Field of Candidates for Jefferson County Offices (Almost) Set for June Primary

With both the Democratic and Republican county assemblies behind us, the field is set for the slate of races in Jefferson County. Here's the rundown for every race and candidate that will appear on the June Primary ballot, with a few notable exceptions (SD-16 and HD-23)…

SD-16 (Republicans will hold the SD-16 assembly this weekend)
Sen. Jeanne Nicholson (D), Incumbent
Tim Neville (R)
Richard Wenzel (R)

Sen. Rachel Zenzinger (D), Incumbent
Laura Waters Woods (R) — top line on GOP ballot
Lang Sias (R)

Sen. Cheri Jahn (D), Incumbent
Larry Queen (R)

Sen. Andy Kerr (D), Incumbent
Tony Sanchez (R) — top line on GOP ballot
Mario Nicolais (R)

Rep. Justin Everett (R), Incumbent — top line on ballot
Loren Bauman (R)
Mary Parker (D)

Rep. Max Tyler (D), Incumbent
Nate Marshall (R), expected to resign as candidate; Republicans have until April 17th to choose a replacement.

Jessie Danielson (D) — top line on ballot
Kristian Teegardin (D)
Joseph DeMott (R)

Jonathan Keyser (R)
Janet Heck Doyle (D)

Rep. Libby Szabo (R), Incumbent
Wade Norris (D)

Rep. Brittany Pettersen (D), Incumbent
Stacia Kuhn (R)

Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp (D), Incumbent
Robert Ramirez (R)

Taggart Hansen (D)

Jane Goff (D), Incumbent

Linda Shoemaker (D)
Robert Weverka (D)

Irene Griego (D), Incumbent

District 3
Don Rosier (R), Incumbent
John Flerlage (D)

Louis DAurio (R)
Ronald Sandstrom (R)
Andrew Hassinger (D)


Faye Griffin (R)
Michael Snow (D)


Tim Kauffman (R), Incumbent


John Graham (R), Incumbent


Jeff Shrader (R) — top line on ballot
Jim Shires (R)

Republican Party Imploding In Most Important Electoral County in Colorado

Nate Marshall, GOP candidate for HD-23.

Nate Marshall, GOP candidate for HD-23.

UPDATE #3: Nate Marshall not ready to formally resign as candidate in HD-23 (h/t to Ernest Luning of the Colorado Statesman). In a diatribe posted on Marshall's website (all CAPS is how it appears on Marshall's site), the candidate says that Jeffco GOP Chair Bill Tucker "[threw] him under the bus":




We'll continue to update this story as it develops.


UPDATE #2: The Colorado Independent confirms big news from Republican Rick Enstrom (who ran in HD-23 in 2012) that Nate Marshall was recruited to run by Tim Neville, the Republican candidate in SD-16 who has been endorsed by RMGO:

Embattled Colorado state House candidate Nathaniel Marshall was reportedly recruited to run for office by state Senate candidate Tim Neville, a prominent Colorado Republican politi

Republican Senate candidate Tim Neville (SD-16)

Republican Senate candidate Tim Neville (SD-16)

cian with close ties to far-right kingmaker Dudley Brown…

…Rick Enstrom, a prominent candy business executive and onetime Republican House candidate, tweeted Wednesday that Marshall told him that he was recruited to run by Neville. Today Enstrom confirmed that assertion in a phone interview.

“I’m not running for anything, and Tim Neville is a friend of mine but, hey, the facts are the facts,” he told the Colorado Independent.

This is a pretty significant twist to how a white supremacist career criminal could become the Republican nominee for House District 23. While Neville may claim that he didn't know about Marshall's past, it's hard to


believe that you could have conversations with the guy and not suspect anything strange. Anyone who followed Marshall on Facebook or Twitter would have seen some of this stuff.


Tim Neville’s Statement Does Not Make Suspicions Of Link Between Him/RMGO And Nathaniel Marshall Unfounded

(Worse and worse – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The Colorado Independent has been investigating the circumstances that led to Nathaniel Marshall, a person with significant ties to white supremacism, to enter the race for Colorado HD-23.  As an early result of that investigation, the Independent's John Tomasic reported yesterday that signs had emerged indicating that Tim Neville – a person with significant ties to Rocky Mountain Gun Owner's Association ("RMGO") – recruited Nathaniel Marshall to run for HD-23.  The signs relied on by Tomasic's article consisted of the following:

1) Rick Enstrom, a prominent candy business executive and onetime Republican House candidate, specifically claiming that Marshall admitted he was recruited by Neville at the Jefferson County Assembly ("Enstrom's Statements")

2) Dudley Brown, RMGO's Executive Director, admitting that per RMGO political director Joe Neville, Tim Neville spoke with Marshall at "an event" ("Brown's Statement")

In response to Tomasic's article, Tim Neville last night put forth the following statement on Facebook (accessible here):

