UPDATE #3: Nate Marshall not ready to formally resign as candidate in HD-23 (h/t to Ernest Luning of the Colorado Statesman). In a diatribe posted on Marshall's website (all CAPS is how it appears on Marshall's site), the candidate says that Jeffco GOP Chair Bill Tucker "[threw] him under the bus":
I AM DONE WITH THE RACE BUT I WILL NOT FILE THE PAPERWORK UNTIL THE JEFFERSON COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY AND COLORADO GOP MAKE AMENDS WITH THE TEAPARTY WHO BETTER REPRESENT CONSERVATIVES THAN RINOS LIKE BILL TUCKER. WE DO NOT NEED SELLOUTS LIKE HAVE INFECTED THE STATE AND COUNTY PARTY! WE NEED TRUE CONSERVATIVES.
BY STATE LAW YOU CANNOT BE REMOVED FROM A BALLOT UNLESS YOU SIGN A NOTARIZED FORM OF WHICH I POSSESS BUT HAVE DECIDED NOT TO FILE. I MAY JUST SIT ON THE DESIGNATION AND GIVE THE SEAT TO THE DEMOCRATS.. IMAGINE IF THEY GET 32-32 AND IN ORDER TO GET THE MAJORITY ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS WELL RESPECT THAT I LEGALLY AND MORALLY HOLD ALL THE CARDS AS I WAS LEGALLY AND CONSTITUTIONALLY DESIGNATED.
I DO NOT WANT TO RUN AND AM NOT BUT AM LEFT WITH LITTLE CHOICE BUT TO PROTECT MYSELF AND FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES BY STANDING UP TO THESE RINO BULLIES AS BEST I CAN.
We'll continue to update this story as it develops.
UPDATE #2: The Colorado Independent confirms big news from Republican Rick Enstrom (who ran in HD-23 in 2012) that Nate Marshall was recruited to run by Tim Neville, the Republican candidate in SD-16 who has been endorsed by RMGO:
Embattled Colorado state House candidate Nathaniel Marshall was reportedly recruited to run for office by state Senate candidate Tim Neville, a prominent Colorado Republican politician with close ties to far-right kingmaker Dudley Brown…
…Rick Enstrom, a prominent candy business executive and onetime Republican House candidate, tweeted Wednesday that Marshall told him that he was recruited to run by Neville. Today Enstrom confirmed that assertion in a phone interview.
“I’m not running for anything, and Tim Neville is a friend of mine but, hey, the facts are the facts,” he told the Colorado Independent.
This is a pretty significant twist to how a white supremacist career criminal could become the Republican nominee for House District 23. While Neville may claim that he didn't know about Marshall's past, it's hard to
believe that you could have conversations with the guy and not suspect anything strange. Anyone who followed Marshall on Facebook or Twitter would have seen some of this stuff.
UPDATE: Marshall drops out of the race, telling the Denver Post, "I didn't think things through."
For anyone hoping to win a statewide election in Colorado, there is no more important county than Jefferson. In fact, it is virtually impossible to win a statewide election if you don't at least split Jefferson County. In both 2012 and 2010, no county in Colorado cast more ballots than Jefferson, and more importantly, the voter makeup of Jeffco makes it competitive for both Democrats and Republicans (unlike Denver and El Paso, for example, which are solidly Democratic and Republican counties, respectively). Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner acknowledged as much at last Saturday's county assembly, affirming the old adage that "as Jefferson County goes, so goes the state."
But with just seven months until Election Day, the Jefferson County Republican Party is imploding.
The latest scandal in a series of problems in Jeffco comes in HD-23, where Republicans just nominated a white supremacist-sympathizer with a criminal record longer than the Party platform. Pols reader EliotFladen posted a diary about Republican candidate Nate Marshall earlier on Thursday, and here's the latest from Lynn Bartels of the Denver Post:
A Republican House candidate who has been asked to resign because of ties to white supremacists and his arrest record said sometimes he gets so frustrated he gets carried away.
"I wasn't hating on anybody," Nate Marshall of Lakewood said Thursday.
The 42-year-old construction manager said he had planned to disclose his arrest record on his campaign website. "I talked to a fundraiser Wednesday who said because I was going to disclose it, it would have been mitigated," Marshall said.
But he said before he could do so The Denver Post on Wednesday reported on his arrest by Steamboat Springs police investigating a Craigslist rental scam, and referred to the white supremacist blog. He asked if the Post could remove its articles, noting he made restitution in the rental situation and the case was dismissed.
Marshall also said he's not a white supremacist, but he is a "big fan" of a Greek group called Golden Dawn that preaches fiscal austerity. Critics have called it a neo-Nazi or fascist group, but Marshall said while it is a "little bit militant" some members have won political races.
Those paragraphs are really just the tip of the iceberg for Nate Marshall, and now Jeffco Republican Party Chair Bill Tucker is demanding his resignation just days after he was nominated to be the GOP candidate in HD-23. At Saturday's county assembly, Marshall was the only candidate who stepped forward to run in the Lakewood-area district now represented by Democrat Max Tyler. How did Marshall slip through the cracks? And can Republicans really persuade him to drop his bid for State House? After all, they did vote for him as their candidate less than a week ago, and Marshall only needs to resist their call for a few more days and he becomes their candidate by default.
All of these Republican problems take place in the midst of hand-wringing over issues such as abortion, where hard-line stances from GOP candidates are turning off Republican voters.
As if these problems weren't enough, one of the GOP's few incumbents, Rep. Justin Everett, is having all sorts of trouble in the State House and was recently removed from two committees by the House Minority Leader. And then there's the new Jefferson County School Board, which has been so blatantly corrupt that it has created a resurgence among public school advocates and PTA types — a serious problem for the GOP in a county that has historically been heavily-focused on education issues. One of the new Jeffco School Board members, Julie Williams, is Tim Neville's sister-in-law.
If Republicans can't straighten things out in Jefferson County, it could well cripple the GOP's hopes at winning statewide races for Governor and U.S. Senate. Candidates at the top of the ticket can give a boost to other hopefuls down-ballot, but it can also work in reverse; if voters are disgusted enough with their local Republicans, it will impact the final tally for Gardner and other GOP hopefuls running statewide.