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June 04, 2008 07:56 PM UTC

Republicans Look Ahead to November

  • by: Colorado Pols

Seen and heard at last weekend’s Republican State Convention (we meant to post this on Monday, but forgot)…

  • Republicans feel that the most likely legislative seat to be picked up in November is the one held by Rep. Wes McKinley. Republicans recruited a very popular Hispanic County Commissioner, Ken Torres, to challenge McKinley. It also doesn’t help McKinley that an odd Colorado Ethics Watch report called him one of Colorado’s Most Corrupt Public Officials, even though his only crime was some minor campaign finance reporting errors.
  • State Sen. Shawn Mitchell has been busy building a team to propel him into the legislative leadership ranks, but he may have overlooked his own vulnerability. Mitchell helped recruit a strong challenger against Sen. Brandon Shaffer and solid candidates for the open seats of Sue Windels and Stephanie Takis , as well as a challenger to Rep. Dianne Primavera.

    But the GOP’s own internal polls have Mitchell trailing against his Democratic opponent, Joe Whitcomb. Despite Mitchell’s years of service in the legislature, his name ID is not strong, and the fact that he trails this early in the race has Republicans bracing for a Mitchell loss.

  • Republicans are confident of taking back SD-19 now that Windels is term-limited. They are privately touting an audit of State Board of Education expenses requested by Joint Budget Committee member, Sen. Steve Johnson, as a silver bullet in this race (Democratic candidate Evie Hudak is a current BOE member).
  • Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave was a dead woman walking on Saturday. Supporters of Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, as well as Rep. Cory Gardner, were telling delegates that should Musgrave lose to Democrat Betsy Markey this November, they will both immediately announce their candidacies. Both were privately telling delegates that Musgrave is a lost cause.


    44 thoughts on “Republicans Look Ahead to November

    1. Mitchell – didn’t he hire the same person to run his campaign as Mark Hillman did for Treasurer?  If she runs his campaign as well as she ran Hillman’s campaign – Joe is a shoe in.

        1. At least Congressman Beauprez had the good sense not to sign a pledge limiting how much money he could raise to win!  

          Who ever heard of Kennedy?  Oh wait.  Isn’t she our State Treasurer?  Wasn’t Hillman the appointed incumbent?  How did he blow that one?

          1. she was a complete unknown and what little money she raised was spent on foolish radio spots. Miraculously, she only lost to Suthers by 9 points. Was that because  Suthers’ campaign manager was awful? I would also argue that Gordon didn’t run a terrible campaign, but he narrowly lost just like Hillman. As for signing the pledge: I think it is admirable when a politician keeps their word.

            I thought the 2006 election was fascinating, but maybe your memory isn’t working so well and you’ve forgotten all that happened as you try to dumb it down.

            1. 1. denver.  that would have helped every dem, but if there hadn’t been 3 hour lines it might have made the difference

              2. he missed the bus: literally.  while ritter was barnstorming in his bus with loads of political capital on his way to a landslide he invited Cary and Ken to travel with him.  Ken missed the bus at a pueblo (?) stop and they had to turn the bus around and pick him up when they figured it out.  Ken wasn’t invited back.

                1. But one of the rules of life is, when looking for reflected glory try to make life easy for the star.

                  Cary got time on stage at a Perlmutter fundraiser that Obama headlined because everybody else was late.  Cary picked up goodwill because she was respectful of others time.  Ritter liked her and was happy to have her along.

      1. If memory serves me right she ran Mitchell’s campaign before and won.  06 was a tough year for alot of Republicans, I sure wouldnt chalk up that loss to the CM.

        1. Mitchell was not up for election in 06 so he didn’t have to compete in a tough year yet.  He has not shown himself to be much of a campaigner despite his other political talents.  

          BTW, I love how we are talking about how tough Mitchell will have it but at the same time we talk about how Mitchell’s endorsement will help Primavera’s challenger.  Hmmmmm…..

          1. I was talking about Hillmans campaign in 06 not Mitchell’s, pointing out the fact that alot of Republicans had a tough go at it that year.

    2. Every time they run Musgrave and Mitchell face tough opponents. The landscape is littered with the bones of challengers who came up just a little bit short. Mitchell and Musgrave will be pushed this year but they will not lose.  

      1. Democrats have also never seriously challenged Mitchell with both a solid candidate and a well-funded campaign.

        Musgrave and Mitchell are completely different. Musgrave has always survived tough candidates and big money from the Democrats. Mitchell has never had to face both before.

    3. … is far from toast.

      From the last FEC report:

      Musgrave Cash-on-Hand: $1,014,007

      Markey Cash-on-Hand: $376,372

      Marilyn Musgrave has more than twice as much cash-on-hand as Markey.

