Joann Ginal Wins Assembly Nomination; Clears HD-52 Primary Field

At Saturday’s Larimer County Democratic Assembly, Joann Ginal, candidate for House District 52, won a stunning 119 votes out of 132 voting delegates, or 90.15% of the vote, effectively ending a potential primary battle in her district.  

Her opponent, Tom Griggs, received 13 votes or 9.85% of the vote. Under Colorado law, a candidate who receives less than ten percent of the vote at assembly is ineligible to petition onto the primary ballot (CRS 1-4-801(4)(d)). Ginal is a new-comer candidate who defeated a longtime local Democratic fixture who had previously run for Mayor of Fort Collins and the State Board of Education.

On Saturday, Joann’s campaign sent out an announcement to supporters:

Fort Collins, CO — State House District 52 candidate Joann Ginal (D-Fort Collins) decisively won the HD-52 Democratic assembly today, which was held in conjunction with the Larimer County Democratic Party assembly at Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins. The assembly vote determines who will be listed on the Democratic primary ballot.

“I am honored to have earned the confidence and support of my fellow Democrats,” said Ginal. “As state representative, I will always fight for good paying jobs, funding for education, and for a clean and safe environment.”

Ginal was nominated by current Rep. John Kefalas and Nancy Tellez, former President of the Poudre School District Board of Education. The results secured the Democratic nomination for Ginal, clearing the field of opposition. Out of 132 voting delegates at the HD-52 assembly, Ginal received 119 votes, or 90.15% of the vote. Under Colorado law, a candidate who receives less than ten percent of the vote at assembly is ineligible to petition onto the primary ballot (CRS 1-4-801(4)(d)).

“Joann Ginal is a true public servant who will embody the values of Fort Collins as state representative,” said Democratic Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino. “The strength of her campaign and her deep support in the community proves she will win in November and be a strong voice for Fort Collins in the State House.”

Joann Ginal has worked in the biological and medical fields for more than 20 years as a teacher, researcher and most recently as a medical science liaison in medical affairs. She earned a Ph.D. in Reproductive Endocrinology from Colorado State University in 1997. Ginal served for eight years on the city’s Human Relations Commission; and prior to that for for eight years on the Commission of the Status of Women. As a Master Naturalist for the City of Fort Collins, Joann cares deeply about preserving the special places that make Fort Collins a nationally-recognized place to retire, buy a home, start a business or receive an education. Her campaign website is www.joannginal.com.



House District 52 represents the eastern half of Fort Collins. This is a district that has been in flux since 1992. According to the Colorado Statesman, it’s largely been in Republican hands until 2006.

In 2000, Democrat Bryan Jameson won the seat, and from 1992 to 2000 the district was represented for four terms by Republican Steve Tool.

Current State Representative John Kefalas, who is running for retiring Senator Bob Bacon’s seat, initially lost his first run in this district in 2004 by 500 votes to incumbent Bob McCluskey.

Kefalas came back in 2006 to narrowly win against McCluskey; he won re-election in 2008 against another rematch with McCluskey. In 2010, Kefalas ran and defeated Bob Morain, who was a last minute replacement for announced candidate Aislinn Kottwitz.

Current HD 52 Representative John Kefalas officially nominated her on Saturday. State Rep. Randy Fischer, a Democratic Representative for HD 53 in Fort Collins, has been an early supporter for Ginal since her announcement to run last November as well as a mentor to her campaign.

Her list of endorsements include local and statewide support–it reads as a veritable who’s who of Democratic activists (partial list below).

Randy Fischer

State Representative

Rhonda Fields

State Representative

John Kefalas

State Representative

Andy Kerr

State Representative

Angie Paccione

Former Representative

Sue Schafer

State Representative

Bernie Strom

Former State Representative

Gina Janett

Former Fort Collins City Mayor Pro Tem

Susan Kirkpatrick

Former Fort Collins Mayor

Barbara Liebler

Former Fort Collins and Loveland City Councilmember

Ben Manvel

Fort Collins City Councilmember

Lisa Poppaw

Fort Collins City Councilmember

Joan Shaffer

Loveland City Councilmember

Tom Balchak

Poudre School District Director

Doug Frisbie

Former Park School District Board Vice President

Ross Cunniff

Former Poudre School District Director

Cathy Kipp

Poudre School District Director

James Ross

Poudre School District Director

John Stegner

Former Member of the CSU Board of Governors

Nancy Tellez

Poudre School District Director

When I first wrote about Joann’s announcement to run back in November 2011, I noted the following:

Notably, Joann is the first LGBT candidate to run for office in this district and is now the fourth announced openly LGBT candidate running for the legislature in 2012.

…Joann has done plenty of knocking on doors for local candidates and has a good idea of the time and dime involved in running for the State House.

Considering the concerted attack from the Republican Party against women, I’m particularly pleased to see a candidate in this race with real life experience in women’s health.

CAREER: Over 20 years in the Healthcare Industry.

1. Specialized in increasing market access to contraception and estrogen replacement therapy.

2. Joann helped physicians make critical decisions about medications to save patients’ lives.

The Larimer Republican County Assembly is March 24 and Democrats are eager to run against newly announced Republican candidate Jim O’Neill.

This is a seat Democrats intend to fight hard to hold onto. With the coalescing around Ginal from Democrats from around the state, Ginal is taking nothing for granted. In four short months, she has raised over $16,000 and has over $14,000 cash on hand as of the end of January. She managed to outraise her primary opponent who announced nearly three months prior to her entering the race.

Now that the prospect of a potential primary is in her rear view mirror, Ginal can concentrate on making her case for why she is the best choice to represent HD 52.  

8 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

    • Middle of the Road says:

      she comes from a really interesting, working class background. From her website:

      Joann was raised in a working-class family. Her father served in the Navy in World War II and was a police officer for more than 25 years. Her mother stayed at home, raising three children and was a dedicated community volunteer…She has worked at minimum-wage jobs, on a factory assembly line and as a college teacher

  1. MileHighMessiah.com says:

    Can only take her on now if a Dem petitions on the ballot for the primary. But with those endorsements, doubt anybody would want to try.

    Tom is out as a dem opponent, but there may be some challenger out there that still wants to run against her.  

  2. allyncooper says:

    She’s certainly got the resume and sounds like she has the necessary evil of fundraising mastered as well. I’ll be watching this race.

    • Middle of the Road says:

      She’s such a strong candidate and has the backing of grassroots activists as well as long time, respected members of the political community. Her endorsement page speaks volumes about how many people from all walks of political life have lined up to back her.

      And more good news in another potential House primary–Paul Rosenthal got 80+% of the delegates, beating McMullen and McMullen has officially dropped out of the race, paving the way for Rosenthal to run unopposed.

      Dems are really getting their act together statewide and running some excellent candidates. Coming together behind the strongest candidate to help take back the House is imperative and it’s nice to see it happening.  

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