Democrat Dave Young was elected to a second four-year term as Colorado’s treasurer on Tuesday, defeating Republican Lang Sias, a former state representative.
Sias conceded at about 9 p.m., at which point Young had 54% of the vote to Sias’ 43%.
“I’m excited to continue the work that we started over the last four years,” Young said in an acceptance speech at the Art Hotel in downtown Denver Tuesday night.
Young added that he’s looking forward to the start of the Colorado Secure Savings Program and that he will focus on the state’s infrastructure challenges in his second term.
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“I want a state that can thrive, not just survive and in the next term will be working on those things,” he said. “The treasurer should look out in the future, I’m looking 20, 30, 40 years in the future.”
He also thanked Sias for calling him to concede and for keeping a positive, policy-focused race.
In his concession speech at the DoubleTree Hotel in Greenwood Village, Sias said he would continue to look for ways to serve the state.
“I had hoped that our message of restoring some balance to our statewide leadership on economic issues and focusing on reducing costs and inflation for Colorado families and small businesses would resonate,” he said. “The voters had a different plan.”
The treasurer’s duties include overseeing the state’s money, handling its investments and serving on the board for the Public Employees’ Retirement Association. The treasurer also manages Colorado’s unclaimed property program.
Young, a Greeley resident, is a former math and science teacher. He served as a state representative from 2011 to 2019, including as a member of the Joint Budget Committee, which writes Colorado’s budget. He was elected state treasurer in 2018.
Throughout his campaign Young emphasized his track record as treasurer, touting programs such as Colorado’s Secure Savings Program, which requires most business owners to enroll in a state-run retirement program for their workers if they don’t already offer a 401(k) or something similar. He has said he’s interested in reforming Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights, which among other things, requires the state to get voter approval for any tax increases.
Young has also said he’s interested in using the state’s pension program, the Public Employees’ Retirement Association, or PERA, to invest in companies that prioritize sustainability. He said he would use a second term to focus on the state’s infrastructure struggles, including affordable housing, education, water and transportation.
Sias was a state representative for four years before running unsuccessfully in 2018 to be Colorado’s lieutenant governor on a ticket with GOP candidate Walker Stapleton. He also ran unsuccessfully for state Senate in 2014 and for Congress in 2010. Sias, a former fighter pilot in the Navy and Air National Guard, lives in Arvada and works as a pilot for FedEx. He also currently serves on a bipartisan subcommittee of lawmakers and citizens overseeing PERA.
Sias campaigned on “restoring some balance” to the state’s offices. He honed in on attacking Young over his support of changing TABOR. Sias is a staunch supporter of the law.
Young outspent Sais $632,000 to $180,000 through Oct. 26. Super PAC Americans Rise Together Colorado spent $100,000 on digital advertising supporting Young in the final two weeks of the campaign. A Republican super PAC, Colorado Dawn, spent about $17,000 on digital ads and mailers supporting Sais.
Colorado Sun correspondent Sandra Fish contributed to this report