Colorado Capitol Report

The Colorado Chamber Releases Endorsements of 53 Legislative Candidates

This Capitol Report is brought to you by:

  • community-banks-of-colorado

State Policy News

CACI Releases Endorsements of 53 Legislative Candidates

CACI’s goal for its endorsed slate of slate of 53 incumbent and new legislative candidates is a balanced legislature, which means that control of the two chambers is split between the two political parties.  Of the 53 candidates, eight are Democrats and the rest are Republicans.

Of the 11 Senate endorsements, six are for incumbents and five are for new candidates.  Only one of the 11 Senate endorsements is for a Democrat: Representative Angela Williams (D-Denver), who is seeking the Senate District 33 seat.

Of the 42 House endorsements, 28 are for incumbents and 14 are for new candidates.  CACI endorsed four incumbent Democrats and three new Democrat candidates.

Currently, the Republicans control the 35-member Senate by one vote and the Democrats control the House 34 to 31.

Rationale behind CACI’s endorsements

CACI supports candidates who it believes are supportive of policies that will create jobs and enhance the state’s economic climate.  The best chance for such policies to succeed is when the legislature’s chambers have split control by the two parties, which is a lesson that CACI and the statewide business community that it represents have learned the hard way in recent years.

Control of the two chambers for the 2017 and 2018 sessions likely depends on the outcome of a small number of key races in swing districts.  Below are the six key races and the CACI endorsements that reflect CACI’s interest in maintaining a balanced legislature.



In addition, CACI urges its members to personally give to these six endorsed candidates.  A corporation or a non-corporate business entity cannot give money directly to a candidate.  An individual can give a legislative candidate up to $400.

Endorsement Process

CACI’s process of researching and assessing candidates is without a doubt the most extensive among all business organizations in Colorado.  Each candidate received intensive vetting by CACI.

Some 55 to 60 CACI members—many from the statehouse business lobbying corps–sat through 33 interviews over three full days.

CACI views candidates through the lens of whether they are pro-business or not.  Consequently, the CACI slate of endorsements reflects bi-partisanship.

Incumbents earned CACI’s endorsement based on voting records for the 2015 and 2016 sessions or efforts to work “behind the scenes” to help support good-for-business bills or defeat anti-business bills.

Candidates endorsed by CACI represented themselves as individuals with whom CACI can work at the State Capitol and who will be supportive of business or who conveyed that they will work with CACI.

Other business organizations—trade associations, local chambers of commerce–look to the CACI endorsements for guidance because of the thoroughness of CACI’s process to research, assess and interview the new candidates as well as to assess the performance of incumbents.

If CACI chose to not endorse either candidate in a race, it was because some candidates interviewed still need to dedicate more time to their campaigns or to learn certain business policy issues.  Or, in some cases, CACI believed both candidates were good candidates.

Past election-year endorsements

  • 2014:  38 Republicans, 10 Democrats
  • 2012:  43 Republicans, 8 Democrats
  • 2010:  49 Republicans, 7 Democrats
  • 2008:  37 Republicans, 17 Democrats

For news media coverage of CACI’s legislative candidate endorsements, read:

Statewide business group seeks to keep Colorado Senate in Republican hands,” by Ed Sealover, The Denver Business Journal, July 26th.

For more information about CACI’s legislative candidate slate, contact Loren Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, at 303.866.9642.