"Regarding the leftist hit piece published today posing as a news story in the Colorado Independent:  I spoke with its author John Tomasik [sic] and told him I had no connection with Mr. Marshall's campaign– not as an endorser or financial donor or supporter.   I suggested Mr. Tomasic retract his story because it’s false.  Then he asked me if I ever met Mr. Marshall and I had to explain to him that I meet hundreds of people each week on the campaign trail.  Then he hung up on me.  Shocked?  No, but I'm very disappointed that a Republican like Rick Enstrom would spread such a story without even a phone call to me.  I believe he knows my number, since his campaign had no problem finding me when I helped him as a volunteer to walk his precincts in 2012.     These types of attacks only embolden me to fight even harder for you.  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all your calls and emails of support tonight.Iron sharpens iron. Together I look forward to taking back Senate District 16 this November and winning a Republican majority.   Game on!" (emphasis added)

While Tim Neville may wish that his mere claim that a story is false is sufficient to demonstrate that a story is in fact false, that is not the case.  Here, there is evidence to indicate that Neville – and through him potentially RMGO – recruited White Supremacist Nathaniel Marshall to run for HD-23.  The first two pieces of evidence are the Enstrom and Brown Statements.  In addition to those statements, last night Nathaniel Marshall revealed that he had been invited to an RMGO fundraiser as a candidate and that now they were throwing him "under the bus".  Moreover, recruiting Nathaniel Marshall would fit within a perceived pattern of RMGO supporting candidates who repeat its party line but who are poorly vetted – the chief example being former pornographic novel writer Jaxine Bubis.


Further Evidence Of HD-23 Candidate Nate Marshall’s Possible Ties to White Supremacism

POLS UPDATE: Jefferson County Republican Party Chair Bill Tucker demands that Nate Marshall resign as a candidate. From the Denver Post:

The chairman of the Jefferson County Republican party is demanding that candidate Nate Marshall resign after learning he has ties to a white supremacist group and a criminal record.

Marshall, 42, was the only Republican to run during the Jeffco GOP assembly on Saturday for the House seat now held by Rep. Max Tyler, D-Lakewood.

Marshall did not initially respond to the Post for the initial story above, and it may be hard to convince him to get out of the race now. Marshall was nominated by the Jeffco GOP, so as long as he doesn't resign in the next four days, he becomes their candidate in HD-23 by default. We're guessing that a guy with Marshall's background isn't exactly impressed when a county Party official demands a resignation.


Nate Marshall, GOP candidate for HD-23.

Nate Marshall, GOP candidate for HD-23.

Yesterday, Lynn Bartels of the Denver Post raised the possibility that HD-23 Candidate Nate Marshall is involved with White Supremacism.  On March 5, 2014, Nate Marshall filed his Candidate Affidavit to run for HD-23.  That Affidavit lists his Email Address as and his webpage as .

Searching for takes us to this linked post from March 22, 2013 on the white supremacist Stormfront Webpage by user “NateTheWatcher” telling Stormfront users that he is “putting together an event to unite groups in Colorado as well as everywhere on June 15-16. We will have a rally, a general session and breakout sessions to plan several actions involving the political and activism fronts.”  For contact information, NateTheWatcher tells people to contact him and .  If that information looks familiar, there is a reason for it – it is the same information that Nate Marshall, candidate for HD-23, listed in his candidate affidavit.  On this basis, it appears that Stormfront user NateTheWatcher is HD-23 Candidate Nate Marshall. 

NateTheWatcher (again, very possibly Nate Marshall) has another post on Stormfront date June 13, 2013 that popped up from a simple websearch for the website listed on Nate Marshall’s candidate affidavit.  This post, titled ”The Aryan Revolution.. 40 hours to go!” states:

“The Aryan Revolution begins in just over 40 hours. It is time to rise up and defend our race, heritage, and existence!

I thank and congratulate those of you who have in the past and now and in the future have made the courageous decisions to risk everything for your race.. a one for all and all for one mentality!

We will need to continue to fight hard.. the enemy has wounded us in the past and will again.. but even if we lose some battles we will win the war! MAKE NO MISTAKE WE WILL TRIUMPH!

There can be no doubt to our resolve.. our determination and our total and complete victory! Future generations will treat us as founding fathers of a greater world where once again freedom, equality and justice will prevail for our race! The wrongs of the past will be righted and our race will stand united against our enemies including ideology, parasites and the unwashed, unkept, unethical and pathetic jews!

Join us… give us your time, dedication and what you can sacrifice and we will bring you every dream possible as reality!

Thank you again! “


Abortion Debate Polarizes Jeffco Republicans

Great rundown from Lynn Bartels at the Denver Post on how the abortion debate is polarizing Republicans in Jefferson County:

The division in the Colorado Republican Party over abortion was apparent during the Jeffco GOP assembly when a low-key nomination for a state House seat turned into a passionate debate on abortion.

Nate Marshall, a construction manager, was the lone GOP candidate for the seat now held by Rep. Max Tyler, D-Lakewood. At the House District 23 assembly Saturday, delegate John Darrow asked Marshall where he stood on abortion.

“100 percent opposed,” Marshall said, drawing gasps and comments from from the audience.

Bartels goes on to explain how several Republicans spoke up immediately, questioning Marshall's "100% opposed" position on abortion — with one woman even claiming it would force her to vote for the Democrat in the race (Rep. Max Tyler).

The Personhood issue has been a hot topic in Colorado and nationally lately, thanks to Congressman Cory Gardner and his dubious announcement that he was changing his position on Personhood after years of support. Republican candidates still need to be firmly anti-abortion in order to make it through a Primary, but it sounds like more and more GOP voters are getting fed up with the Republican Party's refusal to bend on the issue.

