Stapleton Taps Sias for LG, Confirms Screwing Up Process Entirely

UPDATE: The jokes write themselves:


As Brian Eason first reported for the Associated Press this morning, Republican gubernatorial nominee Walker Stapleton has selected Arvada Rep. Lang Sias as his running mate and candidate for Lieutenant Governor.

What Sias may or may not bring to the Republican ticket is really a secondary conversation at this point, because this news confirms speculation that Stapleton’s campaign absolutely botched this entire process.

As we recapped earlier this week, Stapleton’s campaign opened the month of July by criticizing Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jared Polis for “rushing” the announcement of his own LG pick — former state Rep. Dianne Primavera. Stapleton’s campaign manager, Michael Fortney, tried desperately to spin this narrative in the face of what seemed to be a fairly obvious reality: That Stapleton’s team apparently didn’t realize that the law requires a gubernatorial nominee to choose a Lieutenant Governor within seven days of the June 26 Primary Election.

Fortney claimed on July 3 that Stapleton had indeed selected a running mate but would not make the announcement for several weeks under the theory that the law gives LG candidates 30 days to officially register their campaigns with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office. This story was immediately questioned by several reporters, including longtime political journalist Charles Ashby of the Grand Junction Sentinel. With Stapleton’s spin unraveling, Fortney then told reporters that the campaign was likely going to announce its running mate sometime around July 26 in order to theoretically generate more publicity for the decision.


If Stapleton did not, in fact, select a running mate within seven days of the Primary Election, then he appears to have broken the law. We know that Stapleton’s initial choice for Lieutenant Governor was CU Regent Heidi Ganahl, but Ganahl turned down the offer to be his running mate. Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese was believed to be Stapleton’s second choice, though that has not been confirmed, and the rumor mill on Monday seemed to indicate that Jefferson County Commissioner Libby Szabo was at the top of Stapleton’s list. The point of all this speculation leads in the same direction: If Stapleton had actually selected a running mate as his campaign has claimed, there would not have been this insistent chatter about potential candidates to run alongside him.


Stapleton is apparently going to officially announce Sias at an event today — notice the totally-not-rushed signage in the photo above — and the campaign will cross its fingers that nobody asks for proof that Sias was indeed offered the job and agreed to said offer within the seven-day time limit. This is another terrible look for a bumbling Stapleton campaign that is constantly defending concerns that its candidate for Governor pays no attention to details and couldn’t manage a Taco Bell restaurant.

53 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Somebody help me here. Wasn't Sias a target of the far right wing/Neville family/Dudley Brown branch of the GOP when he first ran for the legislature?

    • unnamed says:

      He ran against Former Senator Laura Woods in the SD-19 primary in 2014 and RMGO and pals put their weight behind her in part because she was one of them and in part due to Sias refusing to fill out their questionnaire.

      • Davie says:

        Sias is an interesting choice (might actually overshadow Stumbleton).

        At that, Sias smiled. He’s been a Democrat, unaffiliated and now a Republican.

        “I have friends across the political spectrum,” he told the Zolitors.

        Sias, who moved to Colorado a decade ago, hasn’t voted since 2000. He once donated $250 to Democrat Mark Udall’s congressional campaign.

        That’s led to plenty of enmity on the campaign trail.

        “I think Lang Sias is a party-switching, carpet-bagging opportunist,” said Bob Martinez, the former chairman of the Colorado Republican Party.

        Sias didn’t vote for McCain. He said he planned to vote that day in Colorado in person, but at the last minute got sent to Arizona by the campaign.

        He didn’t vote in 2004 and 2006 because he was on assignment with the National Guard, although he said he knows others who are serving manage to vote.

        He addressed the issue in a March Facebook posting.

        “I acknowledge my error, and I offer no excuse. No explanation is sufficient for failing to exercise a sacred privilege that we enjoy in our democracy,” he said.

        Unlike Stumbleton, he seems honorable, honest and owns up to mistakes.  Everything today's Republican Party hates.  As I said — interesting choice.

        • unnamed says:

          True.  Sias seems like a stand-up guy, all things considered.  I don't see him moving votes to Stumblebum though.  He brings some respectability though.

          • Davie says:

            Agreed.  If anything, he'll cost votes on the nutwing right, and Stumbleton's rightwing agenda (and general lack of personal or professional appeal) will cost votes in the middle.

            Maybe the experience will position Sias for a later run for office if the GOP ever regains their sanity.

          • Pseudonymous says:

            I think the problem is that he's much smarter than Stapler.  I can't help but think that GOP folks are going to be wondering why the know-nothing one isn't running for the do-nothing job.

            Maybe Stapler will make Sias an offer like the one Trump is said to have made John Kasich.  You run it all, and I'll sit in the chair– then it's just like Treasurer 2.0.

            • MichaelBowman says:

              Maybe Nutter can jump in here?  It's all part of his girlfriend's brilliant plan to be the victor on election day? 

            • MichaelBowman says:

              Speaking of Pence (and GOP-economics)…

              Pence launches Midwest damage control mission

              “Since the announcement of the tariffs: we’ve lost 20 percent of our income in soybeans, that’s nationally,” said Bret Davis, an Ohio farmer who also serves as a director of the American Soybean Association. 

              Davis fears the repercussions of a long-term trade impasse. “We spent 35 years now working on this, trying to get trade with China to this point … It’s going to take years now to get this back.”

