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Governor Polis appoints 2018 campaign rival to economic development post

Former state treasurer Walker Stapleton, a Republican, has accepted Polis’ appointment to Colorado’s Economic Development Commission.

DENVER — Colorado Governor Jared Polis is bringing in the Republican who ran against him in 2018 to help guide Colorado’s economic development strategy.

Former state treasurer Walker Stapleton has accepted Polis’ appointment to Colorado’s Economic Development Commission (EDC), which shapes strategies to retain and expand business in the state.

Polis, a Democrat, has the power to appoint five members of the EDC. The other six are selected by the state legislature, which is also controlled by Democrats.

“Regardless of what Walker might think of some of my politics and what I think of some of his politics, I think we both respect each other as successful businesspeople,” Polis told 9NEWS’ Kyle Clark in a joint interview with Stapleton on Wednesday.

“It’s also important to show that economic development isn’t something that Democrats do or that Republicans do or that Independents do,” Polis said. “It takes all of us. It shouldn’t be ideological. We are all on the same team.”

FULL INTERVIEW: Polis, Walker on business, bipartisanship and changing politics

Stapleton praised Polis for maintaining Colorado’s position as a low-tax state.

“Economic development touches every part of our state,” Stapleton said. “It’s a great opportunity to for me to once again serve Colorado.”

“We’re living in such a hyper-partisan world now,” Stapleton said. “The idea that people can’t break bread together and have a relationship just because they are affiliated with different political parties is ridiculous to me.”

Stapleton is Polis’ second high-profile Republican appointee in recent weeks, following Polis’ selection of Ken Montera to fill an open seat on the University of Colorado Board of Regents.

“We just want to appoint the best people,” Polis said. “Walker is the best person for this role.”

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