State Sen. Tim Neville, one of the legislature’s most conservative Republicans, will announce his campaign Thursday and join what may become a crowded primary field.
In an interview Monday, Neville said his political record in the General Assembly, where he opposed gun regulations, sought tougher abortion restrictions and pushed for a limited government, sets him apart.
“I don’t just talk the talk, I walk the walk,” he said. “It’s very easy for me to show the voting public where I stand and how I stand.”
Neville’s entry into this race sets up a major conflict within the Colorado Republican Party between party activists tired of equivocal “RINO” candidates and GOP elites who have been disdainful in recent years of the “Tea Party” grassroots they helped manufacture. Make no mistake: given the fractious nature of the GOP base in Colorado today, Neville is in a very strong position to own the rank-and-file that decides Republican primaries in our state. Neville’s unswayable base of support at the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners wields the bulk of its power in Republican primaries.
With Neville officially in, any other potential candidates still on the sidelines are now on notice. Not only do they need to decide what they’re doing and soon, they must now come up with a plan for winning over a GOP base naturally aligned with Tim Neville. However hard-charging Neville’s conservative politics may be, even his staunchest foes can’t deny that he works hard on the campaign trail, and knows retail politics very well. Nobody else gets a cake walk to this nomination with Neville in the race. No amount of National Republican Senatorial Committee pressure can dissuade Neville, indeed any such pressure might well have already backfired.
As of now, a war is on for the Colorado GOP’s heart and soul. And Tim Neville is in a strong position to win it.