BREAKING: Jon Keyser to Resign from Legislature, Announce U.S. Senate Run

State Rep. Jon Keyser (R-Morrison)

State Rep. Jon Keyser (R-Morrison)

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:


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.


UPDATE: Keyser’s Senate campaign website is live.


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.

27 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Maybe Szabo is interested in a State Senate position? Maybe not so much – the pay isn't nearly as good as being a JeffCo Commissioner.

  2. Somehow I don't see Keyser doing well against Neville in a GOP primary.

  3. Socialisticat says:

    T'aint no expectin' needed.  Welcome to the new

  4. davebarnes says:

    He has a nice smile. Does Tim ever smile?

  5. Zappatero says:

    R's won with a good smile and a pack of lies last time…… reason to change that. 

    Bennet will have to prove to voters he's somehow different. He'll try to do this even though he's been fearful of being labeled, let alone doing anything concrete, as a progressive.

    For my money, which he'll never get, he should really start learning some populist rhetoric in case his horse doesn't come in this year, because the strategy he's taken since Day 1 and the actions he hasn't taken out of political fear are both losers. 

    Mongo says Bennet good, Mongo says Keyser bad. But Mongo no vote this year.

    • BlueCat says:

      Whatever. Pretty sure Colorado's Obama twin will win.

      • Zappatero says:

        Now, BC, this is a figurative "Mongo" I refer to above.

        I may yet decide to vote, even for Bennet. If Bernie's on the ballot it's a damned sure thing I'll vote.

        But the so-called independent voter this year is going for Trump and Sanders for a variety of reasons:

        …[N]either the right nor the left is monolithic. Now, for many white, working-class voters, nuance is suspect and smacks of over-educated elitism and lack of principle. Yet some of the same people pray to Jesus and quote the inerrant scriptures and violate them in spirit and in fact without seeming to see any contradiction. Hypocrisy? Maybe. Or compartmentalization.

        The common compartment both Trump and Sanders inhabit is that they are not perceived as establishment politicians. Trump, because he is Trump, and Sanders for all his years in Washington still presents as the same disheveled, cranky fly in the ointment. This year that's what supporters of both candidates wanted for Christmas – someone they can trust to give a middle finger to the elites. 

        There are some "independent" voters that will never vote for a Democrat no matter the circumstances, and I think they are more common that the independent who would never vote for a Republican. And appealing to them by aping your Republican counterpart in the senate and continually triangulating against your base can result in only one thing: Salazar…Markey…Udall…Bennet.

        He'll probably be relieved to be out of than damned stupid job he never should have taken (or been given) in the first place.

        • BlueCat says:

          Whatever, Zap. 

        • Gilpin Guy says:

          I fear the passing of David Bowie has thrown our fellow literary traveler into a dark place where the sun is wan and the darkness is strong. The world is all dark and smarmy and we're bitter and blue.   Life sucks and Ms. Clinton is a mean mother to Chelsea so how could you possibly vote for her rather than Cruz?  Boo-hoo.  Sob bitter tears of dispair

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      So true about winning with a pleasant smile and a pack of lies last time. Maybe they'll get lucky again……

  6. Craig says:

    Not sure I would have chosen that picture.  Does a guy with a toddler and a baby who's only 34 years old really need to be running for US Senate?  He'll be sorry he shirked his fatherhood duties.

  7. mamajama55 says:

    Wonder how Keyser's cheesy schtick of claiming voter fraud because he got two ballots (in two different  districts) will play in a statewide campaign. Oh, yeah, it was definitely a systemic failure.

     As Pols wrote in 2013:

    We are sick and tired of politicians–hell, anyone, but the best examples are politicians these days–who engage in deliberate, ridiculously obvious deception, and then try to act like we're all stupid when they're caught red-handed. Or in GOP House candidate Jonathan Keyser's case, red-balloted.

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