Walker Stapleton May Take Assembly Route After All

Walker Stapleton is thinking hard about going the assembly route for ballot access.

As Ernest Luning reported late Thursday for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:

Colorado State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, a front-runner for the Republican nomination for governor, has turned in petitions to qualify for the June primary but is considering also going through the assembly process — a move that could land him top-line designation on the ballot and potentially knock out the only other statewide elected official in the running, Colorado Politics has learned.

As results showing convincing Stapleton wins filter in from unofficial gubernatorial straw polls conducted in some counties at Tuesday night’s GOP precinct caucuses, his supporters have become increasingly convinced Stapleton could come out on top at the April 14 state assembly in Boulder and are urging him to take the plunge.

A source close to the Stapleton campaign said that the more the candidate is being encouraged to add the assembly route, the more he’s considering it.

Frankly, we’ve thought for a long time that this makes a lot of sense for Stapleton. It wouldn’t have been a good idea for Stapleton to contest the nomination at the assembly if Tom Tancredo were still a candidate for Republicans, but things are different now; the only other candidate with any name ID who is seeking to make the ballot through the assembly is Cynthia Coffman, and she is not well-liked among grassroots Republicans.

In fact, it is not out of the realm of possibility that Stapleton could keep Coffman off the ballot altogether with a strong assembly performance (unlike Stapleton, Coffman has abandoned the petition route and is “all in” with the GOP caucus). As Luning notes, this idea that is picking up traction among other Republicans:

“There’s virtually no risk of getting under 10 percent, and I think, based on the polling and what we’re hearing from the counties that conducted straw polls, Walker has strong delegate support,” said Ryan Lynch, who ran George Brauchler’s campaign until shortly before the Arapahoe County prosecutor switched to the attorney general’s race.

“There’s very little risk of not top-lining at assembly, based on the field. You have a lot to gain, too — you could keep Cynthia, the only other candidate with any level of name ID, off the ballot entirely by keeping her under 30 percent,” Lynch said. “This would enable Walker’s campaign to focus on his lesser-known primary opponents who are going the petition route and might even provide them with the ability to shift focus to the general election earlier than they’d anticipated.”

Stapleton has already submitted his petition signatures for ballot access and appears to have a solid lead among likely Republican primary voters. If he could do well enough among caucus-goers to keep Coffman off the ballot, it makes his path to the Republican nomination that much easier.

22 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MADCO says:

    I'm confused. 
    Does that mean Brauchler is back on the governor race?
    And Lebsock runs for treasurer as a Republican?

    But what- is Tom Tancr really really out?


    How does Lebsock feel about payday lenders?

    • spaceman65 says:

      This may drive C. Coffman back to the AG's office, leaving tweet bird out in the cold.  Oh please let that happen


      • Diogenesdemar says:

        Be careful what you wish for . . .

        . . . Tweety would be much easier to defeat in November.

        • spaceman65 says:

          True, but the risk of him winning and being AG is far more frightening.  He's a pure trumpist, albeit with better hair.


          • Voyageur says:

            Point well taken.  I'm not particularly anti-Brauchler but neither am I eager to see one of last Republican moderates — yes, an inept and half-assed moderate, but what are our alternatives — driven out of the Republican Party that I was a member of for 32 years.

            Careful of what you wish for, be.

      • mamajama55 says:

        Isn't C Coffman out of a job no matter what happens? Assuming she does not get the R nomination for Governor? Can she flip flop again and declare she wants to stay on as AG? I would think it would be too late for that.

        • Voyageur says:

          Spaceman was speculating about such a flip.

        • RepealAndReplace says:

          She is still eligible to run for one more term as AG. A double-flip in races might be pushing what little credibility she still has, but what the hell, it is the modern GOP. I'm sure Moderatus will tell us why we are terrified of having her run for re-election AND face Doofus for Governor.

  2. davebarnes says:

    What a Stapleton assembly looks like

  3. RepealAndReplace says:

    Alva, you really do need to change that photo of Stapleton…..

    He looks like the fat kid in homeroom everyone turns to and looks at whenever a loud fart rips through the classroom.

  4. mamajama55 says:

    Stapleton's DUI story needs to be resurfaced. It goes to character. In 1999, Walker Stapleton, driving drunk (.08 blood alcohol) in San Francisco, ran a stoplight and hit a cab, injuring the driver and a passenger.

    The original police report says that he hit pedestrians in a crosswalk; however, that charge was amended days later, to that of hitting a cab in the intersection.

    Then he left the scene. The police report can be viewed here.

     Even though it is almost 20 years ago, Stapleton has never really come clean about the incident. It was plea-bargained down. You legal eagles can decipher what the final outcome was, but I know it wasn’t much for 3 counts of DUI with .08 BAC and two people injured. Stapleton received the bare minimum penalty for a first offense DUI, fines, mandatory AA meetings, 36 mo probation (maybe?) and only one night of jail time.

    The treasurer who tried unsuccessfully to get access to PERA members' private records refuses to show the public his own drunk driving record. The link to Stapleton's 1999 court documents from Ellen Dumm's Huffpost article no longer works. But I downloaded it, and the docs are here.

    No doubt, Cary Kennedy and Jared Polis campaigns have their own oppo research files on Stapleton, and I hope that they will use the 1999 DUI, because it really questions whether Coloradans would want to elect the kind of man who drives drunk, hits a car and injures people, then tries to leave the scene, and gets to pretend it never happened.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Absolutely right. (Let's see how Moderatus spins this one.)

      • Davie says:

        Speaking of character issues, what about Stapleton's key card access records proving he rarely showed up for work during his first term as treasurer, and still can't be bothered to attend PERA meetings?

        Do we really want a half-guv?

    • davebarnes says:

      Oh, come on. 0.08 is just getting warmed up. When he blows a 0.9, then it will be interesting.

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        Yeah, when that gets out he’s lost the base . . .

        . . . you’re such a damn lightweight you can’t drive normal after 3 beers?  you must know the Bush family?  ever been to Kennebunkport?

        . . . good Colorado R’s don’t even think about leaving home before they’re at .12 — and they’ll be carrying loaded guns, too! Know what you call .14 on the west slope? — Breakfast.

        Stapleton’s toast.

        • RepealAndReplace says:

          I wonder why his nomination opponent, Madam Law and Order, has not raised this issue… 

          Fear of blowback over the alleged blackmail attempt?

          • mamajama55 says:

            I'm not seeing where AG Coffman is raising either Stapleton's DUI, or his shoddy work attendance – point to a source, please.

            I mean, she should raise those issues…but she is so wishy-washy, I think that she'll avoid being seen as a negative campaigner.

            I wish that she would bring up Stapleton's PERA failings – that he wants to spy on and deny cost of living increases to public employees. But that wouldn't play well with the base, I suppose.

            She won't point out his many conflicts of interest, advocating for gold buying while holding on to his own stocks in mineral and mining companies. Because she has plenty of shady finances, too.  The Republican Attorneys General Association is a giant money-laundering operation.

            Modster, you have a thing for Cynthia Coffman – what would you want her to talk about?

          • MADCO says:

            I believe her when she says she is not a blakmailer.

        • MichaelBowman says:

          Forgot one, Dio: when all else fails claim legislative immunity.

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