Guess Who’s Back? Robert Ramirez in HD-29

Robert Ramirez

Third time’s the charm?

Among the many candidates who made appearances at Saturday's county assembly for the Jefferson County Republican Party was a familiar name to Arvada voters: one Robert Ramirez.

Ramirez has officially filed his paperwork with the Secretary of State's office to once again run for the State House in HD-29. In 2010, Ramirez defeated incumbent Democrat Debbie Benefield by less than 200 votes to win a seat that probably gave Republicans their short-lived majority in the State House.

In the following two years, Ramirez made multiple campaign blunders and odd policy statements, a combination that ultimately saw Democrat Tracy Kraft-Tharp re-take the seat for Democrats in 2012 by a solid 51-43 margin. It's difficult to say whether Ramirez is serious about running a real campaign in 2014, given his late entry into the race, or if Republicans just asked him to put his name on the ballot. If you look at his campaign website, it appears to be unchanged from sometime after he was first elected in 2010.

RMGO-Backed Candidates Win GOP County Assemblies

Lang Sias, Tea Party endorsed no longer.

Lang Sias, “Tea Party endorsed” no longer.

​As the Colorado Independent's Sandra Fish reports:

Jefferson County Republicans set the stage Saturday for two potentially divisive state Senate primaries.

Disagreements over which candidates are the strongest supporters of gun rights, “liberty” and the pro-life movement simmered just beneath the surface during an afternoon of speeches and voting.

Democrats have an 18-17 majority in the state Senate, and Republicans hope to take it back. The JeffCo seats, currently held by Democrats, could be key to that effort…

Saturday, Lang Sias and Laura Woods faced off in Senate District 19 for an opportunity to face appointed Democratic Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, while Mario Nicolais and Tony Sanchez competed in Senate District 22 where one of them will face incumbent Sen. Andy Kerr.

Sias, a former fighter pilot, took direct aim at Woods and her supporters, who include Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, a conservative gun rights group. Sais lost to Sen. Evie Hudak by fewer than 600 votes in 2012…

“My opposition thinks I should be disqualified because I didn’t participate in the Hudak recall,” Sias said. “I did not feel it was right for the to stand up and ask for a do-over.” [Pols emphasis]

Laura Woods.

Laura Woods.

Tony Sanchez in SD-22 and Laura Waters Woods in SD-19 are the prohibitive favorites of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, the hard-line gun rights group foremost responsible for the drive to recall two sitting Colorado Senators last year while forcing the resignation of a third.

But even as RMGO flexes its muscles in the Republican primary, evidenced by both Woods and Sanchez winning top lines on their respective primary ballots this weekend, there is desperate establishment pushback underway against this post-recall attempt to install more RMGO friendly legislators in the Colorado General Assembly. RMGO overall does a fantastic job getting their candidates through the GOP primary process, recent examples of their work including Sen. Vicki Marble.

Unfortunately, once these RMGO-endorsed primary candidates become legislators, they have a tendency to severely harm the Republican brand as a whole (see: Vicki Marble). Sometimes they don't even make it that far, like brief SD-11 "RMGO endorsed" recall successor candidate Jaxine Bubis. The fact is, you've got a lot of Republicans out there who would like nothing more than to wash their hands of Dudley Brown and his ilk forever.

At the same time, how can any self-respecting Republican cheer when Lang Sias runs away from those same recalls in his county assembly speech? For us, this epitomizes the cognitive dissonance at work among Colorado Republicans today. On the one hand, the recalls are the Colorado GOP's rallying point for this year's "comeback." On the other, they reveal perhaps the greatest weakness in today's Colorado Republican Party–embarrassed by its own "success," out of touch, at war with itself.

As we've said, we don't know what the GOP's solution is, but the problem becomes more obvious every year.

Jeffco School Board: 2090 Wright Street, Facts and Concerns

(More odd and concerning decisions from the new Jefferson County School Board. This decision is part of a troubling financial trend, including a $400,000 loan to Collegiate Academy [yellow-flagged on district financials] and a $250,000 loan to Mt.Phoenix Charter [red-flagged on district financials]. Click here for more background. – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

At the end of the executive session at the Jeffco Schools Board of Education meeting on Thursday, March 6th, no motion was made, so the district moved forward with filing the notice of appeal for the 2090 Wright Street property. 

The Board majority then decided at the March 20th meeting, at a restaurant and with very little public discussion, they wanted to withdraw the notice of appeal, against the advice of the Capitol Asset Advisory Committee.
By unanimous decision, with one member recusing, the members of the Jefferson County Schools Capital Asset Advisory Committee (CAAC) wish to demonstrate our support for the Jeffco Schools’ appeal of the Jefferson County District Court decision relating to the property parcel known as 2090 South Wright Street.

Collectively, the CAAC has been following this case since its inception. We have reviewed the Court’s decision and believe the implications to the district are significant with far-reaching implications as it relates to Jeffco Schools’ ability to conduct long range planning, manage school district properties and construct future schools.

These potential implications could be harmful and expensive to the district if this order is allowed to stand, leading us to recommend the appeal as a prudent business decision to protect and restore our property interests.


