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June 18, 2024 01:59 PM UTC

"Lapdog Gabe"--Janak Joshi's Parting Gift To Gabe Evans?

  • 2 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

Colorado’s hottest congressional race in 2024 once again will be the fight for Democrats to defend the evenly-divided CO-08 seat held by incumbent Rep. Yadira Caraveo from who is expected to be the winner of the Republican primary, freshman state Rep. Gabe Evans. Although Rep. Evans is expected to win the primary election one week from today, Evans’ inability to eliminate his primary challenger former state Rep. Janak Joshi in the caucus process forced Evans to damagingly reaffirm his conservative credentials–just before Evans will need to pivot to a general election audience hostile to Donald Trump and conservative litmus-test issues like banning abortion and mass deportation Evans has been obligated to embrace all spring.

It’s a conundrum similar to that faced by GOP U.S. Senate nominee Joe O’Dea in 2022, in which the positions necessary to win a Republican primary left the candidate toxic to Colorado’s general election majority. O’Dea’s campaign fought bitterly but in the end unsuccessfully to downplay the self-harm done to O’Dea in the primary on issues like abortion. In the end, there’s no “shaking the Etch-a-Sketch” that allows candidates to reset their message from the primary to the general election–only Republicans who wish such a thing existed.

The one other thing that history shows us primary losers leave as a lasting mark on their victorious opponents is nicknames. Our most veteran readers remember in 2005 when Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Holtzman coined the infamous nickname “Both Ways Bob” Beauprez that bedeviled Beauprez not just through his 2006 battering at the polls but once again in 2014 when Beauprez ran and lost to Gov. John Hickenlooper. During the CO-08 primary, Joshi repeatedly attacked Gabe Evans as a “lapdog” to House Speaker Mike Johnson and other special interests. Speaking to the Chuck and Julie Show on May 15th:

JOSHI: McIntosh, who is the president of the Club for Growth had asked this guy, Don Constant, that, is speaker looking for lapdogs? I mean, he ask him right there, and he kind of was saying that, yeah, speaker is looking for lapdogs. And so my opponent, I, we know, I mean, with no experience of any kind. He’s not battle hardy like me, who has been beaten up and up and still survived and who is standing up tall. He will be a lapdog. [Pols emphasis] We know that. And, I will be a hound, as I say, I, I will…

And again on June 1st at a CO-08 primary debate:

JOSHI: I think what we need is educated, knowledgeable, elected officials. That’s a very important thing because then only they will all work together. Because then, particularly in both sides, if we are serving our country, there are certain principles and that’s what we have to follow. I would not be anybody’s lapdog. [Pols emphasis]

Although it’s not the only nickname in circulation for Gabe Evans (see: “Gabbin’ Gabe” and “Gabe-ish“), “Lapdog Gabe” could have some legs given that it was (more or less) created by Evans’ Republican primary opponent rather than by Democrats. If converts well from the primary message of Evans being a “lapdog” for Speaker Mike Johnson and the “RiNOs” at Americans for Prosperity to being a “lapdog” for the substantially less popular ex-President in the general election.

As “Both Ways Bob” can tell you, never underestimate the sticking power of a good nickname.

Comments

2 thoughts on ““Lapdog Gabe”–Janak Joshi’s Parting Gift To Gabe Evans?

  1. REPUBLICAN PRIMARY…

    Lapdog versus Hound from Joshi's statement.

    Is there a similar metaphorical characterization from Evans' campaign?

     

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