We do our best to keep abreast of the latest political scuttlebutt as compiled by our various political newsrooms into weekly newsletter offerings, but like an unfortunate number of news consumers out there we sometimes don’t always make it all the way through every single such roundup every single week–particularly when there’s nothing in the headline to suggest something juicy “below the fold.”
As such, we missed this significant yet buried bit of news from the Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter, two entries from the bottom of the May 30th edition of the Post’s The Spot political news agglomeration–a former GOP Colorado House Minority Leader, Mike May of Parker, is endorsing Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff over incumbent Republican Sen. Cory Gardner:
During an interview with The Post last week, Romanoff talked about the support of Mike May, a Parker Republican and former House minority leader.
“He reached out to me not long after I announced my candidacy. He said, ‘My wife and I want to support you.’ I said, ‘I appreciate that, but just to remind you, I’m a Democrat.’ He said, ‘I remember that, but my country means more than my party and we would be honored to call you our senator.’” [Pols emphasis]
Romanoff says he had a similar conversation with Mary Estill Buchanan, a former Republican secretary of state who endorsed him Tuesday. She narrowly lost a Senate race of her own to Gary Hart in 1980.
Talk about burying the lede! The truth is, we might have missed this news entirely had a correction in this week’s The Spot referring to the original story not caught our eye. It’s not for us to tell the Post’s headline writers what’s most important, and in a lot of cases the reporters don’t get much of a say in the headline wording either–but a former GOP House Minority Leader abandoning Cory Gardner ahead of the nation’s hottest Senate race really is big news. It’s big news for Romanoff, sure, but potentially a huge blow to Gardner regardless of which Democrat he faces in 2020.
We expect that there is a lot more to this story that bears telling. Minority Leader May served with Cory Gardner for years in the Colorado House, and in 2010 lavished praise on Gardner’s state house service during Gardner’s first run for Congress. May’s collegial relationship with former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff doesn’t fully explain May taking such a dramatic step. What specifically did Gardner do, or fail to do, to persuade a former top GOP leader to deliver the unkindest cut of all?
The follow-up story, and we’re excited to see it, will definitely merit its own headline.