[More after the jump] (more…)

HD-24’s Lesson: It’s Not About You

Kristian Teegardin.

Kristian Teegardin.

We want to take just a moment to revisit a story from last week's Colorado Statesman, wherein lies a moral:

House District 24 Democratic candidate and Edgewater City Councilman Kristian Teegardin is not concerned that a past criminal history for attempting to pass a bad check will hurt him in a divisive primary against Wheat Ridge progressive policy strategist Jessie Danielson, or in the general election if he makes it there.

Teegardin was arrested at 29 years old in 2002 after attempting to pass the bogus check at an urgent care medical facility near where he lived at the time in Bloomington, Ind. He was charged with a misdemeanor for “check deception.”

He failed to make his initial court hearing on Jan. 21, 2003, resulting in a warrant issued for his arrest, according to Monroe County Circuit Court documents obtained by The Colorado Statesman.

He was then arrested on Feb. 2, 2003 in Bloomington, Ind. at 2:38 a.m. after a routine traffic stop revealed the outstanding warrant, according to a Bloomington Police Department arrest report. Teegardin was booked and jailed for the offense. He was also charged with having an expired license plate…

In the days since this story, there's been a bit of consternation about the potential use of this incident against HD-24 Democratic candidate and Edgewater council member Kristian Teegardin–by his Democratic primary opponent, which seems less likely, but more importantly by Republicans in the general election. To be clear, what we're talking about is a misdemeanor charge stemming from a 2002 bad check in Indiana for the sum of $123. The check offered was for medical care at an urgent care clinic, and it's tough to argue with the necessity of medical treatment after a bicycle accident as he claims was the case. Emergency medical care, as our readers know, is a situation that frequently puts consumers in dire financial straits.

The trouble, as seems to be the concern today among Democrats, is that Teegardin's decade old bad check could put an historically safe seat into play in November as a potential Republican pick up. Although HD-24 has been held by Democrats for a long time, the district has similar competitive numbers as Rep. Max Tyler's HD-23–a district where Republicans have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for the past two cycles. With Republicans expected to make a vigorous play for both the Colorado House and Senate this year, any weakness is going to be exploited to the absolute limits of believability–and then some. Any diversion of resources to counter Republican attacks due to an avoidable problem reduces the ability of Democrats to compete in other targeted races. If successfully attacked, a wounded candidate can affect other overlapping and adjacent races.

Again, none of this is intended to make more of this very minor incident than what it is. And it's certainly nothing personal. The problem is that the other side will not be in any way understanding about this, and will exploit it for its maximum strategic value–which affects more than Teegardin. With a viable Democratic candidate already in the race, these are real-world considerations that should render the question academic.

GOP Boots Indifferent Rep. Justin Everett from 2 Committees

Last October the Republican Liberty Caucus of Colorado awarded Jefferson County Republican Rep. Justin Everett with its "Goldwater Award," in recognition of the Colorado elected official who most represents the values of one Barry Goldwater (The RLC of Colorado is so conservative that they recently announced that they won't endorse any of the Republican candidates for Governor).

In announcing their award for Rep. Everett, here's what the RLC of Colorado wrote on their website:

This is not a reward for using “liberty” rhetoric.  The most important lesson an activist can learn is to pay attention to a politician’s votes rather than the words they use.   It takes a principled and diligent legislator to work through this myriad of bad legislation and ensure that he votes consistently for liberty.  In 2013, no one more fulfilled the vision of Barry Goldwater or the words of our Liberty Compact than Representative Justin Everett.

If you ask around you will learn that Justin commits long hours outside of the legislative day to understand these bills.  He serves as a resource for others, both in the chamber and in the public, who want to understand a particular bill.  In this way he is more than one vote in favor of our a principles, he is a leader on their behalf. [Pols emphasis]

Maybe this was all true in 2013. But these days, if you ask about Justin Everett around the Capitol, most people will probably ask you if you've seen him anywhere. Rep. Everett is taking the small government rhetoric to new heights — by doing as little "governing" as possible.


The smallest government is NO government.

Yesterday, House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso removed Everett from two committees — "Education" and Transportation and Energy" — with little in the way of explanation. DelGrosso replaced Everett on the "Transportation and Energy" committee with Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg, but left Republicans with a vacancy on "Education." DelGrosso was so mad at Everett that he asked the Sergeant at Arms to escort Everett out of the committee rooms. (Everett remains a member of the "Public Health Care and Human Services" committee; by statute, legislators must be a member of at least one committee). Here's DelGrosso's statement:

“Representative Everett is dealing with some personal issues and I wanted to give him more time to handle them. He was one of a few of our members who are on three committees, so I decided to remove him from two.Representative Everett remains on the House Public Health Care & Human Services Committee and will be reappointed once the issues are resolved.”

So why such harsh treatment? DelGrosso is apparently fed up with Everett's indifference toward his job, and his willingness to vote against the Republican caucus in favor of whatever the Liberty Caucus demands. Everett is frequently late to, well, everything, and he's completely unprepared when he does show up (and manages to stay awake). Everett sponsored the 2014 version of a bill to ban public employee unions, but in a January hearing he seemed unable to answer basic questions about the legislation, presented no witnesses, and watched as the committee took just 8 minutes to reject the bill outright. A bill to ban public employee unions was never going to get any traction in a Democratic-controlled House, but it's unusual for a sponsor to essentially do nothing to support its cause.

