As the Denver Post’s John Frank reports, conservative Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tim Neville officially kicked off his run yesterday, charging ahead while other prospective candidates are still piecing their campaigns together:
“We all know we have a lot of problems in Washington. When an organization like Planned Parenthood ignores the law, kills the unborn, sells their body parts for profit and we have both parties that can’t even come together to end this tragedy, we have an issue with leadership,” he said referencing some of the debunked claims based on videos about the health care provider. Neville said he would support a bill to declare that life begins at conception and outlaw abortions.
In a roughly 20-minute speech, Neville went on to blast Democrats — particularly President Barack Obama and U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet — on a litany of issues, including immigration, Iran, energy regulation, Obamacare, Common Core, unions, spending, religious freedom, gay marriage and the Second Amendment.
“It is extremely important that we never waver in our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms,” the Littleton lawmaker said in the first stop of a statewide tour to kickoff the campaign.
At this point, Neville is the candidate to beat in the Republican Senate primary. Joining Neville at his campaign launch yesterday were a number of upstart conservative Colorado legislators, including Reps. Lori Saine and Justin Everett and Sen. Laura Woods. Everett’s support for Neville in the primary was broadcast last month after Everett started taking pre-emptive shots at fellow Rep. Jon Keyser, who may be about to announce a 17th Street establishment-backed run of his own.
A similar dynamic may be setting up in the 2016 U.S. Senate primary as occurred in 2010. That year Ken Buck was the solid favorite of the conservative Republican party base, and defeated Washington GOP establishment supported former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton on his way to a very narrow loss to Sen. Michael Bennet. As we’ve discussed in the past, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has a terrible record when it comes to picking candidates in Colorado primary races, and the GOP rank-and-file in our state is almost as contemptuous of D.C. Republicans as they are of Democrats.
Given the tremendous bad blood between the various factions within the Colorado GOP today, there’s no unifying force to rally support to any establishment candidate–even less than existed in 2010, when Dick Wadhams could at least cuss people out. The situation is absolutely ripe for a candidate like Neville to lock down the Republican primary electorate, and fend off anyone the NRSC or other establishment GOP kingmakers decide they like better.
Because more than anyone else in the race, Tim Neville represents what his party stands for today.