I’m a Coloradan. I was born here in 1975. My dad was a physicist and my mom was a school teacher, but after they moved here, they decided to pursue their true passions: art and poetry. I spent a lot of my childhood crisscrossing the country with my parents, staying in motels and selling posters out of a pick-up truck. Eventually, my mom and dad had the idea to combine their talents — his painting and her poetry — in the form of greeting cards, which they turned into a small Colorado business called Blue Mountain Arts.
I’m an entrepreneur. I’ve started several successful businesses and will bring that start-up vision and energy to our state government. From my college dorm room, I launched American Information Systems, a dial-up service provider that brought the internet into many homes for the first time. I also helped take the family greeting card business online, and founded ProFlowers, a true startup where I did everything from loading the trucks the night before Valentine’s Day to taking the business public. Later, I co-founded Techstars, a startup accelerator where I mentored entrepreneurs from all walks of life, and Patriot Boot Camp, which helps veterans start their own small businesses after coming home from their service. I’ve seen first-hand how small businesses can create jobs and improve our communities, and was humbled to be honored with the “Entrepreneur of the Year” award for these efforts.
I’m committed to providing every child a great education. I’ve spent most of my adult life working to improve our schools. In a statewide election in 2000, I was elected to the Colorado Board of Education. As chairman of the board, I fought to raise pay for teachers while reducing class size for students. I also founded several non-profit public schools for at-risk children and served as superintendent of the New America School, which helps new immigrants earn their high school diploma. I believe it’s time for us to stop talking about investing in our children and start actually doing it.
I’m the U.S. Representative for northern Colorado. I proudly stood with President Barack Obama to pass landmark health care reform, rein in the excesses of Wall Street, provide more opportunities to young immigrants, and protect our iconic public lands. And I helped lead the charge to replace the one-size-fits-all mandates of No Child Left Behind with a new system to help students from every background get the quality education they deserve.
I’m a dad. My partner Marlon and I are raising our two kids, ages six and three, to be proud Coloradans like their parents and grandparents!
I’ running for governor to turn bold ideas into real results for you and your family. Together, we can make Colorado completely energy independent and 100% renewable by 2040. We can bring free, full-day kindergarten and preschool to every community in our state. And we can build an inclusive economy where employees at all levels make more, not just CEOs.
I’m a Rockies fan for life (and before that the Zephyrs!). I wanted to name our son Helton, but Marlon wouldn’t stand for it.