Walker Stapleton announces run for state treasurer

Emphasizing that he will restore the state treasurer’s office to being the taxpayers’ watchdog, Republican businessman Walker Stapleton announced his candidacy for state treasurer this week.

Stapleton, CEO of SonomaWest Holdings Inc., said that with the Treasury, the governor’s office and the Legislature all controlled by Democrats, “they have focused on nothing but higher spending, bigger government, more state workers — and assault after assault on taxpayers’ rights.”

In contrast, Stapleton said he would use his business background and success running a business and creating jobs to fight for policies that will jump-start Colorado’s economy.

“Colorado’s treasurer can again be the taxpayers’ foremost advocate in state government. Under its current occupant, the Treasury has gone from being the taxpayers’ watchdog to the tax-spenders’ headquarters.”

Stapleton cited a wide range of policies pursued by the current treasurer and Gov. Bill Ritter, including the recent property tax increase, and attacks on the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) and the 6 percent spending cap, as hallmarks of the anti-taxpayer movement currently under way at the State Capitol. Stapleton said he would also put a new focus on preserving the state’s critically underfunded public-employee pension system to prevent the need for an infusion of taxpayer funds.

Stapleton has a bachelor’s degree from Williams College, a graduate degree from the London School of Economics and an MBA from Harvard University.

The Stapleton for Colorado finance team is co-chaired by business leaders Greg Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media Group, who was chairman of Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign in Colorado, and J. Landis (Lanny) Martin, founder of Platte River Ventures. The campaign’s treasurer is Joe Smith, Partner, Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP.

Stapleton’s candidacy is also supported by Charles Gallagher, chairman & CEO, Gallagher Enterprises; Hon. Jim Nicholson, former U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, former US Ambassador to Holy See; and former chairman, Republican National Committee; Mary Smith, former chair, Denver County Republicans; Jim Wallace, president, Brownlie, Wallace, Armstrong & Bander Exploration; Jack Vickers, CEO, Vickers Companies; Bill Hybl, chairman & CEO, El Pomar Foundation; Ron and Alysa Levine, partner, Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP; Bob and Christie Austin, CEO, Englewood Mortgage Company; Dick Robinson, CEO, Robinson Dairy; Raymond T. Duncan, chairman and CEO, Duncan Oil; Frederic Hamilton, chairman, The Hamilton Companies; Marc and Kristin Holtzman, vice chairman, Barclays Capital; Joe and Anne Ellis, COO, Denver Broncos; George Solich, president, Cordillera Energy Partners; Daniel Riff, portfolio manager, Janus Capital Group; Bart Bansbach, Columbine Realty; Meg Duke, community activist; Jeremy and Holly Arnold Kinney, president, Kinney Oil Company and owner, The Fort Restaurant; Alan F. Fox, Alan F. Fox Realty & Investment Company; Katie Wolfe Agron, owner, Scott & Wolfe Interiors; Brown and Mardi Cannon, president, Cannon Land Co.; Lynne and Bo Cottrell, community activists; Christine Burtt, president, CQB & Associates, Inc.; Sue Cannon, philanthropist; Jessica Corry, public policy analyst and former state Senate candidate; Nancy Petry, philanthropist; and Katherine Swalm Whitcomb, community activist.