UPDATE: Press release from Ken Buck, “full steam ahead.”
Ken Buck confirmed today that it’s full steam ahead for his campaign for the U.S. Senate.
Buck said, “While other candidates may still jump in the Senate race, one thing is clear – our party’s nominee will be chosen by Colorado’s grassroots Republicans, not by political operatives in Washington D.C.”[Pols emphasis]
Buck said he has been deeply gratified by the strong response to his campaign from literally thousands of Coloradans over the past few months. “We have campaign leadership in every county in the state,” he said.
Buck declared that his campaign has never been about him personally but rather about the critical importance of taking back the U.S. Senate seat from Michael Bennet.
Colorado deserves a strong independent Senator who will do the right thing for Colorado. Instead Buck claimed, “the appointed Senator Bennet has turned out to be just another rubber stamp for the big spending, big government liberals in Congress.”
When all is said and done, this may actually turn out to have been a great blessing for Buck, who now gets to cast himself as the “true grassroots candidate” of the Republican Party. This gives Buck an identity he didn’t have but sorely needed, and it gives primary voters a reason to support someone they otherwise had never heard of before.
Original post follows…
The chairman of the Colorado Republican Party says he plans to inform a national GOP group today that it created a “backlash” by registering two domain names for potential U.S. Senate candidate Jane Norton.
Dick Wadhams pointed to a rash of e-mails during the weekend among Colorado Republicans who are upset with the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which they believe is playing favorites in the crowded 2010 primary field.
The backlash is so strong, Republican sources say, that Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck might stay in the Senate race after all. He had been expected to withdraw today…
“I fully intend to let them know that Colorado Republicans expect to select their nominee themselves without the endorsement of outside groups,” Wadhams said Sunday.
“There is a backlash. You can see it in the e-mail traffic.”
One e-mail was written by Le Moine Dowd and distributed by Scott Starin, chairman of the Boulder County Republican Party. The subject line reads, “Send this to every Republican you know.”
She wrote that the “the endorsement of Jane Norton by the NRSC is essentially a deathblow for all other candidates.”
There’s several ways we could say what you’re all thinking, so we’ll phrase it in the form of a question: how many of you seriously believe that Dick Wadhams didn’t know exactly what his old friends at the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) were up to?
That’s what we thought. Nice to see he still thinks you’re stupid, though.
At any rate, it’s safe to say the conservative rebellion against Jane Norton and everything she institutionally represents is real, and the D.C. kingmakers (who all have Wadhams on their speed-dial) had no idea what they were stepping in. If we were one of said D.C. kingmakers, we’d be asking why Wadhams didn’t foresee this…
Wadhams aside, this is a good sign for Republicans in Colorado if the era of hand-picking candidates (especially when they aren’t very good, a la Bob Schaffer) is coming to an end. The Colorado GOP still has a ways to go to figure out its identity, but they need to figure it out organically — and not by letting someone like Wadhams explain it for them.