Harvey vs. Wadhams, Anyone?

UPDATE: Bartels revises her initial report–Sen. Ted Harvey now says he will indeed resign his Senate seat if elected GOP chairman.

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That’s the word from Lynn Bartels at the Denver paper’s blog: state Sen. Ted Harvey of Highlands Ranch announced today that he will challenge Colorado GOP chairman Dick Wadhams for his well-paid position at party leadership elections in March. Sen. Harvey has worked in recent years to raise his profile among party activists at all levels; from helping his fellow legislators on campaigns, to a prominent role in ousting the Douglas County School Board in 2009.

Harvey is not required to resign his Senate seat should he defeat Wadhams; we could see that working in his favor when it comes time for GOP activists to chart their course due to his hands-on experience. Or, just like they whispered about Wadhams’ taking on additional responsibilities while serving as chairman…it could work against him.

Bottom line? We’re not as sure that Sen. Harvey represents the kind of risk to Wadhams that other Republican possibilities discussed in recent weeks likely would if they got in the race, but Harvey is going to pose a real challenge. Harvey is a credible enough figure to mount a successful campaign, and he has a couple of things going for him:

For one thing, Harvey is likely to receive the support of most GOP elected officials, which matters because they all have a vote in the decision (remember, it’s not just those county chairs and other locally-elected insiders who get to vote on this). The other advantage for Harvey is one that a lot of Republicans we know are seeking above everything else–his name isn’t Dick Wadhams.

When we wrote earlier this month about Wadhams’ decision to run for re-election, we noted that it was likely that Wadhams would not have announced a bid unless he already knew what the result might be. We’ve since learned that we were perhaps giving Wadhams too much credit; there’s a very strong opinion in high-level GOP circles that Wadhams is running for re-election because he has no place else to go. If that’s the case, the Harvey-Wadhams showdown could be a heck of a lot of fun to watch.

Harvey Investigated for Mortgage Fraud One Month After Trying to Reduce Industry Regulations

And a collective “D’Oh!” rises from Colorado Republicans in the legislature. From The Associated Press:

A Colorado state senator and the mortgage company where he works are being investigated for allegedly misleading consumers by sending out advertising flyers that look like official tax documents, a state official said Wednesday.

Investigators believe Republican Sen. Ted Harvey and American Home Funding-the Greenwood Village company where he works as a broker-violated state laws by sending the ads, said Colorado Division of Real Estate Director Erin Toll…

…The flyer features the Statue of Liberty and Federal Housing Administration notice codes that rate the notification “Urgency: HIGH” and warns that “a call to action is required.” It has a notice in small print on the side that says it’s not a government document…

…Harvey said the notices are no different than those from other financial institutions. He rejected suggestions that he or the company broke the law.

Sure, that sounds bad. But here’s the kicker: Earlier this year Harvey tried to introduce legislation that would have restricted the state’s ability to regulate mortgage brokers.

Harvey said he got into a dispute with the division about a month ago after he proposed legislation that would remove Toll’s authority to investigate mortgage brokers and set up a board, similar to boards in the same division that hear complaints against real estate agents and appraisers. The legislation also would have set up an appeals process. [Pols emphasis]

The dispute escalated when a member of Toll’s staff showed disrespect when he tried to explain his proposed bill, Harvey said. He said he shook his finger in the staffer’s face to get their attention, but he denied trying to intimidate the staffer.

Barbara Kelley, executive director of the Department of Regulatory Agency, Toll’s boss, rejected the proposed legislation in a letter dated Feb. 18, which was obtained by The Associated Press under the Colorado Open Records Act. She told Harvey and other lawmakers that the division is following state law, which requires that a director oversee the mortgage loan originators program, because the board system is too expensive.

Coffman Will Report Serious Coin

Republican congressional candidate Mike Coffman announced today strong fundraising numbers, at the same time that fellow candidates Ted Harvey and Wil Armstrong announced meaningless news.

First, a press release from the campaign of CD-6 candidate Mike Coffman:

Highlands Ranch, CO – Sixth Congressional District candidate Mike Coffman announced today that he will report having raised over $300,000 in contributions this quarter, bringing his overall total to over $750,000 to date.

