Most people do not pay attention to down ticket races. We see a huge drop-off between the votes cast for whomever leads a ballot and the next offices. Presidential years draw out the most voters. They may stick around long enough to vote for the Senate or U.S. House candidates, but it is only the dedicated voter who will wade their way through the ballot and complete it.
Part of it is the lack of enthusiasm and knowledge about the candidates running. If you do a poll on the effectiveness of a constitutional officer, one who serves the state of Colorado, too many people are not paying much attention to what happens in those seats other than the governor.
Betsy Markey promises to change that this next year in her run for Colorado State Treasurer. She is passionate and energetic, the kind of dynamo every campaign manager and every voter wants. I remember campaigning with her in 2010. She was running for reelection to the U.S. House of Representatives in a bad year and a tough district. But she never relented in meeting with voters outside schools, businesses and shopping malls. Voters walked away feeling as if Betsy cared.
You might think the Colorado State Treasurer's position is not particularly exciting. Don't be fooled. The Colorado State Treasurer manages our tax dollars on a day-to-day basis and makes sure investments are safe and operating the way they should. It seems that we have not heard much from the Treasurer's office lately, and given the economy, that is worrisome. Openness and accountability are real traits that are important to the office.
Here is what we do know. Betsy Markey has over 30 years of experience as a manager and business owner, as well as a stellar record working in the government. Since she left the U.S. House of Representatives, we have missed her common sense voice on issues relating to economic progress and renewal.
The issue of managing money is not new to her. She and Jim Kelly, her husband, were successful entrepreneurs with their own technology company, Syscom Services. And Betsy ran a small business for four years in Fort Collins.
Did you know that she has a master's degree in public administration, with an emphasis in finance? Put that together with a keen political intellect, a tradition of reaching out to her constituents, strong management experience and capacity, and a deep commitment to public service. What more could you ask for other than the ability to work for the best interest of the state in an increasingly complex global economy. She has it all.
The announcement of her candidacy this week is one of the most exciting events of the year. A lot of people are pumped up. They know Betsy would be a full-time treasurer, something Colorado deserves.
There is an excitement around her candidacy that has not been apparent since Cary Kennedy ran in 2006 and effectively carried that office for four years. Cary was there for Betsy's announcement, as was another former Colorado State Treasurer, Gail Schoetller. So this campaign will be fun.
Best of all it gives us all a chance to work for someone who will do the job well and in our interest.