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Former Gov. Lamm endorses Vail’s Mike Johnston for governor

February 7, 2018, 7:58 am

Former Colorado Gov. Dick Lamm on Tuesday endorsed Vail native and former Denver state Sen. Mike Johnston in his run for governor.

“As my family and I travel to all 64 counties to bring unifying leadership to our whole state, I am proud to say I have earned the support of Coloradans at every level of politics.,” Johnston’s campaign emailed on Tuesday. “Today, I became the only candidate to have the endorsement of a former governor of Colorado.”


Dick Lamm (wiki photo).

Lamm, a Democrat and former state representative, served three terms as governor from 1975 to 1987. Now term limits allow for only two four-year terms, which is why current Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper is stepping down at the end of the year.

“I have never seen a candidate with more promise. Not one,” Lamm said of Johnston. “I enthusiastically endorse Mike Johnston for governor. Mike has the rare ability to move people to action. We nod and agree with many politicians but with Mike Johnston we say ‘Let Us March!’  He is truly inspiring. We have the chance to elect an inspiring, dynamic, motivated governor.”

Lamm, 82, still teaches at the University of Denver, where he’s co-director of the Institute for Public Policy Studies.

He rode an anti-Olympics crusade to prominence in the early 1970s, opposing the expenditure of public funds after the International Olympic Committee awarded Denver the 1976 Winter Olympics. Largely, Lamm was focused on slowing growth in order the protect the state’s environment.

Mike Johnston (youtube photo).

Mike Johnston (youtube photo).

To this day, Colorado is only place awarded the Games that has gone on to reject them when voters opposed funding. Innsbruck, Austria, instead wound up hosting. Beaver Creek was conceived as a venue for those Olympics, but it would not open until 1980 as it went through a rigorous environmental review.

With the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics kicking off this week, it’s worth noting that Lamm does not regret opposing the 1976 Games, nor does he necessarily oppose a future Colorado bid if the funding is realistic and the Games come with infrastructure fixes for Colorado’s overburdened interstate system.

Johnston, 43, was born in 1974 just as Lamm was on the rise. Johnston grew up in Vail, where his late father Paul, a lodge owner, was at one time the mayor.

“It is humbling to be endorsed by a visionary who did so much for Colorado, and who worked particularly hard to protect our environment and women’s health,” Johnston said in a prepared statement. “I will work hard to carry on the legacy of public service and follow many of the examples Gov. Lamm set.”

Other prominent Democrats seeking the nomination to replace Hickenlooper include U.S. Jared Polis, former Colorado Treasurer Cary Kennedy and current Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, a former healthcare executive who owns a home in Vail.



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David O. Williams

Managing Editor at RealVail
David O. Williams is an award-winning freelance reporter based in the Vail Valley of Colorado, writing on health care, immigration, politics, the environment, energy, public lands, outdoor recreation and sports. His work has appeared in 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, Aspen Journalism, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), Colorado Politics (formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Colorado Times Recorder, the Daily Trail (Vail), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Gazette, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington),, the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the London Daily Mirror, the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, Atlantic Media's (formerly Government Executive State and Local), SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail and Westword (Denver). Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of and

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