Welker Pressure Had Been Mounting

Republican Rep. Jim “Colorado’s Dumbest Legislator” Welker surprised assemby-goers in Larimer County on Saturday by announcing that he would not run for re-election, but the move did not shock many GOP Party leaders, some of whom has been asking him to step aside for some time. As the Rocky Mountain News reports, the pressure on Welker had been mounting:

Rep. Jim Welker’s announcement this weekend that he won’t seek re-election came as no surprise to many of his fellow Republican lawmakers. For weeks, they have been pulling the Loveland lawmaker aside to quietly discuss his controversial gaffes and how they would play into a campaign should he decide to run again.

House Minority Leader Mike May, R-Parker, met with Welker a number of times. Republican Gov. Bill Owens also talked to Welker. So did other Republican lawmakers, who reminded him the party was going to have spend a lot of money to defend a seat that traditionally is a shoo-in for the GOP.

“He knew the situation he was in,” May said Sunday. “Jim did not want us to lose that seat. And he knew the likelihood that the other side was going to spend a lot of money pummeling him, and who wants to go through that?”

Welker could not be reached for comment Sunday…

…May said the governor contacted him and asked whether he should speak to Welker about the party’s concerns. May said he told Owens to go ahead. “Nobody told Jim not to run, but Republicans laid out the situation,” May said. “We were all concerned.”

Former state Sen. Norma Anderson, R-Lakewood, said Sunday she’s not surprised Owens intervened. “Bill Owens is conservative, but he’s not a nut,” she said. “The governor knew that if Welker stayed in the race, Democrats could say, ‘See, look at what kind of Republicans we have in this state. Look at Jim Welker.’ Welker did the right thing by agreeing not to run.”

Welker’s decision not to run for re-election may make Democrats happy in the short-term, but from a strategic perspective this is a big advantage for Republicans. Welker was more than beatable after everything he had done and said, despite his conservative district, but a Republican candidate with a?clean slate should now be the frontrunner in November.


17 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. watcher says:

    Rep. Welker was not “more than beatable” if he had stayed in the race for re-election.  But, his race was not the real struggle.  The real struggle for Republicans would have been how to offset  the Democrats making Welker the face of the R party statewide. That’s why Welker was taken aside by various Repub leaders, including Gov. Owens. 

    Smart move on the R side.  Who will the “Face of the Republican Party” be now?

  2. Sam I Am says:

    If anyone was wondering whether Norma Anderson is the embodiment of evil, please refer to the number of times she is quoted by the MSM about things she has nothing to do with.

  3. Stygius says:

    Kevin Lundberg? He’s a gem.

  4. brio says:

    Agreed, Watcher.  Perhaps some mileage out of introducing a bill that could profit Lockheed by hundreds of millions, shortly after the $100,000 contribution by Lockheed?

  5. not sure says:

    Welker, Wiens and Lundberg are not the only selfish GrOPer’s in the State House.  Dont forget Stengel, Jones, Schulthies and the many many more like them.

  6. Memory check says:

    The die may already be cast for the fall elections, and it’s not clear that heaving loyal Republicans over the side helps anyone but Democrats. I suspect that when all was said and done, Rep. Welker would have been forgiven and reelected. Rewarding his years of loyal service by forcing him out under a cloud does not help the cause. Shame on Gov. Owens.

  7. not sure says:

    SadDay?  Are you actually defending Welker and his actions, some of which are being investigated on a federal level?  The man is no good for his district let alone this state.  He asks for his district to pray for him while at the legislature (in his e-mails and at town hall meetings), but he condemns those who have suffered severly in N.O.  He claims to be a protector of privacy while he sells out his own constituency!  He is neither compassionate nor civil.  The guy will not be missed.

