In a rapid-fire delivery laced with anecdotes and humor, Mike Johnston, the 42-year-old former Colorado state senator who in January was the first state Democrat to announce his run for governor’s seat, spent about an hour with Carbondale constituents on April 4.

He told more than 100 voters about his background in education, his determination to help immigrants get a better deal in everything from school to jobs, and his campaign plan to create “local leadership teams” around the state who can help him learn more about what the voters want from their government. He noted that the likely Democratic primary election, next June, already is shaping up as a crowded ticket, with such political heavyweights as U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter reportedly poised to enter the race.