AURORA | It was standing room only Friday afternoon at JJ’s Place, where Danny Moore formally accepted the nomination to be Heidi Ganahl’s running mate in her campaign to unseat Jared Polis as next governor of Colorado.
Neither Ganahl nor Moore permitted questions from reporters, despite widespread criticism of Moore earlier this week stemming from election denier social media posts he made last year.
Moore and Ganahl both gave short speeches to the enthusiastic crowd at the restaurant owned by Aurora City Councilmember Danielle Jurinsky. The event had been rescheduled from Wednesday due to a conflict with the 10 year anniversary of the Aurora theater shooting.
Ganahl was more confrontational in her remarks, calling out the need to defeat Polis’ “far-left agenda” while Moore emphasized that if elected he would work tirelessly “for prosperity and security” for all Coloradans.
“In these challenging times, we do not need divisiveness,” he said.
Both candidates criticized Polis for spending millions of his own fortune in the gubernatorial race.
“We may not outspend him, but we are going to outwork him,” Moore said to cheers. “It’s time for a change.”
Ganahl said that she selected Moore to be lieutenant governor because of his heart, his leadership skills and his business acumen. She touted their connection as entrepreneurs who had both started successful businesses, and praised Moore for his military service.
“I’m honored that Danny has taken up the call to serve again,” she said.
Earlier this month, Ganahl indicated she had selected a Hispanic leader from rural Colorado to serve as running mate. After a delay from when she was scheduled to announce her selection, Moore was then announced on Monday.
“This ticket is the most diverse that our state has ever seen,” said Moore, who is Black.
Moore is a retired Navy master chief and president and CEO of DeNOVO Solutions, an Aurora-based defense contractor.
He was formerly the chair of Colorado’s Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission, but was removed by a vote after 9News reported that he had made social media posts casting unproven doubts on the results of the 2020 presidential election.
The announcement created a social media and news stir, focusing on Moore’s past comments.
In an interview with the KOA radio station Monday, Ganahl said that “Danny is not an election denier.”
Neither Moore nor Ganahl took questions from the press at the event.
On Social media Moore also referred to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus” and referred to CNN as the “Chineses [sic] News Network” according to reporting from the Colorado Sun and other outlets.
That prompted criticism from Harry Budisidharta, president of Aurora’s Asian Pacific Development Center.
“Very disappointed that Heidi Ganahl chose a running mate that has made blatantly racist and offensive remarks regarding the Chinese community,” Budisidharta said on Twitter after Moore was announced.
Neither candidate addressed the controversy during their brief speeches.
Other Aurora residents, however, were enthusiastic about Moore.
Kat Gelinas came to JJ’s with two of her friends because she knows someone who works on the campaign and was curious to hear what Moore has to say. All three of them came away encouraged.
The group said they were unhappy with Polis’ leadership during the pandemic and wanted leaders who would not raise taxes or enforce public health mandates.
“That is worth the vote right there for me,” said Jojo Codori.
They also appreciated that Moore mentioned his Christian faith in his speech and the fact that he was a veteran.
“The discipline and the love for country and state he has is huge,” Gelinas said.