Gov. Jared Polis has appointed his former gubernatorial rival, Republican Walker Stapleton, as his designee on the economic body that seeks to attract companies to Colorado and assists businesses with their expansion plans in the state.
Stapleton, who lost to Polis in the 2018 governor’s race, served two terms as state treasurer.
In a statement, the Polis administration said bipartisan cooperation is crucial to Colorado’s economic recovery, and Stapleton’s appointment to the Economic Development Commission helps secure interparty commitment to support and strengthen the state’s small businesses.
“A strong recovery with the healing we need to overcome the pandemic induced challenges and divides means we need an all hands on deck approach from Democrats, Republicans and independents to put our state and our people first,” Polis said in a statement. “That’s why I am thrilled to appoint Walker Stapleton to one of the most important commissions in our state.”
Polis said companies in California and Texas are looking for new homes.
“And we want those good jobs right here in Colorado. That’s why I’m proud to name Walker Stapleton to the Economic Development Commission board as an experienced champion for growing strong businesses right here in Colorado and look forward to working with him to make life more affordable for business owners and community members with even better opportunities to thrive,” the governor said.
Stapleton thanked the governor for the opportunity to serve the public again.
“I look forward to working hard on this commission to ensure that Colorado’s economy thrives. Colorado always works better when people set aside their differences and work together to solve problems. This is what today is all about,” he said in a statement.
First elected as treasurer in 2010, Stapleton successfully ran for reelection in 2014 before jumping into the governor’s race four years later.
The Colorado Economic Development Commission is an 11-member body whose members are appointed by legislators and the governor. The commission oversees several initiatives, including the Advanced Industries Accelerator Programs, Enterprise Zone Program, Rural Jump-Start Program and Strategic Fund Job Growth Incentive.