State Senate Minority Leader Chris Holbert was the featured speaker last week at a meeting of the Jefferson County Republican Men’s Club, where he basically acknowledged the sentiment that Republican gubernatorial candidate
Hiedi Heidi Ganahl is not going to defeat Democratic incumbent Gov. Jared Polis next year. Holbert was more diplomatic about his opinion than fellow Republican State Sen. John Cooke, who admitted in August that Polis was unbeatable for the GOP, but nobody listening to Holbert speak would feel very optimistic about Republican hopes for the top race in the state in 2022.
Near the end of his presentation on Nov. 1, Holbert responded to a question about running for future office by saying that he has been approached several times in the past about potentially running for Governor in 2022. Holbert dismissed the idea, in large part because Polis has the ability to self-fund his re-election campaign; according to Holbert, Polis can and will regularly write $25 million checks to his campaign.
You can watch the full video at the Jeffco Republican Men’s Club website, which is hilariously titled “Ken Hulbert.” We excerpted the key part below and transcribed the relevant remarks:
Senate Minority Leader Chris Holbert:
So, I’ve told people who say, ‘Chris, run for Governor! Chris, run for Governor, you’d be great!’ I was like, ‘No, but if you bring me 25,000 checks from individuals like you, for $1,050 [the maximum contribution limit for Governor in Colorado], that would at least cover the first $25 million check that he [Polis] can write to his own campaign.
Am I saying that it’s hopeless? No. And people will say, ‘Well, money isn’t everything.’ Well, money is the gasoline that this engine runs off of. And it’s like being in NASCAR for a 500-mile race and not having any gasoline in the tank…or having a few gallons, and the competitor has more than 500 miles worth of gas.
I’m not going to stand here and tell you that a Republican can’t win. Um, I’ve seen news that some have said that Heidi [Ganahl] can’t win — I’m not going to stand here and say that. [Pols emphasis]
Got that? Holbert is NOT going to say that a Republican cannot win the race for Governor in Colorado…but he IS going to say that he thinks your money would be better spent on trying to win back seats in the state senate:
I believe that Ms. Ganahl can write a check to her own campaign for, I don’t know, six figures? Seven figures? I don’t know. I’d be really surprised if she can get up to the $25 million level. But the reason that I bring this up is not to point to something that I think is hopeless, but to point to something that…she needs money. [Pols emphasis] Whether it’s Heidi or somebody else, how many of you are willing to write a check for $1,050? Or for a couple, $2,100?
[Holbert pauses and looks around the room]
Not a lot of hands going up. Do you know anybody who could? We need as many of those for the account as possible, and I would say, in increments of $25 million for one seat…does that make more sense, or winning a net of three seats in the state senate for an average of about $1 million apiece? [Pols emphasis] If we have a majority in the state senate, we can stop any bill we want to.
Heidi Ganahl for Governor! Or, whatever.
"If we have a majority in the state senate, we can stop any bill we want to."
He is correct about this. Just ask Tim Gill.
We don't have "approved" districts yet, but the numbers going in did not make flipping the Senate's majority sound like an immediately sensible goal. The Colorado Sun's writing said in the race to 18 districts needed for majority control:
I don't recall seeing any assessment of only the seats open in 2022. Anyone else know what the partisan lean is?
JiD there's uphill, then there's UPHILL. The Senate is the smarter play for the GOP, even if a challenge. Governor is skiing a black diamond the wrong way.