“The fact that each quarter we have been able to surpass our fundraising total from the previous reporting period is very encouraging. These strong numbers will ensure we have the resources needed to make a strong push in the final six weeks of the campaign”, said Coffman Campaign Manager Dustin Zvonek…

…Coffman for Congress will file a full financial report with the Federal Election Commission on July 15th to include all contributions and expenditures during the second reporting period of 2008.

Coffman’s fundraising should keep him firmly atop the CD-6 leaderboard, and the amount he raised in Q2 alone will likely be more than candidates Ted Harvey and Steve Ward raise in total when all is said and done.

Elsewhere in CD-6, Harvey announced the endorsement of The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and their Colorado affiliate, the Credit Union Association of Colorado (CUAC). Wil Armstrong added to his list of endorsements by announcing that he has the support of gasbag radio host Dan Caplis. Yay for them.

Coffman Poll Shows CD-6 Race Basically Over

The campaign for Republican Mike Coffman in CD-6 released new internal poll numbers today. According to a press release:

Highlands Ranch, CO – Sixth Congressional District candidate Mike Coffman released today results from a recent poll of likely Republican primary voters.  

Question: “If the Republican primary election for Congress were held today and you had to make a choice, for whom would you vote?”

Response:

Mike Coffman   47%

Wil Armstrong  19%

Ted Harvey      7%

Steve Ward      4%

The poll was conducted for the Coffman for Congress campaign by the Tarrance Group between 5/27/08 and 5/28/08 with a margin of error of +/- 5.8%

“These numbers are very encouraging, especially considering the fact that there are only 39 days until absentee ballots will be mailed out to voters and just over 70 days until the Primary Election”, said Coffman Campaign Manager Dustin Zvonek.  

“One of the most significant aspects of these numbers is that margin between Mike and his closest competitor is now greater than the number of undecided voters”, added Zvonek.

These are certainly strong numbers, and although they should be taken with a grain of salt coming from an internal poll, it’s hard to argue the logic of the results. Coffman has both the money and the name ID, and none of the other candidates can match him in either department. Whether or not Coffman really polls at 47% is irrelevant; what this poll shows is that his numbers are strong enough to indicate that this race is all but over.

Ted Harvey, We Hardly Knew Ye

Yes, the race is far from over. Yes, a lot can happen in the next several months. But after two straight laughable campaign finance reports, Republican Ted Harvey is all but dead as a candidate for congress in CD-6:

Mike Coffman (R): $244,239 ($323,897 COH)

Wil Armstrong (R): $226,815 ($283,006 COH)

Ted Harvey (R): $42,418 ($21,872 COH)

Coffman and Armstrong aren’t likely to slow down in their fundraising battle, which means that Harvey would have to do astronomically well in Q2 to even be in the ballpark before the primary. This one is a two-man race, folks.

Coffman Raises $244,239 in Q1

Republican Secretary of State Mike Coffman reported raising $244,239 in Q1 for his campaign for congress in CD-6. Coffman now has $323,897 cash on hand. Click below for the full press release.


Highlands Ranch, CO – Sixth Congressional District candidate Mike Coffman announced today that his campaign raised $244,239 in contributions over the past three months, bringing his overall total raised to $457,624 since announcing his candidacy in November.

“We are of course very encouraged by the total amount Mike has been able to raise, but the real encouragement is in the details. To date we have received donations from 1,062 individual donors, and of our total raised over $400,000 of it is available for the August primary”, said Coffman for Congress Campaign Manager Dustin Zvonek.

“It is such an honor to have so many people committed and willing to contribute to my campaign. We have not only been able to secure many of the major donors in Colorado, but we’ve also seen an outpouring of support from the grassroots of our party in the form of hundreds of small checks”, said Coffman.

In the full disclosure made available to the FEC, the Coffman for Congress campaign also reported having over $323,897 cash on hand and no debt.

