There’s big news on a big name from out of nowhere.
Republican Joe Coors, Jr. is actively exploring the idea of running for Congress in CD-7 against incumbent Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter.
This one surprises us, to be frank, but apparently Coors has been making high-level phone calls about the race since well before yesterday’s redistricting ruling was made final. The allure of a potential Coors, Jr. candidacy is obvious for Republicans: They really need someone who can self-fund a campaign to some degree if they hope to make a serious run at Perlmutter in 2012, because they have too many other national races to worry about than to spend resources going after a popular Democratic incumbent.
While the allure for national Republicans is clear, we really can’t see why Coors, Jr. would be serious about running for Congress. He retired in 2000 as Chairman and CEO of CoorsTek Inc., and he’ll turn 70 in February — is he really interested in being a 70-year-old freshman Congressman? His current elected office is as President of the posh Rolling Hills Country Club in Golden.
It’s no secret that Joe’s brother, Pete Coors, really didn’t like running for the U.S. Senate in 2004, when he lost to Democrat Ken Salazar, and surely they’ve spoken about this on more than one occasion. But at least Pete was seeking a bigger prize in the Senate; we have a hard time understanding why Joe Jr. would be interested in a House seat. Furthermore, the Coors family and business were absolutely hammered during Pete’s 2004 campaign, but the intensity of the attacks on the Coors clan would be exponentially greater in 2012. With all of the talk about the “99%” and Occupy Wall Street, we can’t imagine a worse year to run for public office with such a high-profile last name. Joe Coors isn’t as bad a name as “Joe Citibank,” but it’s not far behind. The guy owns his own helicopter, for crying out loud.
The boundaries of CD-7 changed somewhat in redistricting, but this is still a Democratic-leaning seat with a popular, entrenched and well-funded incumbent in Perlmutter. In 2010 Perlmutter defeated GOP challenger Ryan Frazier by 11 points; Coors is a bigger name than Frazier, of course, but it can’t be overlooked that Perlmutter won a blowout victory in what was a huge wave year for Republicans.
Coors would no doubt try to play off his business experience in a campaign against Perlmutter, but even that comes with problems. He made headlines in 2002 for reportedly being swindled in an investment scheme in which he invested family money in a program that promised a “100% return per week” (seriously, he thought “100% per week” was realistic?) but which turned out to be a “Prime Bank” scheme in which investors are tricked into believing their money is being placed in well-known institutions.
Again, Coors has been making serious inquiries about running in CD-7. We’re surprised that he’s even considering a run, but we’d be even more surprised if he ultimately jumped in the race; there are just too many reasons for him to not run.
Joe Coors, Jr. is the son of Joe Coors, and the great-grandson of brewery founder Adolph Coors. His father, Joe, Sr., was well-known for his conservative political leanings; he was a founding member of the Heritage Foundation and was also involved in the creation of other conservative think tanks.