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February 20, 2024 10:49 AM UTC

Doug Bruce In It To Win It, Or At Least Kick It

  • 7 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols
Rep. Doug Bruce preparing to kick a Rocky Mountain News photographer in 2008.

As reporter Hannah Metzger writes for Westword today, one of Colorado’s most infamous conservative activists, former state Rep. Doug “Mr. TABOR” Bruce, is officially jumping into the CD-5 primary for retiring Rep. Doug Lamborn’s seat after signaling his intention to do so early this month:

Rumors have swirled for weeks that Bruce could join the crowded field of candidates running to replace retiring U.S. Representative Doug Lamborn in Colorado’s 5th Congressional District. But Bruce just made it official, telling Westword that he will petition onto the Republican primary ballot. He’ll need to collect 1,500 signatures to make the June primary.

“America is under attack! We must act!” reads Bruce’s campaign platform, which lists some of his top priorities as deporting “illegal aliens,” stopping “genital mutilation,” ending “COVID panic” and “respecting Presidents Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump.”

Bruce joins more than a dozen candidates from four political parties vying for the congressional seat. In the Republican primary alone, he’ll face off against an array of colorful characters, including conservative podcast host Jeff Crank, former Colorado State University football player Joshua Griffin, self-published biblical adventure and anti-porn author Cory Parella, and the controversially combative chair of the state Republican Party, Dave Williams.

As we predicted when news of Bruce’s interest in the race first circulated, Bruce is eschewing campaign contributions entirely and self-funding his campaign–because he has the money after years as a slumlord in Colorado Springs and other cities despite his legal troubles, and also because Bruce won’t have to answer questions about (not) raising money. The upshot to this is that Bruce is for good or ill the best-known of any of the candidates currently running for the CD-5 GOP nomination, which means Bruce doesn’t have to spend money raising his name recognition the way other candidates will.

For all the energy Colorado Republicans spend defending Bruce’s 1992 so-called “Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights,” a perennial chokehold on the state’s budget that in practice has left Republicans with much less to carp about as it imposes harsh fiscal austerity on the Democratic majority, corporate Republicans have little love for Bruce personally, whose offensive brusqueness and personal hostility toward fellow lawmakers and the media made Bruce a liability to the caucus–so much that he was successfully primaried after a single term in office.

But none of that may matter. Although he’ll never win the endorsement of the Colorado Springs Gazette, Bruce remains a hero of the conservative grassroots because of his authorship of TABOR. Bruce’s superior name ID over the rest of the pack is a powerful advantage, and Bruce’s ability to sling red meat on the campaign trail directly targets voters who might otherwise back bombastic Colorado GOP chairman Dave Williams. Given that this crowded primary could well be decided by a relatively small plurality of voters, there’s a scenario in which Bruce’s advantages combine to give him the edge over the other contenders.

And if Colorado does send Doug Bruce to Washington, he’ll fit right in the freakshow outer orbit of the House Republican caucus! If you were worried about losing a major source of entertainment with Rep. Lauren Boebert’s impending flameout, Doug Bruce will do his best to not disappoint.

In two years, we could well be talking about another CD-5 primary after a lot of collateral damage.

Comments

7 thoughts on “Doug Bruce In It To Win It, Or At Least Kick It

  1. do you think the fact that Bob Gardner has been an elected official there for 16 years will help him carve out some loyalty? Also he has an Air Force background…

    1. That probably works against Gardner in the modern MAGA party. He is part of the Deep State. Better to nominate someone with absolutely no experience in government, to wit:  Lauren Boebert or MTG.

    2. Bob Gardner did defeat “Chaps” Klingenschmitt in 2016 for the District 12 Senate office. By quite a high margin: ( ~62% – 38%). People do respect Gardner, and he has high name recognition. I think Gardner has a good chance to come out on top in the primary. People fear and loathe David Williams, which he has worked hard to earn. Doug Bruce gets the same reaction.

       

      Bob Gardner defeated Gordon Klingenschmitt in the Colorado State Senate District 12 Republican primary.[5][6]

      [hide]Colorado State Senate, District 12 Republican Primary, 2016
      Party Candidate Vote % Votes
           Republican Green check mark transparent.png Bob Gardner 61.76% 8,243
           Republican Gordon Klingenschmitt 38.24% 5,103
      Total Votes 13,346

      2012

      1. The GOP is a different party then it was in 2016, so I have to agree with LBIAWPOS and JeffCo Blue on this. I don't know who it will be but I don't think it will be Bob Gardner.

  2. I think it's inevitable that CD5 will send some clown to Washington. It remains to be seen which clown will emerge from the car to continue to embarrass Colorado. 

    I think Doug has a good chance. And his cringe will be a different sort of vibe then Bobert's trailer trash persona.

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