Once again the good people at the Colorado Sun have us pitching subscriptions to their Unaffiliated political newsletter, in which a wealth of useful information goes out to the state’s political watercooler class every weekday–the downside being that unless somebody like us picks up their useful emails, information more Colorado political news consumers should see could go down the memory hole.
Today, the Sun updates us on the long-expected “imminent” announcement by former Mesa County Republican commissioner Rose Pugliese that she will run for higher office in 2022:
In the clearest indication yet that she’s planning to run for statewide office next year, former Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese last month formed a nonprofit called “Rose for Colorado,” records reviewed by The Colorado Sun show.
Katie Kennedy, a prolific Republican operative, is listed as the nonprofit’s registered agent. The roseforcolorado.com domain address was purchased on Jan. 13.
The Republican lawyer said she “established the nonprofit in order to set up a bank account in case I chose to run for something in the future.”
And that “something” is a run for Secretary of State against Democratic incumbent Jena Griswold, right?
“I have not fully decided to run,” Pugliese said. “I have not made any decisions yet.” [Pols emphasis]
Pugliese declined to comment further, including about what position she may be interested in running for…
Longtime readers will recall back in 2018 when hadn’t-yet-failed gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton got in trouble for fundraising for his own campaign via an external entity before he himself formally entered the race. It looks like Pugliese might be up to something similar, but at least in Walker Stapleton’s case everybody knew that Stapleton was running for governor. This election cycle so far, both Pugliese and expected 2022 GOP gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl have been oddly cagey about what specific race they’re planning to jump into–Ganahl alternately mentioned as a candidate for U.S. Senate or even State Treasurer, and Pugliese “For Colorado” in some as-yet unknown capacity but widely rumored to be Secretary of State.
The reason for this ambiguity could be as simple as the polling that shows a continuing unfavorable environment for Republicans going into 2022 in Colorado. Nobody wants to commit to an arduous year and a half on the campaign trail without a plausible route to victory. The moment Ganahl and Pugliese announce their campaign for a specific office, they’ll be fair game for an unsparing examination of their record–Ganahl a failed right-wing ideologue at the University of Colorado, and Pugliese’s pro-Trump “MAGA baggage” while running to manage Colorado’s elections.
That’s why, or at least it very well could be why despite the rumor of their “imminent” entry which has been floating around for weeks, there’s this strange hesitation: about not just what Ganahl and Pugliese are running for, but whether they’re running at all.
The reasoning to hesitate may be sound, but it sure doesn’t project confidence.