But it's not just committee assignments that Everett has blown off. As you can see in the graphic, Everett has been marked "Absent" in roll call votes a whopping 23 times already this year — once more than the number of "Absent" marks for all other House members combined. A Colorado Pols analysis of House roll call votes shows that Everett has only once been "Present" at least 3 days in a row. At least he's consistent.

Republicans have struggled to convince voters in recent years that they really have Colorado's best interests at heart. This fiasco with Everett is only going to make that impression worse.

Dispute Between Jefferson County GOP and RMGO Gets Weirder

Bill Tucker, Chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party, is trying to push back against claims by Dudley Brown and his Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) that County Party Officials are hostile to volunteers for RMGO-backed candidates (and a host of other charges). At least, that's what we thought Tucker was doing until…well, let's just say this whole mini-drama continues to get weirder.

After the original Colorado Pols post on the story (posted by user IndyNinja), Tucker was quoted by Lynn Bartels of the Denver Post about the RMGO claims; "That's not true at all," he told Bartels.

Bill Tucker

Bill Tucker, apparently

In a front-page message on the Jefferson County Republican Party website posted sometime in the last few days, Tucker sort of (kind of) tries to clarify the situation by not really refuting much and actually admitting to a particular error:

There have been recent letters and postings on the internet that imply that the Jefferson County Republican Party is turning away volunteers that openly support conservative candidates and issues in our County.  It is disingenuous to suggest that Jeffco Republicans are picking any one candidate over another candidate. [Pols emphasis]  Our aim is to fairly support all our candidates during the selection process and then stand behind those candidates that are selected in the primary so that they emerge victorious during the election this fall.

Following the caucus meetings of March 4, we are tasked with our biggest volunteer efforts to produce and tabulate countywide data, which we are obligated to conduct by state statute. We have been made aware there have apparently been instances where some of our valuable volunteers were told they could not enter caucus data because it might be perceived that this could give one candidate an advantage over another candidate.  For that we apologize and have rectified the situation. There was not any intent to allow volunteers working on behalf of some candidates and exclude volunteers working on behalf of others. [Pols emphasis]

The most important issue to keep in mind is that after verification of eligibility and completion of data entry – all candidates will receive, at the same time, complete lists of delegations that were elected to the County, Congressional, and State Assemblies.  Candidates can then use this information as appropriate for their campaigns. Our mission is and has always been to help elect republicans at all levels of government and advance the cause of liberty.

Bill Tucker, Chairman

WTF? This is a strange public response. Tucker doesn't really firmly deny anything — saying claims of bias are "disingenuous" is different than saying, "that's not true." He eventually settles on the old' "there was no intent…" line, which nobody ever uses unless they are admitting that something untoward happened in the first place. Which Tucker…didn't. Or did he?


RMGO Goes To War Against The GOP

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

SUNDAY POLS UPDATE: The Denver Post's Lynn Bartels:

The three RMGO-backed Senate candidates in Jefferson County are Tony Sanchez, Laura Woods and Tim Neville. Sanchez faces Nicolais in the GOP primary for the Senate seat now held by Democrat Andy Kerr, while Woods faces Sias in the GOP primary for the Senate seat now held by Democrat Rachel Zenzinger. Neville so far has no primary opponent, and is expected to face Democrat Jeanne Nicholson in November.

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners claims in its Facebook post that the party is allowing “campaign operatives” for “anti-gun” candidates Sias and Nicolais to work in the Jeffco office and have “exclusive access to key data” that could give them an advantage in the June 24 primary. Brown also claimed in a fundraising letter that the party is “giving preferential treatment to the candidates who refused to fill out our survey.”

Nicolais, who is a member of the NRA, pointed out that he didn’t bother to fill out the survey for the same reason he didn’t fill out the AFL-CIO survey: He wasn’t going to get the endorsement. He said he received the survey after the gun group already endorsed Sanchez.


Not that it's really anything new, but Dudley Brown of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners is again causing trouble. 

In an email sent to RMGO members and supports this morning, Brown stated that:

RMGO-PAC has received word from multiple sources that the Jefferson County Republican Party is now turning away volunteers that openly support conservatives in the area

If that sounds strange to you, it should. But he goes on to explain that he doesn't mean ALL conservatives…

The party is asking volunteers, at the door, who they are supporting in contested State Senate primaries, and if they answer "Laura Woods", "Tony Sanchez" and "Tim Neville" (RMGO-PAC endorsed candidates), the volunteers are asked to leave.

That's a pretty bold accusation. And if true, could lead to some interesting GOP intra-party drama come County Assembly, which is on March 22. 


Tancredo, Woods, etc., remain talk-radio heroes, no matter what’s happening in the real world

(Let's set reality aside for a moment – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

POLS UPDATE: Apropos to the original post, here's a flyer circulating for a Laura Woods event hosted by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, who seems to be throwing down hard in the SD-19 GOP primary against Lang Sias:

Woods Meet and Greet

Come for the meeting, stay for the giveaways! Original post follows.


In the alternative reality constructed each morning on KNUS' Peter Boyles show, they're busy reliving the glory days of the recall campaigns.

