CD-2 GOP Primary: Nikkel vs. Lundberg?

Former Rep. BJ Nikkel.

With Rep. Jared Polis now running for governor of Colorado instead of re-election to his CD-2 seat, Republicans can be reasonably expected to mount a more vigorous challenge in 2018 than they might have otherwise. In 2014 and 2016, Rep. Polis faced two Republican challenges who could best be described as “minor candidates,” and defeated them both by substantially wider margins than the partisan spread for voters in the district.

With Polis now trading up, speculation for a Republican CD-2 challenger is focusing as of this writing on two possible candidates: state Sen. Kevin Lundberg, the arch-conservative state lawmaker who lost against Polis in 2012, and former state Rep. BJ Nikkel. Nikkel, who earned praise on both sides of the aisle for her support for civil unions legislation in 2012, was a major local proponent of now-President Donald Trump’s campaign–a gamble that could pay off now in the form of high-level support if she were to run for Congress, though it leaves her vulnerable with the anti-Trump majority of voters in general.

To be clear, Republicans are not deluded about their chances of winning in this Democratic-leaning district, and privately acknowledge that a destructively bitter Democratic primary is one of the few viable paths to competitiveness here. Given Sen. Lundberg’s propensity for just plain wacky fringe-right public statements, we would argue that Nikkel is the candidate of choice for any Republican looking seriously at competing in this race.

Or, you know, somebody else. But at this point it’s tough to see who that might be.

23 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ModeratusModeratus says:

    It is not a liability to support the President of the United States. Sorry libs.

  2. Genghis says:

    Based on her service as spokesperson for multiple fake grassroots organizations created to combat fracking initiatives at the local level, Nikkel would likely get a lot of financial support from the oil and gas industry.

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      yes Genghis. Nikkel was the communications director for the Loveland Energy Action Project, a fake grassroots O&G funded  propaganda outfit that worked to defeat the Loveland moratorium on fracking. This piece in the Camera shows her at her oily best: advocating for local control by saying that the Loveland citizens already have enough local control and don't need any more.

      I got to see her in action during some of the hearings on the "Blue Ribbon Commission". She wasn't a member, but you could not shut her up about how wonderful oil and gas development was. Very slick and charming – and lying her ass off. She also put out misinformation on the Larimer County families who wanted to deny Peterson Oil the right to drill near schools.

      I went back and looked at my notes from that 6/24/17 meeting on rules 17 and 20 of Colorado Oil Gas Conservation Commission hearing. This was the last chance for the public to have any input on the rules, after Jared undermined the initiatives, after months and months of meetings. Some people had driven 4-5 hours to get there to have a say, and the little room at the rec center was packed.

      Ms. Nikkel was acting as sort of an emcee, but she did not shut up Greeley gasbag Steve Merino when he talked for 20 minutes about what a great guy he was and how eco-friendly. She did not limit any of the other oil and gas reps who were there basically to say, “Suck it up! This is all you’re ever gonna get.” However, Nikkel vigorously “shushed” any regular folks who wanted to speak about the impact of unregulated oil and gas development on their homes, their health, their livestock, their property values, their lives. Those folks, she did NOT want to listen to. It was “Don’t go away mad….just go away.” And people did. Mad, though. So even though she’s adorable and smiles a lot and has great speaking skills, I watch what Nikkel does, rather than what she says. And what she does is advocate for oil and gas.

      She voted the right way on Civil Unions in 2012, but she has been nothing but a fountain of propaganda for the oil and gas industry since.

      • Genghis says:

        She voted the right way on Civil Unions in 2012, but she has been nothing but a fountain of propaganda for the oil and gas industry since.

        Exactly so, MJ. Nikkel has impressive advocacy skills. If only she'd use them for good instead of evil.

        • nikkelj says:

          Ok, Gandalf.  My mother is not evil.  Maybe if you make your speech even more hyperbolic, people will listen to what you say…

          • Genghis says:

            Ok, Gandalf.

            lol nameburn

            My mother is not evil.

            Assuming B.J. Nikkel is your mother, I never said she was. Reading comprehension isn't a strength of yours, is it?

             Maybe if you make your speech even more hyperbolic, people will listen to what you say…

            Thanks for the tip! I'll give it a try.

            • VoyageurVoyageur says:

              You pretty much did say she was evil.

              • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

                A person can do evil, yet not be evil. Telling lies in the interest of industry profits, against the interests of the health and welfare of the community, is to do evil.

                Yet, as I said, she can be charming and persuasive. A formidable woman.

                • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                  So anyone who disagrees with you, especially on anything to do with energy, is a succubus of Satan.  But that doesn't make them evilsmiley

                  • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

                    "Succubus of Satan" is a nice phrase. Yours.Save it to name a racehorse.
                    That mind reading thing is not working again; you might want to bang your head on the desk a few times, see if that fixes it.

                    The way I see it, on the R side, CD2 has a choice between a bible thumping gun-worshipping religious nut (Lundberg), and a very slick oil and gas lobbyist (Nikkel).

                    Good thing there will be Dems running for the seat.

  3. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Sorry Moddy. But after less than 5 months, supporting Trump is turning into a big time liability (when are those thousands of coal mining jobs due back? Kindly refresh my memory). 

    VG does have a point in that, at the time here in Colorado, Trump was marginally preferable to Ted "give me that old time religion" Cruz. 

  4. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    I'm going to be an outlier here, but I really like BJ.  Although we differ politically, she's a good person. 

  5. RepealAndReplace says:

    One thing which will hurt Nikkel in the primary: she's not homophobic. You can't have a solid Republican candidate without that. 

    • Genghis says:

      That's entirely possible. Nikkel not only supported and voted for the civil unions law during her last session in the state legislature (which was the best the legislature could do for same sex couples at the time given the state of Colorado's constitution), but also signed an amicus brief filed with SCOTUS in 2013 arguing that same sex couples have a federal constitutional right to marry. The big-government right wing authoritarians would surely prefer Lundberg in that regard.

      • FrankUnderwood says:

        That begs the question: W.W.M.M.D. if asked for an endorsement…..

        B.J. Nikkel worked for Marilyn Musgrave when the old witch represented C.D. 4. If asked to make an endorsement, I wonder who Musty would back….

        I had forgotten that Nikkel was one of the Republicans who signed the marriage equality amicus brief. Even more courageous of her! 

        • Conserv. Head Banger says:

          I also like BJ. But I don't live in that district. Polis will leave big shoes to fill, from his steadfast advocacy for public lands. I know Lundberg would likely be another Lamborn in that regard. Don't know about BJ. 

  6. Former Fort Collins City Councilmember Gino Campana might be interested – see http://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2017/01/27/campana-opts-out-run-fort-collins-council/97085906/

    Will his interest in politics and public service drive him to seek higher office? Could Congress and a change of career be in the future? Maybe.

    “I would say nothing is off the table,” he said.

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