      1,000 gross ratings points of Denver network TV cost around $250,000.   Doesn’t look like Markey’s gonna be able to afford that.

        1. What is your take? Will Gardner and Buck’s circling scare off donors or dampen enthusiasm for Musgrave? Would they have been so brazen about her vulnerabilities if they weren’t alarmed by Markey’s poll, or have access to their own, equally alarming polls?

          1. Don’t know Buck.

            They should have shown Musty the door and put Hillman up.  He lost statewide, because he put too much money in rural radio and yard signs and didn’t go up on TV, which lost him he suburbs.  However, the CD4 is not statewide and they would of loved the fact that he is 1. a nice guy 2. well spoken 3. unable to do math.

            He could have been hammered on the Million dollars the “family farm” recieved in agribusiness welfare, but that could cut both ways.

          2. Musgrave could be in trouble based on what has happened in other Red states like Mississippi, but she has softened her image and has a lot of money – it’s still her race to lose. There were rumors two years ago that Buck might challenge Musgrave in a primary, so he’s likely rooting for a loss anyway.

            Mitchell is probably toast. He’s like a lot of legislators who are good under the dome but not as good politically. Mitchell has never had to face both a good opponent and a well-funded opposition, and Republicans are genuinely worried about this race.

            McKinley is definitely in trouble. As for SD-19, it’s too early to make a prediction there. This will be the #1 race in the state, so it’s still very early and we don’t know what opp research will say about the Republican.

        2. According to whom???

          Everybody knows that this is a liberal blog. Did you get a Ron Paul supporter to pass along this info? FYI, they were pretty much off on their own planet on Saturday.

          I spoke to both Buck and Gardner about the races going on and NEITHER one said anything about what you aledge. Who is your source??

          1. Are you feeling left out of the inner circle, because Gardner and Buck didn’t confide in you? It’s tough when you’re marginalized by the real insiders, isn’t it?

      1. It will require Markey to do everything right but MM is very beatable. I’ve yet to find anyone who actually likes her. I’ve met lots of people that will vote for her because of the [R] but none that want her.

        1. And a lot of people in Eastern Colorado actually do like her, quite a bit. Bear in mind that the Eastern Plains are only about 200,000 people and the bulk of the population is Larimer-Weld-north Boulder.  But her Eastern Colorado base has saved her before.   The social conservatism that so offends liberals in the I-25 belt is second nature to Eastern Colorado.

    4.    Wouldn’t it be a hoot if this audit uncovers something embarrassing about the GOP U.S. Senate candidate who also sat on the B.O.E.!

        1. Hey, I don’t know much about the SBOE, but how would an unfavorable audit harm Hudak but leave Schaffer unscathed? Are they looking at travel expenses or the like? Otherwise, won’t the entire board be tarnished? It’s a sincere question, I don’t know anything about the board’s inner workings.

    5. before they hatch.  Even if Musgrave eventually looses, it is inappropriate for members of the same party to announce her political obituary at the assembly that is nominating her.  Sounds like both these gentlemen have problems controlling their ambition.  If she wins, and she has to be the odds on favorite right now based on the traditional strength of the Republican Party in the 4th CD, they will have done themselves great political harm.  One wonders if both Buck and Gardner want Musgrave to loose.  They have put themselves into a category where we can legitimately ask them if they are really Markey supporters.

      One thing both of them are forgetting.  Both of them (Buck and Gardner) are cut from the same cloth as Musgrave.  They both focus on “god, guns, gays and abortion” and the politics of fear.  If she looses because of that, then either one of them will too.

      This is another example of where the Republcian party needs entirely new candidates to lead the Party out of the wilderness.  If Musgrave looses, and either Buck or Gardner is nominated in two years, either one of them will insure the Republican party remains in the wilderness for another forty years.

          1. Supporters of Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck

            It didn’t say Ken Buck (unless of course Ken Buck is Ken Buck’s only supporter)

      1. Take a look at the hard work he did on the Republican River basin issue, and a lot of other stuff.  He’s very young, just finishing his third year (if I recall, he was appointed to fill Brophy’s seat late enough to make him eligible for three more two-year house terms.)  Then he could run for Brophy’s Senate seat.  He has no need to challenge Musgrave at all and I don’t think he bad mouths her either, he never has to me.  He’s just young and accomplished enough to be a candidate to succeed her when she retires. If she loses, obviously, he’ll probably run for the seat.  But he is far more interested in renewable energy (windmills equal jobs in eastern Colorado) water and other bread and butter issues than the Lavender Peril.  My farm is in his district, so we talk about this stuff a lot.

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