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August 07, 2007 05:43 PM UTC

Witwer Won't Run for Re-Election

  • by: Colorado Pols

Surprising news today from The Canyon Courier. Republican Rep. Rob Witwer, one of the GOP’s rising stars, announced yesterday that he will not run for re-election in 2008:

After two years representing Evergreen in the Colorado legislature, state Rep. Rob Witwer announced Monday that he won’t run for re-election in November 2008. He intends to serve the remainder of his current term, which ends in January 2009.

Witwer, 36, a Republican, is characterizing his departure as more of a sabbatical than a final goodbye.

“I’m stepping away from elective office for now, but I’m not leaving politics. I’ll be working hard to elect candidates who believe in the ideals of limited government, lower taxes and common-sense education reform,” Witwer said in a statement.

“I will soon have four kids under the age of 7, which probably speaks for itself. At this stage of my kids’ lives, I want to be more available,” said Witwer, who is anticipating child No. 4, a boy, in September.

Witwer is employed as assistant general counsel for Molson-Coors Brewing Co. His children are 6, 4 and 2.

Witwer’s seat is probably safely Republican, and while he says he’ll be back in politics eventually, it’s easy to be forgotten once you’ve been gone for a few years.


23 thoughts on “Witwer Won’t Run for Re-Election

  1. Rob Witwer was my favorite Republican at the State House. He was a very common sense sort of legislator.

    He should be commended for putting his family first.

  2. Big surprise. Big blow to the republican’s – Witwer is smart, can think on his feet and doesn’t come across as a knuckle-dragging like creep. He’d make a good “face” for the party.

    Best of luck to him.

    1. Witwer was one of the few moderates in the House GOP and I’m hoping this does not give the neo-cons a chance to have him replaced by yet another extremists.

        1. Conservatives of old, like Goldwater, are nowhere to be found.

          Anyone who goes under the guise of the republican party as a reagan republican, is a neo-con; also known as one who believes in selling out america

          1. You’re factually wrong.  There are big differences within center-right coalition.  I’m not sure, however, that it’s worth arguing over anymore.  “Neo-con” means “bad” to you.

            (If you’re curious, though, neo-cons actually fall to the left of most conservatives on things like government spending on social programs and the rejection of realpolitik in foreign policy.  They’re very different from religious conservatives as well.) 

            1. The term neo-con, to me, has a negative association because of all the wrong that those who consider to be one have done. So, sure neo-con means bad.

              “Cutting taxes” is the Dogma of neo-conservatives. I don’t where you get off saying that they fall to the left of most cons; is that a right-wing radio pundit talking point or do you just believe everything that David Horowitz reads to you at night?

              And neo-cons groups like PNAC and the American Enterprise Institute do no reject realpolitik in foreign policy.

              1. The term has so little meaning anymore it means just about whatever you want it to.  The “roots” of the neo-con “movement” show themselves so little today its amazing.  I would agree w/ you Go Blue that I equate the word w/ just plain bad policies, but much the same as “liberal” and “conservative” dont mean the same as they did 30 years ago, neither does neo-con. 

              2. Well, there’s the operative term.

                Neo-cons believe in cutting taxes, but don’t worry the same way as paleo-cons about the size of the government.  They see tax cutting as a standalone good and often as a means for producing more tax revenue.  Conservatives would argue that the ultimate goal of cutting taxes is to starve the state of revenue.  Very different ideologies.

                It’s funny that you’ve got the Reagan Republicans in the neo-con camp, considering that one of their biggest spokesmen, Pat Buchanan, is considered the ideological leader of the paleo-cons. 

                And, finally, the neo-cons are the people within the administration who are pushing such ideas as “nation building”  and intervention for the purpose of fostering democracy.  (as opposed to realpolitik which says it’s okay to get into bed with folks like Saddam Hussein as long as he’s at war with Iran (i.e. the Reagan administration)).

                You’ll also find extreme disagreements on immigration, support of the State of Israel, free trade and the role of religion in public life.

                Alas, it’s pretty much a lost cause to try to parse this stuff because I will agree with you on one thing.  In today’s lexicon, “neo-con” = “bad” to many people and the details don’t matter.  So calling all conservatives neoconservatives is pretty much standard, although it’s lamentably incorrect. 

      1. Witwer is very smart, and polished, but he was not a moderate.  He was not even as moderate as his father.  He was pretty right wing – he was just more eloquent than some of the other real wing-nuts.

        1. that’s always been my perception of him too. He’s slightly less caustic that Penry but his politics are still very right wing.

          Dr. Witwer may as well be a Democrat compared to his son.

  3. I met the gentleman from Evergreen during a photo exhibit in the Capitol; he introduced our group on the floor and was concerned about the environment in a way that I had almost given up hoping that Republicans understood.

    He’ll be missed.

  4. … and I don’t mean the Green Day song.

    I’m glad Witwer finally got his priorities straight.

    His presence in Denver WILL NOT be missed by conservatives.  I think Al White was the only Republican more liberal than Witwer.

    It is telling that all the liberals on here are lining up to sing his praises.

    One less liberal Republican in Denver is a good thing.

    1. I’m glad Witwer finally got his priorities straight.

      The humour of this, is that most of the current round of republicans running for president and many other positions, show that they while they speak of family values, they are anything but. This guy at least put his kids first.

    2. Coors lets him work a very few hours a week because he is in the Legislature. Now he will have to work the same hours as every other junior lawyer. I somehow do not think he will be spending much more time with his family

  5. If you think this is a reliable Republican seat then you don’t know what you are talking about.  Joan Fitzgerald carries this area all the time.  In addtion, Salazar carried it.  It is trending more and more Democrat because the Republicans here are pro-choice and not religious zealots.  They are mostly what used to be called “Country Club Republicans.”  I know. I have lived and worked politically in this district for 25 years.  With the right candidate and the right campaign, this seat is a Democratic pick-up waiting to happen.  Even without the right candidate, if the Republicans pick, as they have been doing recently, someone like a Mike Koop, they are dead, dead, dead.  Mark my words.

    With that said, Rob is a good man, and he will be missed by me.  I didn’t always agree with his positions, especially on social issues, but he was honest, hardworking, thoughtful and not terribly partisan, and those are hard qualities to find in Republican candidates today.  He’s making the right decision and that makes me respect him all the more.

    1. On the contrary, “moderate” is a bad word down here as shown in the recent nasty republican primaries. Will we see a moderate challenge the far right and step up to run for Witwer’s seat? I expect not. 

      I agree with you on the following: moderate Jeffco republicans are increasingly abandoning far right candidates, the republicans would have to screw up to lose this seat given their registration majority, and Rob Witwer is a good man and a good legislator.

  6. Rob Witwer is a real solid guy, and he will leave a big hole in the House.  He will be sorely missed.  Seems like all the good ones leave.

  7. Rep. Witwer was responsive to his constituents which  should not be taken for granted. I am a Democrat, but I have to commend him for that. Look how many representatives cannot even mangage to respond to the people they represent. Andrew Scripter is the DEM in the race and this should increase his chances.  Mike Daniels ran a good race last time too. 

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