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Who Is Heidi Ganahl, The Colorado Republican Ready To Take On Gov. Jared Polis?

(CBS4) - The only Republican in Colorado who currently holds a statewide elected position is ready to take on a bigger office. CU Regent-At-Large Heidi Ganahl is running for the governor's office in 2022.

Heidi Ganahl
Heidi Ganahl speaks with a supporter after announcing she will run for Colorado governor on Sept. 14, 2021 in Monument. (credit: RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Ganahl is from Lone Tree and attended the University of Colorado Boulder. She earned a bachelor's degree in business and also has a master's degree in health care administration from the University of Denver. She has chaired the Board of Regents' Audit and Finance Committees as well the search committee for a new president of CU.

Her first husband died when she was 27. After a few years in pharmaceutical sales, Ganahl returned to a business plan she made with him before his death and opened Camp Bow Wow, a boarding facility for dogs. The $100 million brand was on the Inc. 500/500 for five years in a row. She sold it in 2014.

(credit: CBS)

Ganahl founded the Fight Back Foundation, saying she wanted to help children by tackling the issues they faced. The foundation supports social entrepreneurs. In her candidate announcement, she pointed to Children's Hospital Colorado declaring a mental health emergency as reason for her candidacy, promising to find a way to address the child suicide rate.

She joined her oldest daughter, Tori, 26, in creating SheFactor, a digital and live community aimed at helping young women take charge of their lives and become leaders.

Ganahl met her second husband, Jason Ganahl on a blind date and quickly discovered they shared a love of dogs, sports and startups. He started GQue BBQ which has three locations. The couple has 3 children together, Hollie, who is 12, and 9 year old twins Jack and Jenna.

Heidi Ganahl
Heidi Ganahl in Monument, Colorado. (credit: RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

In announcing her run on Tuesday, she spoke about her love for Colorado.

"Coloradans can take a punch and come back stronger, but it helps to have a leader who knows what that's like," she said. "My life is a testament to coming back from adversity."

"The values and challenges faced on our plains and the Western Slope should be embraced in Colorado, not ridiculed. Our voters deserve a governor for all Coloradans because the values on Pearl Street are different than the ones on Main Street," she said.

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