UPDATE #3: In our second update (below) we mentioned the inherent risks of being known as the Republican “establishment” candidate. Keyser is already stuck with the label as the NRSC’s candidate, and now this from the Communications Director for Jeb! Bush:
Excited about Jon Keyser jumping into the CO-Sen race. Would give Bennet a very strong challenge in a winnable state https://t.co/7c2IUtCV5F
— Tim Miller (@Timodc) January 12, 2016
UPDATE #2: The Denver Post now reporting on the official announcement from Keyser, who also plans to resign from his job as a corporate attorney. Former Colorado Republican Party Chair Dick Wadhams echoes the concerns about Keyser as the NRSC candidate:
But he added that Keyser — as well as other candidates — would be well served to guard against the perception that he is too closely tied to GOP insiders.
“There is a strong anti-establishment fervor running through this party right now,” he said.
State Rep. Jon Keyser is expected to announce today that he will seek the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate and resign his seat in the legislature in order the focus on campaigning.
Colorado Pols reported in November that Keyser was getting serious about a potential U.S. Senate run, and various media outlets have since reported that he is the newest hope of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).
As we’ve said many times in this space, it’s far too premature to consider how Keyser might match up against incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet (D-Denver) in a General Election. State Senator Tim Neville (R-Jefferson County) officially kicked off his U.S. Senate bid last week, and he remains the overwhelming favorite in a June Republican Primary. We don’t see that changing anytime soon.
The 2016 Colorado legislative session kicks off on Wednesday, so Republicans will have to act quickly in convening a vacancy committee to replace Keyser, who was first elected in 2014. This is becoming something of a routine for Jefferson County Republicans; State Rep. Libby Szabo abruptly resigned from the legislature about this time last year after successfully lobbying to be appointed as a Jeffco County Commissioner.