Opinion | Heidi Ganahl: A problem solver, not a politician

I’m Heidi Ganahl, and I’m running for governor to be a voice for all of Colorado. I am a mom, an entrepreneur, a CEO, a survivor. When I was 27, I lost my young husband in a plane crash. I picked myself up and turned an idea he and I had dreamt up into the country’s largest pet care franchise, Camp Bow Wow.

Years later, I saw that business through the Great Recession of 2008. Just a couple years ago, I fought through a non-cancerous brain tumor. All of that adversity has made me stronger, tougher, and more determined. Know this, as governor, I won’t just fight for you, I’ll bring the fight to them!

I’m proud of my record. I am a problem solver, an outsider, not a politician. I’m also a ticked-off parent. Our state is heading in the wrong direction, and we need new leadership to correct it for our children and grandchildren.

Crime is soaring in our beautiful state. We are leading in all the wrong categories — auto theftproperty crimefentanyl death increases, and on and on. We need a governor who is willing to be tough on crime, and tough on elected officials who refuse to be tough on crime. We need to end policies that embolden criminals and put repeat offenders back on our streets. We need to support our law enforcement and make sure they have the tools they need to keep us safe. 

I built my company in this state that I love. But in recent years, it has become too expensive to live here. I would not have been able to build my company in Colorado’s current economic climate. Property is too expensive. Regulations are too onerous. And, our state is No. 1 in inflation in the country. Inflation in Colorado is 16% higher than when Joe Biden took office. That means you are spending almost $12,000 more per year to buy the very same things.

It’s time to get our energy industry back to work. I believe in an all-of-the-above energy approach that embraces renewable energy, but not at the expense of our oil and gas industry. We produce the cleanest energy on the planet right here in Colorado, and we do it under some of the strictest regulations. It’s time to reduce the regulations and free up the free market to lower our energy costs and rising gas prices.

I’m a mom on a mission. If our kids are not OK, nothing else matters. Our kids are in crisis. We have the fifth-highest drug addiction rate for kids in Colorado and the seventh-highest suicide rate. Sixty percent of our kids in Colorado can’t read, write or do math at grade level. They are being taught nonsense in the classroom, and violence at schools is skyrocketing while school resource officers are told to stand down. 

As your governor, I will make sure our kids can learn to read and write by third grade with a commonsense curriculum that is transparent to parents. I’ll make sure parents have the power to raise their kids with the values they hold dear and that the funding follows the families if they need to make different choices around schooling. 

On Day 1 in office, I will work to overturn the harm that Jared Polis has enacted and create a future that works for all of Colorado. I will give you back control of your lives and will trust you to do what is best for your lives, your families, your business, and what is best for Colorado. I will be a governor for all of Colorado, not just Denver and Boulder. I have spent the last year and a half traveling our beautiful state. I hear you when you say you do not feel represented by our current leadership. I will appoint people to the boards that oversee the energy, ag, and ranching industries that actually care about those industries. And, I will stand up to bad legislation that harms rural communities.

Polis wants a second term to fix the problems that he created. We need to hold him accountable for rising crime, out-of-control crime, and our failing schools. Colorado’s brightest days are ahead of us, but only if we take action now. I am a mom on a mission to unite Colorado. I ask for your vote for governor. 

Thank you. 

Heidi Ganahl is a businesswoman, entrepreneur, author, and elected member of the University of Colorado Board of Regents who is running for governor.