The University of Colorado Board of Regents is due for some new blood in 2020 with three positions up for election.
One contentious race has the potential to flip the board majority from Republican to Democrat for the first time since the 1970s. Regardless of party, the nine-member board hasn’t had three newcomers at once since 2008.
“Three new regents on a board of nine is a good challenge in terms of how they become part of the team, who they see as their constituents and dealing with all of the important issues moving forward,” said Glen Gallegos, R-Grand Junction, who serves as board chair.
The regents serve staggered six-year terms. One is elected from each of Colorado’s seven congressional districts and two are elected from the state at large. The board is responsible for governing the four-campus, multibillion-dollar university system, making decisions about how CU spends money and who should be selected as university president when the time comes.
Democrat Callie Rennison, Republican Dick Murphy and Libertarian Christian Vernaza will be facing off in the Democratic stronghold of District 2 to replace incumbent Linda Shoemaker.
Democrat Nolbert Chavez is running unopposed for outgoing Democrat Irene Griego’s seat in District 7.
The District 6 race — covering a wide swath of the north, east and south Denver area — is garnering the most attention, with Republican Richard Murray, Democrat Ilana Spiegel and Unity candidates Christopher Otwell and Robert Worthey competing to replace outgoing John Carson, R-Highlands Ranch.
“The big issue is will the political control of the board flip from Republican to Democrat?” said Ken McConnellogue, CU system spokesman.
CU is one of just a handful of universities in the nation whose governing boards are chosen through partisan political elections. The board has long been criticized for its partisan nature,