  8. Memory check says:

    Jim Welker is a man of principle who sought not to advance himself but the causes he believed in. And he advanced those causes energetically and ably for many years, enraging Democrats and apparently some in his own party. Certainly, Jim has been pilloried in the press. But those who know Jim know that he is passionate in his beliefs. They also know that he is human, and that humans are fallible. But to be human is also to forgive. With his career in ruins, and his public reputation in tatters – in no small part due to those he trusted most, Jim has paid a steep price. Jim’s critics can cheer what they think is a victory – tearing down an imperfect man who happens to be a conservative. They should know that destroying a conservative is not to destroy conservatism.

  9. watcher says:

    A long time ago in what seems like a country far away, I was taught neither to whine nor sulk when I lost and to be gracious and humble when I won. 

    Still sounds like good advice.

  10. Testing says:

    Good advice indeed, Watcher.
      In war: resolution. In defeat: defiance. In victory: magnanimity. In peace: goodwill.
    –Winston Churchill (no relation to Ward)

  11. not sure says:

    Not to gloat SadDay,

    Jim has not paid a steep price.  He has taken a few hits in the papers.  Once the federal investigations ends, he may indeed pay a steep price. 

    There has not been a victory here.  His constituents were the ones to lose in all this.  They had a representative who cared not for them, but only for his own gain in the political sphere.  He was as bad as Doug Bruce (our very own Grover Norquist in Colorado Springs) and John Andrews.  These men no nothing of community or compassion for those in society but rather malice.

    Again, this guy will not be missed.

  12. notquitewyoming says:

    I was down in Loveland saturday, and was suprised by the suprise.  Anyone with half a brain could have seen this coming.  This was an excellent manuver if it truly came from the top.  It will save the party serious dollars by not having to put up the PR battle that a Welker opponent would have undoubtably waged.  I will say, the gentlemen Welker nominated (or attempted to), a Mr. McNaught, is a Reaganite tried and true, and handled the uproar fairly well.  It will be interesting to see if more people jump into this, as that was the concern amongst the delegates that the clearly premeditated move by Welker to nominate McNaught would prevent others from doing so.

    addendum — reflecting on the ammount of suprise saturday, it makes one wonder how much Welker’s troubles truly bother his constituency.  The homophobia and other pc issues that have troubled Welker in the press actually played pretty well as candidate after candidate came up blasting gay marriage, welfare, and the liberal agenda in general.  Perhaps they don’t know much about his business troubles, as those must have been central in the GOP’s leaderships’ concerns.

  13. Memory check says:

    Oh come on. How many of us could withstand such scrutiny?  How many, since the advent of email and the net, would be found guilty of a similar “sin”? Jim Welker may have made some mistakes, but this was little more than character assassination. Certainly there is a lesson to be learned regarding email etiquette, but as far as Jim’s constituents are concerned, I doubt anyone saw lasting harm or even what the big deal was. Jim would have been reelected. It’s only the party elites that were twittering. The left shows up for a knife fight and Bill Owens gets a limp wrist.

  14. Cliff says:

    Did Welker support Ref C?  Owens is probably the most vindictive politician in Colorado.  I could see him not backing Welker because of any opposition against C or any other legislation Welker wouldn’t back. 

    If anyone thinks Owen’s is not vindictive you should have heard him on Rosen today.  Having a temper is one thing and many great leaders have had tempers, but holding a grudge is a different story.  Compare Lincoln to LBJ.

  15. Memory check says:

    “Character assassination”? More like “character self immolations.”

    Enough with the apologism.

  16. not sure says:

    SadDay, you’re giving him Amnesty!  OH MY, NOT AMNESTY!!!!

    You must be in that bottom 30% of the US that still thinks Bush is doing a good job.  What a joke you are.

  17. Anonymous says:

    […] You can follow the chain of the foibles of Rep. Welker here, but things just get worse and worse for Colorado’s Dumbest Legislator. According to the Rocky Mountain News: State Rep. Jim Welker acknowledged Tuesday that his Loveland telecommunications company has been selling personal cell-phone records but said he stopped offering the service last week after congressional investigators interviewed him. […]

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