Most Predictable Endorsement Ever

Back in January, the Phil Anschutz-owned Colorado Springs Gazette’s editorial board took the unusual step of calling on every Republican gubernatorial candidate not named Walker Stapleton to get out of the race:

If Republicans hope to elect a governor this fall, they need to narrow the primary field and unite behind State Treasurer Walker Stapleton.

This editorial, while conveying an unmistakable message, apparently did not constitute a formal endorsement of Stapleton’s campaign. That came Sunday:

The term-limited state treasurer, Stapleton has a proven record of standing up for hard-working Coloradans. His work benefits middle-class families — struggling to provide food, shelter and clothing — and the working poor. Though holding a statewide public office for two straight terms, he is the rare politician who consistently crusades against the “establishment” of decision makers moving in packs.

The Gazette then recites a list of pro-Stapleton talking points that appear to be lifted directly from Stapleton’s recent ads–including claims that have been debunked by fact-checkers, like Walker Stapleton “led the charge” against Amendment 69 (he didn’t) and “led [the] crusade to defeat a $1 billion tax increase” (he didn’t). It seems there’s not much respect at Clarity Media for colleague journalists’ work product.

There’s nothing surprising about the Gazette’s endorsement, of course, but it should be noted clearly for the record how the biggest conservative news outlet in the state, controlled by the state’s foremost Republican kingmaker, has leaned hard into the GOP gubernatorial primary for Stapleton from the very beginning.

And, you know, sometimes that goes well.

6 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JohnInDenver says:

    Good to know that Stapleton's stumbling campaign has not alienated the Anschutz wing of the state Republican Party.

  2. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Related question: if Polis wins the Dem nomination, will Kennedy's die-hards go off and sulk like many of the Bernie voters did in '16?

    • gertie97 says:

      I think the reverse is more likely to happen, CHB.

    • mamajama55 says:

      CHB,  nobody is going to "go off and sulk". The stakes are too high. That was the point of the "clean campaign pledge". The "Teachers for Kennedy (TFK)" broke that pledge on Kennedy's behalf, whether or not she herself muddied her hands.

      People are voting right now across Colorado. In my opinion, the TFK negative ads did far more harm than good, and will generate a negative backlash. Kennedy used to come across as more positive and energetic and relateable, until  her allies put out these ads. Now, she has blown that  "personality" advantage.

      There never was much daylight between the top candidates, on public charter schools, TABOR, or much else except  relative friendliness to oil and gas vs cannabis industries. (Kennedy is friendlier to oil and gas; Polis is friendlier to cannabis).

      Polis is actually closer to your position, CHB, on public lands and conservation. Kennedy is more  experienced with finances and budgets; Polis is more experienced with legislating and creating public – private partnerships.

      So we'll see how it all shakes out, come June 26.

      Factually – Did "Bernie folks go off and sulk" after the primary? Hardly. Sanders' "Our Revolution" recruited, supported, and funded hundreds of progressive candidates for public office. About half of them won their primaries. All of them pushed the window of policy debate to the left, opening possibilities that had been off the table before. We have more women running than ever before, more LGBTQ, more people of color. Enthusiasm for these strong and principled candidates is what will bring the young people and "Bernie voters" back to vote in the midterms.


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