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March 27, 2012 01:46 AM UTC

Brian Carroll Exits House Race...Again

  • by: Colorado Pols

This has got to be some sort of record or something.

Today Democrat Brian Carroll announced that he was ending his campaign for the state legislature in HD-28, meaning that he has now entered and exited the same State House race twice in 6 months.

Last fall Carroll inexplicably decided to run for the House against incumbent Andy Kerr, who only has one term left. Carroll ended his campaign rather quickly, but it all became a moot point when reapportionment convinced Kerr to run for the State Senate (SD-22) instead.

With Kerr running for a different seat, Carroll announced in January that he would again be running for HD-28. A month later, Democrat Brittany Petterson announced that she would also run in HD-28, and she quickly began collecting a strong list of endorsements.

At the Jefferson County Democratic Assembly on Saturday, Petterson bested Carroll with 80% of the vote, meaning that Carroll could only make it onto the primary ballot by going the petition route. Apparently he won’t bother, and is instead dropping out of the same race for the second time in 6 months.

Said Carroll:

“I began this journey with the intent to affect positive change in my community and to be a part of meeting the needs of our state. My dedication and commitment to serve my community, state and country will never wane. While I continue to believe that my background and experience well qualify me to represent House District 28, taking back the State House is too important to split critical resources in this fight. This is just the beginning for me in helping elect good Democrats in Lakewood and across our great state, including my endorsement of Brittany Pettersen for House District 28.”

We’d say it’s a bit of a stretch to call this a “journey,” since his campaign isn’t even entering month #3. And while it makes for an interesting trivia question to drop out of the same race twice in 6 months, it also all but ensures that Carroll won’t be getting elected to anything anytime soon. For one thing, nobody is going to donate a cent to his campaign if he runs again in the next 10 years.

You can read the full press release after the jump.

***Brian Carroll to Discontinue Campaign for Colorado State House District 28***

Army Veteran to support Democratic Candidate Brittany Pettersen in House District Run

Lakewood, CO – Army Veteran and Colorado Army National Guardsman Brian Carroll will discontinue his run for Colorado State House District 28 today.

“I began this journey with the intent to affect positive change in my community and to be a part of meeting the needs of our state,” said Brian Carroll. He went on, “My dedication and commitment to serve my community, state and country will never wane. While I continue to believe that my background and experience well qualify me to represent House District 28, taking back the State House is too important to split critical resources in this fight. This is just the beginning for me in helping elect good Democrats in Lakewood and across our great state, including my endorsement of Brittany Pettersen for House District 28.”

Carroll continued, “I want to send my most heartfelt thanks to my supporters, volunteers, family and friends along with the community leaders that have made this experience very special to me. I greatly value the personal relationships that I have fostered throughout this process. I look forward to growing those relationships as I intend to put my problem-solving skills to work towards our shared goals of creating safe places for the next generation to learn and grow, promote good-paying jobs so that our communities thrive, protecting the environment, and most importantly, fighting for social and economic justice.”

He concluded, “I will continue to fulfill my dedication to service with the Colorado Army National Guard, to support Veterans and our issues across the State and country, and in new opportunities with the Democratic Party and in my community of Lakewood. As a young man I have learned critically valuable lessons through this Democratic process, lessons that will be with me my entire life. I look forward to learning more as I stay actively engaged in Lakewood and Colorado.”

Brian works as Senior Information Technology Manager for the Colorado Army National Guard.


22 thoughts on “Brian Carroll Exits House Race…Again

  1. Look, I don’t know the players in this and maybe I’m naive and believe people are running because they believe they can make a difference, so that’s where I’m reading this from, but this post seems a little unfair.

    He decided to run against Kerr. Don’t know why. It doesn’t matter if Kerr is popular, Carroll has the right to run. Doesn’t mean he will win, but he has the right to try.

    Carroll decided to drop out. Don’t know the particulars, but even if he found out that Kerr was too big a powerhouse and he dropped out, who cares. He learned a lesson.

    Then, Kerr moves to senate race.

    With the house seat back up for grabs, Carroll tried again.

    He was “beat” at the convention by a stronger candidate.

    So instead of trying to petition on, he drops out again. Maybe he realized because of the 80% vote, he didn’t have a chance in the primary.

    Hopefully it’s the right decision for him.

    But to say it isn’t a journey and that he “inexplicably” decided to run against Kerr and then poke a bit of fun about the trivia question, well, that just seems like kicking a man when he’s down.

    Sure, maybe it was light kicking, but it’s still kicking.

    Again, I don’t know anybody in this game but for some reason this one struck a nerve.

    This is a journey. It’s an experience to file paperwork, start talking to people, getting told no, getting told yes, etc., etc.

    It may only be a few steps on the path, but at least he tried.

    This whole post reminded me of the “cool kids” laughing at the ugly girl who tried to be a cheerleader.

    Now, “Leave Brittany Alone!” ahem, I mean Brian. 😉

    1. And I do know the people involved. Both Petterson and Carroll are motivated, talented young people whose participation in the political arena makes the process better, not worse. Both Carroll and Petterson are Center for Progressive Leadership alum, and I am proud to know them. If Brian Carroll runs again, I’d be supportive, and I know others would be too.

      That said, I’m thrilled for Brittany. She’ll bring fresh energy to shake up the old boy’s political network.  

  2. This is way too harsh.  I am in this district and met both candidates at the precinct caucuses and the County convention.  The fact that Brian lost to a stronger candidate does not make him a bad candidate and should not subject him to ridicule.  You try, you fail, you try again. I don’t imagine he needs me or MHM to stick up for him, but I would prefer we save our disdain for the candidates and elected officials that deserve it.  There are plenty of them.  

    1. Fly-by-night whackjob candidates file and lose all the time, and never make any kind of splash or impact–either in the media, on blogs, and certainly not with the voters.

