Dems Go To Court To Stop Late GOP HD-23 Candidate

UPDATE: Click here to read the complaint as filed in Jefferson County District Court today.


Nate Marshall, who got the GOP off to a very bad start in HD-23.

Nate Marshall, who got the GOP off to a very bad start in HD-23.

We've been talking about the Colorado Republican Party's major recruitment problems for state legislative candidates in this space for some weeks now. Perhaps the best example of the GOP's stunning inability to get organized in state legislative races is House District 23. A seat presently held by Democratic Rep. Max Tyler, Republicans originally nominated a candidate named Nate Marshall in this race. Marshall's campaign melted down, as our readers know well, after Marshall's overtly white supremacist past made headlines.

As we reported at the time, Republicans waited for weeks to hold a vacancy committee and appoint another candidate for HD-23 in the wake of Marshall's withdrawal. In the end, we broke the news in mid-May that Jane Barnes would replace Marshall as the GOP's HD-23 candidate–not the party. Which seems kind of weird, doesn't it?

As a complaint filed today shows, that's where things get problematic legally. The last day on which the law allowed the GOP to designate a new candidate to fill this vacancy in its assembly delegation was April 18. But the vacancy committee that selected Barnes didn't meet until April 28th, and Barnes didn't file her candidate affidavit until May 2nd–two weeks after the deadline.

Bottom line: as everyone knows, Jefferson County is the key to this election in just about every respect–with national eyes on races they normally wouldn't care about due to their aggregate effect up the ticket.  Like Politico says, “As Jefferson County Goes, So Goes Colorado.”  Understanding the critical role these races play, not just in the GOP's strategy to retake the legislature but all the way up the line, it's nothing short of unbelievable that the state and county GOP cannot get their act together. Democrats, who we can assure you do vet their candidates, simply do not have this problem.

Jane Barnes.

Jane Barnes.

First the Jefferson County GOP nominates a white supremacist with an arrest record, revealing a disastrous lack of vetting of GOP candidates in competitive races. After an embarrassing public spectacle they manage to force him off the ballot–but then they can’t even convene a vacancy committee in a timely fashion? They let weeks go by without doing anything at all?

And when they finally did hold a vacancy committee, they didn’t even bother telling anyone which candidate they nominated? Why were we the ones to break this news? For a party that claims to be interested in winning elections, this is just inexplicable behavior. Of course Democrats are going to cry foul–because they can and they should. And Republicans have no one to blame but themselves for these repeated displays of rank incompetence.

We'll update with court filings and press coverage later today.

12 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JeffcoBlue says:

    Deadlines matter, you incompetent dumbfucks. Make 'em pay.

  2. Moderatus says:

    Democrats must be awfully worried about Max Tyler to resort to stupid technicalities to thwart the democratic process. Shame on you!

    Nice try, Pols, but this still stinks to high heaven. The voters will see through it.

    • Curmudgeon says:

      "Stupid Technicalities", huh?  Funny how you GOP guys are all about the law, unless it's not working 100% in your favor. 

    • Canines says:

      The only way this can hurt Democrats is if Nate Marshall endorses Max Tyler.

    • BlueCat says:

      Program glitch? You left out "running scared".

    • Big Time says:

      See through what? This is politics – it's not tiddly winks. Voters will read and hear about how disorganized and incompetent the GOP is even before they get the chance to serve in government and then be reminded how GOP representatives bring loaded guns to capital building meetings about concealed carry of firemarms, only to forget they brough the gun and leave it behind in a gym bag, and they will be reminded of GOPers who don't show up to work, don't vote and when they do show up offer incoherant testimony so as to plainly show they have no interest in actually governing, only gumming up the works – ie, just like the national GOP. 

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      "The voters will see through it……"  And what do you base that statement on? Just curious; since I happen to live in District 23. I don't have any real issues with Max. He's a bit too liberal for my personal taste. But he's better than some clown who seems to be a redneck throwback to the 1950s. Don't know anything about Jane Barnes; she'll need to give me some concrete reason to vote for her.

      If my party didn't follow the election rules, then it's appropriate to call "foul."

      Regards,  C.H.B.    ( AC/DC Rules !)

  3. mamajama55 says:

    I'm glad to see this court filing. Max Tyler represents his district very well, is a cool head, and able to work across the aisle.

    Since the GOP screwed up twice on this nomination, they should have to pay the political price (not to be listed on the ballot) and learn the lesson for next time.

  4. FrankUnderwood says:

    The Jeffco GOP should not be let off that lightly.  Ed Ramey should have requested that Nate Marshall's name be restored to the ballot as the GOP candidate in HD 23. I'm guessing he supports the Second Amendment, TABOR and personhood.  And he's probably opposed to immigration reform…..

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