania. His maternal grandfather was a farmer in Gettysburg.

Guinn’s father was a career Army officer, so the family moved frequently. Guinn graduated from Frankfurt American High School in Frankfurt, Germany.

Guinn attended Rice University and graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He also joined ROTC at Rice and was commissioned in the US Army Reserve. He retired from the Army Reserve after 28 years with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Guinn worked for McDonnell Douglas at the NASA Johnson Space Center for 2 years working on the Space Shuttle design team. He has owned three small businesses. Guinn also worked in corporate America for 8 years leading a team of specialists deploying an advanced computer system in locations including Houston, San Diego, Canada, England, China, and Germany.

Guinn and Shauna have three adult children.

Guinn was elected to the La Plata Electric Association Board of Directors in 2017. He is retired and lives in Bayfield, Colorado.

Guinn decided to run for the Senate District 6 seat because he feels that his opponent does not represent the values of most people in southwest Colorado.

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Seth Cagin (photo)

Candidate for Colorado House of Representatives


In his own words:

American politics are noisy, but we have more in common than we have that divides us. For the people of the 58th District, our common ground starts with beautiful Southwestern Colorado. We choose to live here because we value the natural world, our close-knit communities, and a simpler way of life with our families. For us to prosper in rural and small-town Colorado, and for our children to stay and raise their families here, I believe we need to invest in local economic development to provide the well-paying jobs of the future, make health insurance affordable, and we need to support great schools. We need to improve our roads and access to broadband, and we need to wisely manage the public lands that contribute so much to our economy and quality of life.

With these as my priorities, I will work respectfully, pragmatically and tirelessly to find common ground across all parties and all people, taking action to move our district and our state forward for all who call Colorado home.

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Lesley Smith (photo)

Candidate for CU Regent

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Lesley has spent thirty years as a scientist and educator at CU, served for eight years on her local school board managing a $400 million budget, and was the first woman aquanaut to live and work in the Aquarius underwater research lab. She is exceptionally qualified to take on the challenges facing Colorado’s flagship university system and will:

  • fight for accessible, affordable education for every hardworking Coloradan
  • ensure that CU offers students an excellent, relevant education that equips them with the critical thinking skills to be workforce-ready
  • work hard to attract strong funding for a strong CU system

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Alvin Rivera, PhD (photo)

Candidate for CU Regent (District 3)

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Dr. Alvin Rivera, an Army Veteran and graduate of CU Boulder, worked his way to the national level with the Department of Education in Washington D.C. During a career that spanned two Presidential administrations, he worked for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Education under President Carter and also, worked for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics under the Clinton Administration.

More recently, Alvin has become well known for his advocacy work for the University of Colorado system and was named the first University of Colorado Advocate of the year in 2013. Rivera received the award from CU President Bruce D. Benson, who hosted the event that was attended by nearly 100 supporters. President Benson recognized Rivera for his “enthusiasm, passion and action” that he has brought to his volunteer role as a CU Advocate.

Alvin has been married to his wife Carol for 48 years. They enjoy spending time together traveling. In his spare time he enjoys attending car shows and collecting political memorabilia.

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