Heidi Ganahl

University of Colorado Regent Heidi Ganahl shares conversation at a legislative launch party on Jan. 15, 2020, at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver.

Republican Heidi Ganahl planned to kick off her Colorado gubernatorial campaign with a seven-day state tour starting Tuesday in Monument, followed by additional stops through the day in major Front Range cities, her campaign said.

Ganahl, an at-large member of the University of Colorado Board of Regents and the only Republican currently holding office statewide, filed paperwork Friday to challenge Democratic Gov. Jared Polis in next year's election. On Monday, she posted a brief video online that shows her hiking in an evergreen forest and addressing a crowd in front of American flags, along with the words, "Stay tuned ..."

Ganahl's long-awaited campaign — teased for months in speeches before Republican groups and in a weekly column that ran until recently in the Denver Gazette, a sister publication of Colorado Politics — formally launched at 8 a.m. Tuesday at Rosie's Diner, a restaurant in Monument, her campaign said in a release.

The candidate headed north on Interstate 25 after that, with six more stops before nightfall. Ganahl's campaign plans to take the tour to the Eastern Plains on Wednesday and continue around the state through next Monday. A campaign spokeswoman said additional itineraries will be released each day.

Ganahl founded Camp Bow Wow, a national chain of dog day care centers, and sold the businesses in 2014. She has founded several nonprofits, including the Fight Back Foundation, and runs SheFactor, a digital and lifestyle platform, with her 24-year-old daughter, Tori Ganahl.

Tuesday's campaign schedule includes events at:

  • 9:30 a.m. at Festival Park in Castle Rock
  • 11:15 a.m. at Camp Bow Wow in Centennial
  • 12:15 p.m. at JJ's Place in Aurora
  • 1:30 p.m. at Hoffbrau in Westminster
  • 4 p.m. at Howling Cow Cafe in Fort Collins
  • 6 p.m. at Roche Construction in Greeley

Ganahl lives in Lone Tree with her husband, Jason Ganahl, owner of GQue BBQ restaurants in Lone Tree, Westminster and at Empower Field at Mile High. They have four children.

Eleven Republicans have filed to run for governor in next year's election, though only three of the candidates other than Ganahl have reported raising any money — first-time candidates Laurie Clark and Danielle Neuschwanger, as well as former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez, who finished third in the 2018 GOP gubernatorial primary. In addition to Polis, one first-time candidate has filed to run for the Democratic nomination, and three unaffiliated candidates have thrown their hats in the ring.

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