While 2020 may have been generally terrible for Colorado Republicans, they did finally get one thing right: The GOP finally squirmed away from the Neville Clan.
For years, Colorado Republicans had been beholden to decisions made by House Minority Leader Patrick Neville and his political consultant brother, Joe Neville — despite the fact that the Nevilles are demonstrably terrible at politics. The death knell for the Nevilles came after the June Primary Election, in which Neville-backed candidates in a half-dozen Primary races were throttled by their less-looney opponents. When Neville friend Dudley Brown stepped down from his leadership role with Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO), the writing was on the wall. Patrick Neville announced in October that he would not seek another term as House Minority Leader; he knew full well that he could not win another caucus election.
Republicans started to figure out that the Nevilles were leading them astray after huge losses in the 2018 election, but that wasn’t enough to prevent them from letting Pat Neville and his pals at RMGO drive the disastrous recall train that lumbered through Colorado in 2019. The 2020 Primary Election seemed to be the final straw for Republicans who were annoyed that so much time and money was being spent on smearing fellow Republicans instead of targeting Democrats.
Patrick Neville may yet re-emerge as a Congressional candidate (if the opportunity arose in CO-4), and the Nevilles will likely continue running various political grifting operations so that they can line their own pockets while they simultaneously jab sticks at every other GOP consultant in the state. But it is notable that Republicans are no longer holding back in their criticisms of the Nevilles (see this December story from The Denver Post for more details). Patrick Neville’s petulance, meanwhile, isn’t making him any new friends.
There’s no avoiding the fact that Colorado is now a solid blue state. Republicans have their work cut out for them if they hope to claw back some power in Colorado, but at least they will no longer be fighting with one arm tied behind their back.