During a recent interview on Colorado Public Radio. the Democrat declared the COVID-19 emergency is "over" and stated he won't declare another statewide mask mandate.
"The truth is," he told CPR, "we now have highly effective vaccines that work far better than masks."
In the interview, the liberal correspondent pushed Polis to continue a mandatory mask mandate statewide.
"That's the kinda thing I didn't hesitate to do in the emergency. The emergency is over," Polis replied.
Gordon Klingenschmitt, a former Colorado State representative, says the motive is purely political because the first-term governor fears the “wrath” of angry voters next year.
Polis, a wealthy businessman and former congressman, became the country’s first openly homosexual governor when he handily defeated state treasurer Walker Stapleton, 53%-42%.
Colorado has been a “blue” state for years. Hillary Clinton won the state in 2016 47%-44% over Donald Trump, and Bill Owens was the last Republican governor elected when he won in 1999.
Looking ahead to 2022, Klingenschmitt says Polis could face a formidable Republican challenger, Greg Lopez, next year.
Lopez, a former mayor, is a U.S. Air Force veteran who led the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce years ago. He most recently oversaw a Small Business Administration post for Colorado from 2008 to 2014.
“Right now Greg Lopez appears to be the frontrunner,” Klingenschmitt advises. “I think he can and should defeat Jared Polis in the General Election -- if only he had some fundraising help."