Norton Reconsidering Senate Bid?

The hot rumor circulating this morning is that as-yet undeclared GOP Senate candidate Jane Norton had a deal–and now she doesn’t. And when the deal falls though, you usually walk away, don’t you?

As you know, evidence that the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) was preparing to devote resources to Norton’s campaign–which would have had the effect of severely debilitating primary opponents–caused a major backlash among the Republican rank-and-file last week. By Friday, the situation had gotten to the point that the leading (declared) GOP candidate, Weld County DA Ken Buck, was widely reported to be getting out of the race.

Today, though, everything has changed–Buck is defiantly staying in the race. Colorado GOP chairman Dick Wadhams, who everybody we’ve talked to believes was intimately involved in the NRSC’s backroom commitments to Norton, is running away from this debacle as fast as his denials can carry him. The GOP activist base, now sensitized to what almost happened right under their noses, will be watching for any further shenanigans–and they’ve used this opportunity to remind leadership in no uncertain terms what they think of “RINOs” like Jane Norton.

So where does that leave her?

Frankly, it depends–if an agreement for Norton to enter the 2010 Senate race was contingent on clearing the primary field for her, as it was for 2008 Senate candidate Bob Schaffer, she’s now got a very good reason to reconsider. Or she could decide to stay and fight. Given that Norton has been floated as a potential candidate for higher office for years, and has always declined, it wouldn’t shock us if she ultimately decided not to run for Senate.

The word we’re getting–we’ll remind everyone that it’s only a rumor, though on good authority, and people do change their minds regardless–is the backlash of the last few days was considerably more than she bargained for.

22 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Republican 36 says:

    She is a right-wing social/religious conservative. Make no mistake about it.  

    • Colorado Pols says:

      Made “RINOs” out of lots of those, didn’t it?

      • Republican 36 says:

        Superficially it may look that way, but at that point in her career, she was Gov. Owens’ lieutenant governor and more or less had to go along with him when he supported Ref. “C.” In her heart of hearts, she is a soical/religious conservative and fits right in with Schultheis, Renfroe and the others of that ilk. She is certainly more polished than those two but she believes what they believe.

        • It's Me says:

          …who, after all, seems to call a lot of shots.  Doesn’t he?  

        • Colorado Pols says:

          The Republican base is certainly hacked off about her, and Referendum C is at the top of their stated reasons. You’re pretty astute–what else do you think is going on?

          • Republican 36 says:

            simply doesn’t have any “A” team candidates to run for the U.S. Senate next year. None of the people either running now or who are expected to run (i.e. Norton, Wiens) are first string politicians or campaigners.

            The intellectual base left the party over the past four years, leaving a group of activists and potential candidates who have a very difficult time justifying why they want to either run for office or wield executive or legislative power because in the end, they don’t believe government should exist. For example, look at Messrs. Penry and Gardner who obviously want to climb to higher offices. When the legislature took up the bill concerning fee increases to repair 126 bridges statewide, they opposed it. Those 126 bridges still need to be repaired, even if they win their respective races but both of them want to play a shell game by moving money around (i.e. Amendment 52) last year to make it look like they are addressing a problem while ignoring or exacerbating another one. Republicans are no longer capable of ever admitting additional revenues are required to fund programs. That is simply not allowed and forbidden by ironclad party ideology. When a political party paints itself into a corner like that, it makes it impossible to address the real policy problems that exist in the real world.

            At that point, the party must come up with diversions like Congresswoman Bachman yelling that if we pass healthcare refore it will mean the end of freedom. When you peel back the onion, she won’t even admit there is a problem with our health care system which, if she did, would by logic mean maybe we should change our public policy and do something about it, but for those who control the Republican Party such an admission is forbidden because there shouldn’t be any public policy. That makes it impossible for the party to deal with reality and in the end makes it very difficult to win elections.  

        • redstateblues says:

          no clue who was hosting, but they were very disappointed that the GOP had chosen to try to clear the field for Norton. He was upset that they would try to do it so a “moderate” could run instead of a “true conservative”. He also went on to say that John McCain is one of the worst leaders they have, and that every piece of bipartisan legislation he has crafted has harmed Republicans, so that puts a little context in where he stands on purity.

          But he seemed convinced that trying to avoid a primary was bad for the GOP because it marginalized the grassroots, and because sticking a “moderate” out there was a mistake and they should be pushing further to the right. So, even though she might not actually be a moderate, the far-right certainly sees her as one.

          At any rate, I expect Jane Norton to slowly start to distance herself from Refs C and D and whatever other policies of Owens’ that weren’t conservative enough for the far-right.

        • MADCO says:

          Are you saying it’s possible that she also believes AIDS is a good thing for unwed mothers and their babies?

          I mean, I don;t know all the logic of right wing talking points, but that doesn’t feel very pro-life.

  2. guesswho says:

    That Colorado Pols was sort of balanced and had insight as to what was really going on on the Republican side.  This site has moved so far left because of the determined work of a knucklehead in Boulder that it has now have lost its edge.  Come back Jason, come back.

    Nobody in the GOP thinks of Jane Norton as a RINO.  She is socially conservative. They just don’t want DC to shove someone down their throats.  

    • bullshit! says:

      That’s why the rightwing blogs call Norton a “pro-tax candidate.”


      That’s what redstateblues heard on the radio too, “running a moderate.” It’s the talking point from last week, is it a problem now or something?

      Are you sure the problem isn’t that Pols has too much “insight?”

  3. ohwilleke says:

    May as well just have everybody but Cleve Tidwell drop out and save us the suspense.

  4. DavidThi808 says:

    It’s not clear she has the drive to actually run and so a contested primary will cause her to decline.

    • Another skeptic says:

      Norton needs a contested primary to prove she is a good campaigner.

      If she doesn’t prove herself in the race for the nomination, potential contributors will sit on their hands because, as noted above, she’s not really known as a campaigner or winner.

      Does anyone think she has proved her campaigning skills to the activists and contributors?

  5. WestSloper says:

    Perhaps the RNC pursued the wrong Norton as Jane can’t muster enough assets to fill the square hole of the Palin-Sisterhood mold for elected office in 2010. However, “Drill-baby-drill” Gale Norton is another matter…..

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