      The thing about Brian Carroll, though, is that his story is so compelling, he had met so many of the right people to get ahead politically, and had all the makings of a bright star in Democratic politics.

      But he wound up simply being a bright and bizarre meteorite. If anything, this blog’s criticisms of Carroll has to do not because he filed and got his ass kicked–but because he squandered so much, so quickly, and so spectacularly.  

  3. For no good reason I can see other than a personal dislike, we should be focusing on our nominee, Brittany Petterson.  Democrats will now be putting forth a nominee in a swing district who has recently only worked for liberal causes and hasn’t raised a heck of a lot of money.  The Republicans aren’t letting us walk away with this one, their candidate is raising good money and has a solid resume for the district.  Everyone was so ready to exact their revenge on Brian for going after poor Andy Kerr that we didn’t really think through who we were putting up instead.

    1. Well said

      FYI – I’m not a fan of many Republicans, but Amy Attwood is ALL CLASS

      Back when I was a GOPer, I found Attwood to be one of the most honest, loving, and energetic Republican activists out there – she’s a powerhouse and the district loves her

      Brittany will need support – trashing Carroll at this time doesn’t help the Democratic cause at all

    2. Actually, not so well said.

      First of all, Amy is NOT that centrist although I’m sure she’ll try hard to look like one. Secondly, the district hardly knows her – unless they’ve been to town halls and seen her by Ken Summers. (Not going to help the centrist image.)

      I am a Democrat and I do live in HD28 and just about anyone who attended either caucus or assembly would agree that Brittany was the better candidate. In fact, over 80% agreed with that. And not all of them were “exacting revenge on Brian for going after poor Andy Kerr.” (In fact, only half of them live in Andy’s old House District.)

      Sure, Brian got off on the wrong foot with a lot of the activists in the old HD26 neighborhoods and I’m sure a few held that grudge. But the problem was that it didn’t get a lot better from there. He made lame excuses for why he filed against Andy that insulted the intelligence of anyone who paid more than passing attention to the issue (i.e. the people he was trying to spin).

      But even with the stubbed toe set aside, his campaign had him walking precincts and sending out robocalls right before caucus instead of talking directly to the people most likely to go to caucus. When Brittany “apologized” in her speech at Assembly for all the phone calls people got from her, it was because she probably DID call everyone in that room… TWICE. I know a lot of my fellow assembly attendees who didn’t hear from Brian once – except by robocall or email.

      When he spoke, he sounded like he just graduated from campaign school. He actually got heckled at caucus at Alameda H.S. not for filing against Andy but because the HD Chair had to ask him 3 (4?) times to wrap up his comments because he had gone over the alotted time. And his speech wasn’t all that exciting to begin with. (Although he was a bit more passionate and fiery at assembly but too late.)In fact, did you hear Brian’s speech at Assembly? He wasn’t exactly carving out a center right position (And good for him!) so the critique that we nominated a “liberal” doesn’t exactly fly.

      I met him on a few different occasions and Brian seemed like a genuinely nice guy. But I don’t think he knew what he was doing and he was getting really bad advice from his campaign advisors. (Those are the folks that should REALLY be taken over the coals here. How do you go to assembly without spending the previous 2 weeks zeroing in on the 100 or so people who are going to be there?)

      Brittany knows how to campaign, understands the values that matter to the whole spectrum of people in Lakewood… and yes, she comes at it from the Democratic perspective. She also understands politics and the legislative system. Brian never gave me the confidence that he would know what to do once he actually got to the State House. He just kept coming across as too green.

      In the end, THAT would have been far more dangerous than nominating a community organizer. (Hmmm, where else have I heard “community organizers” disparaged?)

  4. I’ve talked with him several times and he’s a good guy whose only crime was being in a hurry to serve in the way he thought best. Was that a mistake? Yes. Does that disqualify him from running for the next 10 years? Heck, no. He’s just going to start with a lot to prove.  

    1. This campaign doesn’t mean he’s disqualified from running for 10 years. But for goodness sake, get to know your neighbors and get some advice from people who understand grassroots campaigning. Like Baaramewe said, he should have been able to at least make the ballot.

      1. Brian has a lot to contribute, for the time being in the LGBT veterans political niche.

        But he didn’t dump the Andy Szekeres/3PG Consulting gang that talked him into the “Hey, Let’s primary Andy Kerr!” circus in the first place. Everything from then forward was one unforced error after another. Hopefully he’s learned from that mistake.

        But any future campaign that makes that crew their brain trust deserves what they get.  

  5. I don’t live in HD 28 or know Brian Carroll, so no dog in the hunt here.

    So he announced twice and exited twice? Each time there were pragmatic reasons to do so. It doesn’t mean he’s dead politically for the rest of his life.

    I applaud anyone who gets involved in the political process, especially those who run for public office. Show me a man or woman who has never failed, and I’ll show you a man or woman who has never tried.

    ‘I will study and get ready and some day my chance will come”   Abraham Lincoln

  6. with 20% of the vote at the Jeffco Dem assembly would Pols have him stay in ?  WTF ?  C’mon, this makes no sense at all.

    Hate to pile on, but I think Pols is being a bit unfair here.

  7. Brian did squander a lot very quickly, but I think he did learn a lot and still has a future if he’s patient and plays his cards right.

    Whoever was running his campaign gave him some horrible advice. He should have at least made the ballot.  

  8. and don’t live in the district and have never met Brian, nor the other Brittany, but am going to contribute with meaningless platitudes showing I can.

    How many other candidates can you say entered and dropped out of the same race twice in less than six months?

    I can’t think of any, but I’m challenge others to come up with a name or two.

    That’s the point.

    A lot of politics is about timing.

    Obviously this guy’s timing sucks.

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