We are fast approaching the point where it will make more sense to announce the names of Republicans who are not running for Governor in 2018.
As the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman reports, Colorado Springs entrepreneur/pastor/author Barry Farah is getting ready to join an increasingly-crowded field of candidates seeking the GOP gubernatorial nomination. Barry’s wife, Tamra Farah — the Deputy State Director for Americans for Prosperity in Colorado — took to Twitter today to make it clear that this is no pretend “exploratory” run:
— Tamra Farah (@TamraFarah) August 24, 2017
Farah is not a name you should recognize unless you are regularly involved with Republican fundraising efforts in Colorado. Farah is a donor to the Koch Brothers political network and an admitted supporter of President Trump who authored a strange half-hearted explanation for his Trump vote in an Op-Ed for the Colorado Springs Gazette that was published just prior to Election Day in 2016. According to a bio on his personal website, Farah is the “CEO of Precocity LLC, a leading-edge technology company specializing in delivering end-to-end customer experience strategy.” Whatever that means.
In short, Farah is (another) wealthy businessman with established connections to the GOP donor network. If you’re having trouble figuring out what political niche Farah plans to fill in the Republican field for governor (other than the role of Kent Thiry’s lookalike) you’re not alone. Republicans already have a handful of “Barry Farahs” running for the top job in the state, including Victor Mitchell, Mitt Romney’s Nephew, and soon-to-be-declared-candidate Walker Stapleton.
The fascinating thing about Farah’s candidacy for governor is what it says about the Republican field in general: There is no candidate who can scare off potential challengers and claim the role of frontrunner.
In the last few decades, both Democrats and Republicans have tended to coalesce early around one or two candidates for the top offices in Colorado. This changed in the 2016 GOP Senate primary, when Republicans fielded what seemed like dozens of different candidates, and perhaps that odd field was a harbinger of a changing political landscape for Colorado Republicans.
By the end of this year the number of GOP candidates for governor should surpass double-digits. Some Republicans will claim that this is a healthy sign of competition, but with this large of a field, things can quickly become more of a melee than a tournament.