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August 19, 2016 02:42 PM UTC

The Saddest Vacancy Committee in Colorado

  • by: Colorado Pols
Cameron Forth
Cameron Forth

Cameron Forth is the new Republican candidate for State House in HD-18 (Colorado Springs). You might not know Cameron Forth, which is okay, because he probably doesn’t know you, either. And he’ll tell you that.

As of Thursday night, Forth is the new Republican challenger to Democratic Rep. Pete Lee, who was first elected in 2010 and has been comfortably re-elected ever since (this is not your typical conservative Colorado Springs district; about half of HD-18 voters are registered Unaffiliated). Republicans had already nominated Sonya Rose as their candidate, but Rose decided that she didn’t want to run after all, so the GOP needed to quickly convene a vacancy committee.

The Colorado Independent covered the events at last night’s vacancy committee, and the result is one of the more unintentionally-hilarious stories of the 2016 election cycle. You really need to read the entire story, but in the meantime, here’s a fun excerpt to get you started:

Speaking from a lectern, Rose nominates local land surveyor Cameron Forth for the post. His previous political experience included running for Congress in Iowa as an independent a decade ago.

“I don’t even know anyone in this room,” Forth says to the assembled local Republicans when he accepted the nomination. [Pols emphasis]

But, to Forth’s apparent surprise, he’s quickly challenged.

Forth ended up (kinda) winning the vacancy committee, which wasn’t totally official because Republicans didn’t have enough people show up to qualify for a quorum (State Party Chair Steve House had to formally appoint Forth as the candidate later). Forth emerged as the choice of the vacancy committee after two rounds of voting, despite the fact that nobody knew who he was.

You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried.


5 thoughts on “The Saddest Vacancy Committee in Colorado

  1. House had to make the appointment official. Will he be visited by the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse:  Tank, Cynthia , Becky and Moderatus for overstepping his authority? 

  2. Truth be told, this is typical of vacancy committees for either party in "no-hope" districts. Usually, a (sacrificial) candidate volunteers or is recruited before the meeting, one or more others volunteer on the spur of the moment at the meeting (often without any thought to what is really involved), and you have the sorting out described above. I was part of a Dem vacancy committee for a no hope district earlier this year that had a similar meeting.

    The difference is that, on paper, HD 18 would not appear to be a no hope district for the Republicans and they should have their act together. However, Pete Lee is incredibly well liked (even Republicans acknowledge he is a very nice guy), he is a great fit for the district, he has been very effective in passing legislation, and he is a three term incumbent. Rs took their best shot four years ago and still failed 40-60, so it was hard to recruit a serious candidate the last two cycles.

  3. And speaking of vacancy committees, we Jeffco Dems got to hold TWO vacancy committee meetings to nominate someone to run for one county commissioner seat this year.

    No one declared prior to the county assembly/convention so the chair entertained nominations from the floor. A slew of people were then nominated on the morning of the assembly, many of whom were not very well known. Eventually, the assembly decided to leave the decision to a vacancy committee which would allow time to vet the candidates.

    Three of them submitted letter of intent and the committee met. Two of the three declared candidates showed, spoke not in a formal debate but took questions from the committee members. There was a yuge turnout for the meeting and a vote taken but unfortunately, there was an inadequate record of a quorum so the proceedings were questioned.

    The vacancy committee met again, this time the guy who finished second had dropped out and the first place finisher at the first vacancy committee meeting was made the candidate by acclamation. And the presence of a quorum was noted and documented.


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