              Maybe Pence can swing through and host an ag roundtable with Wayne and discuss the tariff consequences to Colorado's ag producers? 


              • Pseudonymous says:

                With all the outrage from the right over the setback initiative that's working its way through, and the "100,000" jobs it will "destroy," it's odd we've heard so little from them on this.

                New tariffs could threaten $276.9 million in Colorado exports

                But trade is important to the state economy. Colorado exported $8 billion in commodities and finished goods last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and the chamber study estimates 733,900 Colorado jobs are supported by international trade. [emphasis mine]

                Of course, we don’t know what impacts will result from the next $200 billion in tariffs on China.

        • MichaelBowman says:

          I had the sincere pleasure of standing behind Gov Bill Owens in a TSA line recently. He’s a real gentleman –  and a stark reminder of just how far down the rabbit hole the current GOP has gone.

      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        Thanks unnamed. Now I remember.

  2. Voyageur says:

    For old Lang Sias, my dear

    For old Lang Sias.

    We'll drink a cup of kindness yet

    For old Lang Sias.

  3. Pseudonymous says:

    Not sure why they nuked his twitter account.  He only had a couple hundred or so out there and I doubt there were (m)any bad ones.

  4. MichaelBowman says:

    Given Lang is a pilot this announcement would have been a lot more entertainming if he’d dropped Wayne onto a ship deck in the middle of Cherry Creek Reservoir for their Mission Accomplished moment. 

    Good on Lang for refusing to bow to Dudley. That seems to be an increasingly-winning strategy these days. 

  5. Pseudonymous says:

    I feel like this is stolen valor…

  6. Pseudonymous says:

    It'll be interesting to see how an essentially flipped-on-its-head McCain/Palin ticket does in Colorado.

  7. RepealAndReplace says:

    So their ticket consists of 5 presumably heterosexual, white men.

  8. JohnInDenver says:

    Day 15 – July 11.  Stapleton makes the announcement. The State of Uncertainty is over.

    Announcement is at a press conference, without (as best I read and see in the pictures) former candidates, prominent people who endorsed him, or a crowd of campaign supporters. Maybe they were there, but it is curious that six or so sources I looked at didn't mention any.

    No mention in any story of the timing of the choice or why today is the best day for the announcement. I dunno — maybe Sais was off flying and this is his first day back in Colorado?

    The graphic used on the podium shows … a lot of options remain open for the ticket. For now, it is 2 last names and "For Colorado" in much smaller & lighter print, on what appears to be plain white background.

    Stapleton obviously chose bright — Vassar, London School of Economics, U. of Michigan law, and first in his class for Aviation OCS.

    Does Sias have to drop out of the State House race? Or can he run simultaneously for both?


    • Davie says:

      The graphic used on the podium shows … a lot of options remain open for the ticket. For now, it is 2 last names and "For Colorado" in much smaller & lighter print, on what appears to be plain white background.

      What do you expect for a last-minute, slap-dash announcement?  Other than a link to the PR announcement, they haven't even updated their website front page with the graphic, such as it is.

    • Pseudonymous says:

      CRS 1-4-501(2) No person is eligible to be a candidate for more than one office at one time […]

      Of course, the law hasn't been an obstacle to Stapler's campaign thus far.

      • Davie says:

        Can you look up when Sias withdrew his candidacy paperwork for the state lege?  That might punch another hole in Stumbleton's explanation of his timeline, since he claimed his pick had accepted last week already.

        • RepealAndReplace says:

          Davie, I'm guessing that the narrative is going to be that Staples made the offer by July 3, Sias wanted to consider it within the time allowed by statute, and he just made up his mind today making dissolution of his legislative committee timely.

          • Davie says:

            Just like Stumbleton's attempt to change the narrative around his  infamously false ad clearly stating "the Only" treasurer… to his weaselly "one of the First"… explanation for why he wouldn't stop running it, nor that he had learned anything from the experience…

            No way voters are going to give this Trump chump four more years of "passive" income.

        • Pseudonymous says:

          TRACER seems to show he's still an active candidate in HD27:

          Don't know if that's just a processing delay or the ineptness of Stapler's team.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      or why today is the best day for the announcement…..

      Trump did his Supreme Court announcement on Monday, the kids in Thailand were rescued on Tuesday, Friday is "Take Out the Trash" day in news cycles, and the meeting with Putin is approaching over the weekend.

      If not now, when? If not Lang, who? 


  9. Davie says:

    CBS4 broke the story of Stumbleton's campaign talking points.

    The only explanation I can think of for Nutteranus' failure to parrot them here is that he might still be recovering from his fainting spell after learning that Wayne Stumbleton picked a gun-grabbin' RINO:

    “I think Lang Sias is a party-switching, carpet-bagging opportunist,” said Bob Martinez, the former chairman of the Colorado Republican Party.

    RMGO really did go ballistic over him, whew!


  10. Voyageur says:

    Regardless of the Keystone Kop nature by which it happened, the fact is that the Colorado Republican Party has managed to assemble a fairly formidable five-way team for their ticket.

    Democrats need to work, donate money and fight like lions to beat back this challenge.  Overconfidence is the kiss of death.

  11. mamajama55 says:

    It was a sad day in Sias land when he had to photoshop out the "Tea Party Endorsed" sign from his campaign literature.


  12. Pseudonymous says:

    I don't have the book, just some idle searching, but was Sias involved in Tailhook (he’s named in full in another excerpted page shown in that search)?

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