Recall spokespeople Laura Woods and Jennifer Kerns have been on the show re-telling stories about how "grassroots" Republicans fought off establishment Republicans and won.

One of Boyles' favorite things to do is to point out that most of the Republicans who've risen up in recent weeks weren't the ones getting down and dirty during the recall effort.

On Tuesday, for example, Boyles asks Woods for the names of specific Republican candidates and elected officials who were with her:

Woods: Well, I just want to preface by saying, as a candidate [for SD 19] now, I’m not endorsing these guys, but I’ll put on my recall hat and I’ll talk to you about who was out there on the lines with us. We clearly had Victor Head. He wasn’t a candidate then, but he is now. And then we had senator candidates Tim Neville and Tony Sanchez walking the streets, knocking doors, gathering petition signatures. Tom Tancredo was out there, as was Greg Brophy. We had the sheriff candidates, Jim Shires, Jeff Schrader, John Berry, all out there at times. Ken Buck was in the office at times. And Owen Hill was sitting in our office making phone calls. So, there were a lot of candidates, none of whom were involved in this back room deal—other than Ken Buck to move, you know, from the Senate race to the House race.

The good old recall days are gone, and the good old folks are threatened, in Boyle's mind, by back-room-dealing evil-doers, like Bob Beauprez, Cory Gardner, and Ryan Call.

But on Boyles' radio show, regardless of what's happening in the real world, the heroes are still Woods and Tancredo, and the like, and nothing can change that, unless the show is abruptly canceled by Salem Communications Inc., which is as inevitable as a gaffe from you know who. Or someone flipping the bird at you.


Danielson, Teegardin Battle Over Endorsements in HD-24

Back in January, Democratic Rep. Sue Schafer made a surprising announcement that she would not be running for re-election for a final term in HD-24. Two Democrats quickly jumped into the race to succeed Schaffer in a district that has historically been decided in a Democratic primary, and heading into Tuesday's caucuses, both candidates are touting strong endorsements.

Jessie Danielson announced today that she has been endorsed by Rep. Brittany Pettersen, a Democrat from Lakewood whose star has been rising in the state legislature. Pettersen is among a host of current and former legislators who are backing Danielson, including former state Sens. Joan Fitz-Gerald and Betty Boyd.

At the same time, Edgewater City Council member Kristian Teegardin has been picking up his own support, most notably from Schafer herself (though her less-than-sterling record as a Democrat in a Democratic district makes the effect of her support difficult to handicap).

We have yet to see fundraising reports from either candidate, since both won't be required to report their totals until April, but if both are able to raise decent money, this looks like it's heading for a competitive June Primary.

Colorado Caucus Locations for March 4, 2014

UPDATE: For information on the Republican Party Caucuses, click here.

Congressman Ed Perlmutter sent out a helpful email reminder about the March 4 Democratic Party Caucus that sums things up better than we could. Some of the information below is specific to Jefferson County and Adams County, but if you need help finding your caucus location, the same general process applies:

Precinct caucuses are next Tuesday, March 4, at 7:00 p.m. Caucus is the first step in the candidate nomination process for Colorado’s major political parties, and I hope all of you who are eligible attend!

At caucus, voters from each precinct across Colorado gather to elect delegates to attend the various county assemblies and represent their precinct. To participate in the Democratic Party’s precinct caucuses, you must have registered as a Democrat no later than January 4, 2014, and you must have registered in your current precinct no later than February 4, 2014.

Verify Your Precinct Number
You may have received a voter information card from your county clerk, but if not, you can visit the Secretary of State’s website to look up your precinct number. The 10-digit precinct number includes your congressional district, state senate district, state house district, county code, and your three-digit precinct number. For example, precinct 7222330225 is in CD7, SD22, HD23, County 30, and Precinct 225.

Find Your Precinct Caucus Location
Visit the webpages for the Adams County Democrats or the Jefferson County Democrats to find the location of your precinct caucus. If you live elsewhere in the state, please contact your local Democratic party for information. Visit the Colorado Democratic Party website for contact info for the various county parties.

What Happens at Caucus?
The exact process varies from county to county, but the following steps are always part of each precinct caucus:

Elect delegates to the county assembly. Delegate numbers and allocation formulas vary between counties. If you intend to run to be a delegate, please make sure you are available for the county assembly. The Adams County Assembly is on Saturday, March 15 and the Jefferson County Assembly is on Saturday, March 29.

At both county assemblies, delegates are elected to the Congressional District 7 Assembly. (In Adams County, some CD7 delegates are also elected directly from each precinct caucus).

The CD7 Assembly will be on Friday, April 11 at 7:00 p.m. We certainly hope you plan to attend that one so you can cast your vote for Ed and also re-nominate Jane Goff for State Board of Education and Irene Griego for CU regent!

Election of two precinct committee persons (PCPs) who will serve two-year terms as the primary “community organizers” within their precincts. PCPs are responsible for recruiting and organizing Democratic volunteers to support all of the Democratic candidates running in their area. PCPs are also members of the county party central committees and will be invited to participate in a few meetings each year to vote on the business of the party.

Discussion and adoption of resolutions. These resolutions are expressions of Democratic Party values on a wide range of policy issues. Resolutions adopted by a certain number of precincts may be considered for addition to the county party platform.

