Jared Polis opens new Fort Collins office, discusses run for governor

Nate Day

Video by Nate Day

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Congressman Jared Polis opened a new office in Fort Collins Saturday afternoon and hosted a grand opening for supporters in his upcoming campaign for governor.

Man speaks to teenager in a crowd
Jared Polis, candidate for Governor of Colorado in 2018, speaks to local youth at his new office in Fort Collins. (Jon Price | Collegian)

The new office, located on College and Laurel welcomed over 200 people according to Polis’ staff. That number, according to a staff member who wished to remain anonymous, was over double what they expected.

At the grand opening event, Polis spoke on the political platforms that his campaign will be based on.

Among his policies were early childhood education, investing in infrastructure and living costs, all of which solicited applause from the audience.

“He seems to be really high on education and the environment,” said Kathy Gravdahl, a Fort Collins resident. “Those are two priorities for me.”

Among the attendees was Colorado State University Alum Ben Swall-Yarrington, who graduated with a degree in English in December. Swall-Yarrington asked Polis specifically about how he would support those that wanted to return to school.

“I appreciate that he went beyond just getting more funding,” Swall-Yarrington said. “I could honestly tell that he was very passionate about the issue, too.”

While people in attendance at the event showed support for what Polis said, for many it was too early to tell whether they would support him for governor.

“I’m still undecided as to who I’m going to vote for in the Democratic Caucus,” Swall-Yarrington said. “But, he did leave a very strong impression on me today, and I look forward to supporting any democratic candidate going forward.”

Similarly, community member Vivian Gingert said she is unsure for whom she plans on voting.

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“I have to admit I’m still on the fence about who I’m supporting at the caucus,” Gingert said. “But, I liked what I heard here today, and I’ll weight that against whatever comes up.”

Polis, however, said he was confident in his ideas and was very outspoken about one member of the opposite party in particular.

“I think in the age of President Trump, it’s important that Coloradoans have a governor that promotes inclusivity, and to make sure that we value all of Colorado,” Polis said.

Polis said he would stand up for Coloradoans in “any attack from Washington,” in addition to challenging President Trump.

Man speaks to large crowd of people in office space
Jared Polis, candidate for Governor of Colorado in 2018, speaks to local people at his new office in Fort Collins. (Jon Price | Collegian)

In a similar vein, Polis explained that he supports equal pay for equal work. Polis spoke about his own staff, which features women in prominent roles such as chief of staff and campaign executives.

“It just so happened — as it often does — that women were more qualified for those positions,” said Polis of his stance on hiring women.

Polis also turned his focus to college students during the event, as Fort Collins is home to CSU, one of the largest universities in the state. Polis claimed that in regards to net neutrality, he intends to put consumer protections in place in order to make it easier for students to succeed.

Polis and his team are campaigning in hopes of Polis being elected governor Nov. 6, 2018. Polis faces competition from five other major candidates currently, with a few more expected to announce candidacy in the coming months.

More information on Polis’ campaign policies and volunteer opportunities can be found online at www.polisforcolorado.com.

Collegian reporter Nate Day can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @NateMDay