Knocking doors in 90-degree heat, Heidi Ganahl is leaving it all on the field in her bid to become the Republican nominee for governor. Those who know her, she says, know better than to underestimate her.
"I've been told all my life can't do things whether building Camp Bow after losing my husband in a plane crash or... surviving a brain tumor just under 2 years ago, I'm always told too big, too hard, can't do this. I was told that in the regent race in 2016."
Today, Ganahl is the only Republican in Colorado to win a statewide race in six years. As governor, she says she'll reign in spending and - not just lower taxes - but eliminate the state income tax altogether. It comprises 68% of General Fund revenue a third of the budget.
"It's doable," Ganahl says of her plan. "Nine other states have gone to zero income tax. I plan to take Colorado there too."
She says she'll cut fraud, waste, and abuse and attract new business to make up the lost revenue.
Ganahl also plans to cut the gas tax in half, and move transportation dollars from climate projects to road projects.
While she believes humans contribute to climate change, she says, "I think we're going too far too fast on green energy policies. A lot of legislation and regulation is killing the ability of our industries to flourish and families to pay for gas."
She wants to repeal a 2019 law overhauling oil and gas regulation, along with laws establishing a public health insurance option, farm workers' rights, and the right to abortion.
She opposes abortion except in cases of rape, incest and a mom's life. She says she's not sure she'd sign a law that bans abortion in all cases.
She is open to repealing the state's red flag gun law and a law banning high-capacity magazines but her top priority she says are Colorado's kids, "Our kids are in crisis right now."
Teen suicide is up, she says, and reading and math scores down, "I think number one thing do help kids learn school choice so funding follows families."
If school vouchers are controversial, the 2020 election maybe more so.
Ganahl has refused to say whether the election was stolen, until now, "I don't believe enough fraud flip the election but a lot concern and a lot of unnerving things that happened."
She says she understands people's concerns with last-minute changes to election laws in many states. She also, for the first time, acknowledged that CU should not have hired John Eastman, who White House insiders say conspired with former President Trump to overturn the election.
As CU Regent, Ganahl exchanged multiple emails with the former visiting professor in an attempt to arrange a luncheon that she says never happened, "I don't know enough about what he's done but I don't think it's been good for CU, but looking back he had a very stellar career before we brought him on as a visiting professor so hindsight is 20-20."
Ganahl has her sites set on the future not past, "I'm going to stay focused on being a candidate and governor for all of Colorado."
for more features.