Support Jeffco Kids: New Group to Educate Citizens on School Board Actions

The new conservative members of the Jefferson County School Board have created such a stir (and not in a good way) that a group of parents and community leaders has formed a new organization to keep the public informed about the Board's actions. From the Denver Post:

Its mission is to "communicate to the community to let them know what is going on," group co-founder Shawna Fritzler said.

Fritzler, a Republican, was an active supporter of the 2012 campaign for measures 3A and 3B (bond and mill levy requests for Jeffco Public Schools that passed), is a legislative and advocacy co-chair for Jeffco PTA, co-chair of the board's strategic planning and advisory council and on its choice enrollment steering committee…

Support Jeffco Kids is registered as a 501(c)4 nonprofit and its website solicits donations. Fritzler said it has raised $6,000 so far to go toward website operating costs and attorney fees.

The organization plans to host community meetings and send out e-mail updates, Fritzler said. A post in its Facebook page,, asks for donations to help send mailers to "all of Jeffco."


Jeffco Schools Community Outreach Survey Results

The Jefferson County School Board has been a hot topic of conversation since three Republicans won seats in 2013 to give conservatives control of the 5-member board. From surprise announcements about hiring decisions to forcing retiring Superintendent Cindy Stevenson to leave her post before the end of the school year (which she had previously announced), new board members Ken Witt, Julie Williams, and John Newkirk have been pushing the limits of legality since being sworn-in to office in early December. 

Jeffco Public Schools just released the results of its Community Survey, conducted from Feb. 5-11, and it's a good bet that many of the 13,000 responses came from parents and residents who have been concerned about the direction of the new board. The Community Survey is intended to help the district set its priorities for the coming year(s), and the results showed some clear preferences. You can see the full results here, but respondents overwhelmingly prioritized three goals: Sustaining Program Electives, Reducing Class Sizes, and Paying Competitive Salaries. On the question, "Jeffco Should Expand Options Schools," a sizable majority of 61% disagreed.

Take a look at a summary of the response totals after the jump…


Perlmutter Statement on Resignation of Cindy Stevenson

We'll have much more on the big news in Jeffco last weekend, but in the meantime, here's a statement from Congressman Ed Perlmutter on the (second) resignation of Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Cindy Stevenson:

On Saturday morning at a meeting of the Jeffco School Board, nationally recognized superintendent Cindy Stevenson announced that she would resign her position at the end of the month instead of the end of June as originally planned. She stated the new board majority made it nearly impossible to focus on serving our community and Jeffco’s 85,000 students. Read the full story here, or watch the video of Saturday’s board meeting here.

Cindy Stevenson has been an outstanding superintendent for Jefferson County Public Schools for 12 years.  Last year she announced her plans to retire at the end of this school year in June but clearly that wasn't soon enough for the new school board members. It's a shame she wasn't allowed to fulfill her term as previously agreed upon by the board.  Her dedication and commitment to providing the highest quality education to our kids was an asset to our schools and our community. I'm proud to call her my friend and thankful for her public service.

Ed Perlmutter

At Least You Didn’t Pay for this Poll

We've received the results of a new poll from Quinnipiac University, and to put it bluntly (pun intended), we learned very little. Quinnipiac is one of our favorite polling outfits in general, but this poll about Colorado Super Bowl parties and marijuana is, well, not particularly informative:

Thinking about their Super Bowl buzz, 6 percent of Colorado adults who plan to watch the game say they will enjoy it with a mix of beer and marijuana while 36 percent plan to stick with tradition and just drink beer, according to a Quinnipiac University poll completed last night and released today.  Another 2 percent plan to go with marijuana only and 56 percent say they will take neither beer nor marijuana. 

Among adults 18 to 49 years old, 3 percent plan to toke up while 43 percent plan to drink beer and 8 percent plan to do both, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.  Among adults 50 to 64 years old 4 percent plan to enjoy both beer and marijuana while 32 percent plan to only drink beer.  Among adults 65 and older, 1 percent plan to try beer and marijuana while 18 percent are keeping it to beer only.

No kidding, huh? You mean most people aren't confessing that they are going to have a big smoke-in for the Super Bowl? Did you ask what percentage are planning on a bring-your-own-heroin party?

But there are some polling results that we found especially interesting — though they have nothing to do with politics:


Jefferson County Democrats Set Dates for Caucus, County Assembly

From the Jefferson County Democrats:

Precinct Caucuses will be on March 4, 2014, starting at 7:00 PM. We will be sending out more information in the near future to inform you of the locations.

County Assembly will on March 29, 2014, at Lakewood High School, located at 9700 west, 8th Avenue, Lakewood, Co. 80215. Registration will begin at 8:00 AM; the Assembly will begin at 9:00 AM. We will send out the official call to those that are eligible at least ten days prior to the Assembly.

State Assembly will be on April 12, 2014, the State Party will be sending out the official call to those that are eligible at least ten days prior to the assembly.

Republicans Give Up on Trying to Beat Perlmutter

In a year in which Republicans are having trouble fielding exciting candidates for U.S. Senate or Governor, it should come as little surprise that they aren't going to put up a strong candidate against incumbent Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter in CD-7. As Lynn Bartels noted in "The Spot," Republican Don "Can I Buy a Vowel" Ytterberg will kick off his campaign for CD-7 on Wednesday.

