PERRY: Getting up close and personal with Colorado candidates

Colorado Governor Jared Polis waves to supporters during a debate on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, in Pueblo, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

You’ve seen their endless commercials. You’ve hid from them when they’ve knocked on your front door. You’ve read their pricey mailers stuffed into your mailbox as they slid from your hands into the recycle bin.

But for all of this year’s claim that you think you know more than you ever wanted to about the herd of politicians fighting to be your elected official, The Sentinel has some tidbits I’ll bet you didn’t know.

Sure, a lot of it you don’t want to read through, and we’re sure you’re pleased that we did all that for you. But for all the political posturing, sound bites and muffin chokers, your next governor, commissioner, state senator and county assessor have unleashed during the past several months, they’re — mostly — funny and amusing people, when you can turn off the campaign promises.

Each election cycle, The Sentinel queries candidates about plenty of party planks and positions, but we also ask personal questions to give you a sense of who they are when you’re not watching.

The full collection is embedded in each race in our voter guide, online at by clicking here. 

Here are a few highlights gleaned from the big races.

Looking for some crazy fun or solid hedonism? Stay clear of the state’s next attorney general, no matter who it is. Dark suits. Good manners. Neither one has probably ever stayed up late in their lives.

GOP challenger — he’s a veteran — John Kellner’s bingey TV show? Band of Brothers. So serious.

His wild fun fact you’d never guess? OK, I might have guessed about his being in the reserves, but not considering it a fun fact. Somebody needs to help Kellner have some fun.

His big household chore to hate? Grocery shopping. He got a puppy and some ski boots. Promising.

But the superpower he covets? “Mind reading.”  I’m guessing Kellner has been surprised by how differently people have reacted to him, conflicting with what he expected.

Even more sad on the wild-and-crazy scale is his challenger, incumbent Democratic Attorney General Phil Weiser, whose go-to restaurant is: Panera. “I’m known as a regular there, and the staff all know that my favorite order is my signature iced tea.” One can only guess about the signature. Splash of Dr. Pepper? What a rebel.

He’s kind of a sad rebel with a serious taste for baseball rather than top eats. If he could have any super power?  Like anything? “Baseball trivia knowledge.” So sad. Probably to impress strangers at Panera.

He hates unloading the dishwasher at home.  However, in a purely partisan move, he  does like to do the grocery shopping. Look for that tidbit in an ad soon. 

Moving on to Congress, things get only slightly more exciting. Democrat Congressman Jason Crow just loves hitting up Noodles & Co. “I’m a parent of two young children active in sports…” Lucky kids. They just might like a soft and warm El Salvadoran tamal instead of more beige food at Noodles. Just saying.

Crow does have an imagination, kind of. His missing superpower? He wishes he could fly or be invisible. That’s better.

He loathes folding laundry and could watch Game of Thrones until the end of time or when Nancy Pelosi steps down, whichever.

Ask him about amphibians, and he’ll impress you.

His opponent, GOP challenger Steve Monahan, who has drawn praise from regional rags tabbed “liberal,” saw Elton John in Pompeii, his most recent concert.

Monahan was recently active duty. It explains why his most recent book read was, “The Second World Wars.” Zowie.

Sounds like he hates everything but yard work at his house. And few might know that he was the lead singer in a Navy band. That could be the point of a country western song. 

At least hanging with secretary of state types would be a little more interesting.

Republican hopeful Pam Anderson loves the vibe and food at Clancy’s in Wheat Ridge. Sweet.  Anyone who haunts the place can attest to stellar fish and chips as well as the shepherd’s pie. Just as great, if you’re wondering, are the Smithwicks “pints” and tons of live music.

She got to take in Lyle Lovett and the Nitty Gritty Dirt band at Red Rocks as a recent show.

She loves murder mysteries and science fiction, hates cleaning the bathroom, and a while back, she was a competitive runner, powering through a national heptathlon. If you have to ask…

Democrat Jena Griswold, the incumbent, last went concerting to a Tito Nieves show. Que Rico! A clear taste for things way south, her favorite dinner haunt is La Diabla.

And if she could super-power up? “Extendable arms, to always reach the kitchen top shelf.” Huh. T-Rex complex. Who doesn’t want to fly?

She hates on doing the dishes, and, surprise, she loves salsa music.

The surprises get more interesting when you move toward Colorado’s top Senate candidates, Democrat Incumbent Michael Bennet and GOP challenger Joe O’Dea.

Bennet’s last concert? Phish. Seriously. Who knew?

He loves El Taco De Mexico in Denver, a standby no matter how much heat you can take on your plate or on the Senate floor.

His wish for superpower? “Ending child poverty in America.” Ahhhh. Now we’re back to posturing.

He disdains gardening. A recent campaign video made on his front porch kinda gave that away. Please, water your planters, Senator. And fix the front door knob.

He’s a total Trekkie.

Bennet thinks his family’s deep Polish roots are his most surprising fun fact. Dude. You go to Phish concerts. Fly fishing didn’t come up anywhere.

For those who watch and listen to O’Dea, there are few surprises. He last saw the Eagles in Las Vegas, loves John Wayne movies and had a great time recently taking a horseback ride through Wetmore. That’s called a pattern.

He wishes, more than any other amazing thing he could do, he could “predict the future.”

I’ve seen the polling, Joe. You might not want to know.

He doesn’t like taking out the trash. Is that telling for someone who wants to be a politician?

During the pandemic, he really missed just stopping off at a bar for a beer. We recently found out he drinks Michelob Ultra on ice. Perhaps he just likes the company. 

Anyone who follows Democratic Gov. Jared Polis’ social media accounts or listens to him ad lib in public knows he has a deep-seated nerdy attraction to eye-rolling puns and layered wit.

The most “Colorado thing” he’s done recently? “Roasted (and subsequently tasted) chiles at the Pueblo Chile Fest!” Truly a Coloradan, and speaker of Spanish, he used the correct “chile” before subsequently roasting and tasting said chiles.

He hangs most often at his son’s “playtime” cafe, where the lattes rock.

Odder only than coveting a superpower allowing for knowing the future, like Bennet’s political opponent, Polis envies anyone who has “infinite wisdom.”

Huh. Listening to him talk, sometimes, I’d say he feels he’s pretty close to that.

He’s a total Trekkie, too, and over the years, he’s milked and mixed those metaphors and cliches like a pro.

He hates washing the dishes but is all about cooking. Next time, we’ll reach out to friends and family to see whether the “doers” are also the “mess makers.”

Finally, now you know Colorado’s governor regularly burns up broadband hours as a regular League of Legends player. Note to self: Ask state staff about his Summoner skills.

His Republican opponent, Heidi Ganahl, didn’t respond to several requests for campaign information and all the juicy details of her personal life.

Creator of Camp Bow Wow, and a self-inflicted critical wound over seeing imaginary “furries” in schools across the state, I’m guessing she doesn’t identify as Catwoman.

Follow @EditorDavePerry on Twitter and Facebook or reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected]


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5 months ago

Well good, now we all know what favorite ice cream, cookies and coffee all the candidates prefer. Yet out there lurking around the county about 75 to 85% of voters are more interested in that pesky problem of inflation, and the possibility of uncontrolled war in Ukraine. A presumption from the Joe O’dea team I would think taking up valuable campaigners time to interview a potential Federal legislator some pertinent insight would be the result. So it’s really good to know Joe doesn’t like to take out the trash but he does like Michelob Ultra Beer.