Don Yetterberg

Don Ytterberg. Yes, that’s how you spell it.

Ytterberg, the CEO of a metal finishing company in Arvada, lost a bid for State Senate in 2008 to Democrat Dan Gibbs of Summit County. Most recently, Ytterberg served as the Chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party, a position he resigned late last year. Ytterberg isn't a terrible candidate, but he's definitely more of a ballot filler than a true challenger; he's not dynamic or interesting enough to pose a real threat to Perlmutter, which has a lot to do with Perlmutter himself.

Since first winning election to CD-7 in 2006, Perlmutter has cruised to re-election every two years no matter the opponent. In the Tea Party wave year of 2010, Perlmutter crushed Republican Ryan Frazier 53-42. Even after redistricting made CD-7 more competitive in 2012, and with a wealthy, well-known opponent in Joe Coors, Perlmutter still won by a 53-41 margin.

Given Perlmutter's obvious hold on the district, we've been wondering when Republicans would finally give up trying to make a serious run at the Jeffco native — and it appears 2014 is that year.

Lang Sias, Laura Woods “Tea” Up For SD-19 GOP Primary

Earlier this week, Republican Lang Sias announced his intentions to run again in Colorado Senate District 19 this year against recently-appointed Sen. Rachel Zenzinger. Sias has made several unsuccessful attempts at elected office in Colorado in recent years, including a failed bid for the 2010 CD-7 nomination (won by Ryan Frazier), and in 2012, a hard-fought loss in SD-19 to then-Sen. Evie Hudak. Sias lost by a relatively small margin in 2012, only 584 votes, in a race that saw thousands of conservative votes "wasted" on a third-party candidate. Sias' bad luck running for office has been compounded by gaffes, such as his "Tea Party Endorsed" signage from 2010 which had the "Tea Party Endorsed" part Photoshopped out for 2012–an incident that made national cable news.

Laura Woods.

Laura Woods.

Perhaps as a result, it appears that Sias won't have a clean shot at the SD-19 GOP nomination in 2014. Already running in this district is Laura Woods, one of the principal organizers of the recall petition drive against Sen. Hudak last year. Woods reportedly has amassed quite a bit of grassroots and gun-rights activist support from her work on the Hudak recall, and there's no reason as of yet to think she plans to get out of Sias' way. Republicans do consider SD-19 a pickup opportunity this year, but it's expected to be a tight enough race to make any uncertainty problematic.

Which of these Republicans would be the better challenger to SD-19's likable new Democratic incumbent, former Arvada councilor Zenzinger? They'll only get one shot, so Republicans had better choose wisely.

Jessie Danielson Announces in HD-24

HD-24 Colorado Jessie Danielson

Jessie Danielson (well, most of her head, anyway)

What we first noted last week is now official: Jessie Danielson has announced her candidacy in HD-24 (Wheat Ridge) for what will be an open seat with the retirement of Rep. Sue Schafer. Danielson, the Colorado State Director of America Votes, gets a quote from her boss at America Votes in her press release (full release after the jump):

"Jessie has the local roots, the broad public policy knowledge and the Colorado common sense that we need at the State Capitol," said Joan Fitz-Gerald, former Senate President.

The HD-24 that exists today is not too dissimilar from the HD-24 that was drawn before redistricting in 2010-11, a Wheat Ridge district that has been safely held by Democrats for decades. Republicans may try to make an effort to win the seat in November, only because it is an open seat, but most likely this race will be effectively decided in a Democratic Primary.


Candidates Emerge in Race to Succeed Schafer

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

On January 13th, the same day that HD 24 Rep. Sue Schafer announced she would not seek reelection, Edgewater Council Member Kristian Teegardin filed as a candidate. The next day, America Votes state director Jessie Danielson announced she would seek the seat as well. 

Both campaigns are already interviewing for paid campaign staff positions and it appears that this race will be intense. 


Rep. Sue Schafer Won’t Seek Fourth Term

TUESDAY UPDATE: Lynn Bartels of the Denver Post reports, and we can confirm, that America Votes state director Jessie Danielson will run for outgoing Rep. Sue Schafer's seat.


According to a press release from the Democratic House Majority Project, Rep. Sue Schafer (HD-24) will retire from politics this year rather than seek a fourth term in November.

Rep. Sue Schafer (D-Wheat Ridge)

Rep. Sue Schafer (D-Wheat Ridge)

Schafer's Wheat Ridge district has been a fairly safe Democratic seat for decades, with current state Sen. Cheri Jahn serving four terms before being term-limited in 2008, so Democrats won't have to worry too much about keeping HD-24 in the 'D' column. But like Jahn before her, Schafer was a less-than-progressive Democrat who often sided with traditionally-Republican lobbyist groups like CACI and caused the Democratic caucus plenty of headaches over the years (her otherwise inexplicable opposition to Payday Lending reform, for example, was particularly problematic).

The next Representative from HD-24 will likely be decided in a Democratic primary, so while the seat may not change Party hands, 2014 may shake loose a candidate who is more representative of the area than in years past.

Full press release after the jump.