Coffman Demands Meaningless Pledge

From the campaign of Republican CD-6 candidate Mike Coffman:

Highlands Ranch, CO – This past Friday, March 14th, the Coffman for Congress campaign sent a letter to all of the candidates in the race for the 6th Congressional District urging them to sign a pledge to disavow any and all negative 527 activities.

“The voters of the Sixth Congressional District deserve a campaign that is centered on issues and ideas, not petty personal attacks”, said Coffman.

Coffman for Congress Campaign Manager, Dustin Zvonek added, “After what took place in the 2006 primary for the 5th Congressional District and in the primary for the U.S. Senate in 2004, we believe it’s important for the voters and the Republican Party to have a clean and honest election. We hope our opponents agree and will sign the pledge”.

Sign the pledge. Disavow away. Who cares? No candidate is supposed to “know” anything about 527 campaigns anyway. It doesn’t take a lot of backbone to disavow something you aren’t supposed to acknowledge anyway. Or perhaps this is Coffman’s way of pre-emptively giving himself cover for 527 attacks that he knows will come against his opponents.

Full letter follows.

In recent election cycles we have become accustom to the growing and disturbing trend of vitriolic personal character attacks dominating political campaigns. The primary source of these negative attacks have been 527 groups that are not governed by the same transparency rules and regulations as our candidate committees.

In the 2006 GOP primary for the 5th Congressional District and in the 2004 U.S. Senate primary we saw just how nasty and petty the attacks from these groups can be. The slash and burn tactics that have absolutely no regard for the truth have no place in honest campaigning, and provide an enormous disservice to the voters and to the Republican Party.

It is my sincere hope to have a spirited, vigorous campaign that will inform the voters where each of us stand on the issues and how we will serve in the United States Congress. I believe the focus of campaigns should always be on issues and ideas, not half-truths, lies, and distortions. To this end, I am calling on each candidate in this important race for the 6th Congressional District to join me in signing a pledge to disavow any and all negative 527 activities.

I hope you share my concern and will join me in this effort. I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Mike Coffman

Harvey Pulls Out Crystal Ball

Republican Sen. Ted Harvey, one of several elephants running for congress in CD-6, has a prediction to make: Secretary of State Mike Coffman – GASP! – won’t go to the caucus!!!

Harvey’s campaign sent out a silly press release last Friday (click below for the full release) predicting that Coffman would bypass the caucus process:

Today, State Senator Ted Harvey’s campaign for Congress predicted that fellow 6th Congressional District candidate, Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman, will soon announce that he will bypass the Republican Party’s grassroots-based caucus nominating process and opt to gather petition signatures to place him on the Primary Election ballot.

“I hope Mike will join me to directly engage our grassroots Republican activists but it’s clear he lacks the base support I have and feels he can’t afford to lose this first contest for our party’s nomination,” said Harvey.

Harvey is obviously trying hard to set himself up as the establishment Republican Party candidate, even though he didn’t raise squat during the Q4 fundraising period ($35,000 compared to more than $200,000 each for Coffman and Wil Armstrong). This release would make a lot more sense AFTER the caucus rather than issuing a goofy statement predicting something to happen.

Harvey: Secretary of State Mike Coffman Set to Announce He’ll Bypass GOP Caucus Process to Petition on CD6 Ballot

Lacks Grassroots Support but Expected to Claim Otherwise

Highlands Ranch, CO:  Today, State Senator Ted Harvey’s campaign for Congress predicted that fellow 6th Congressional District candidate, Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman, will soon announce that he will bypass the Republican Party’s grassroots-based caucus nominating process and opt to gather petition signatures to place him on the Primary Election ballot.

“I hope Mike will join me to directly engage our grassroots Republican activists but it’s clear he lacks the base support I have and feels he can’t afford to lose this first contest for our party’s nomination,” said Harvey.

With Colorado’s caucus season already well underway, so far Senator Harvey is the only candidate for the 6th Congressional District who has committed to go through the Republican Party’s arduous nominating process.

While canvassing prospective 6th CD Delegates and Alternates, the Ted Harvey for Congress campaign has found that the main reason stated for Senator Harvey’s leading level of support is his consistent conservative leadership in the Colorado Legislature.

“My entire legislative service has been about advancing conservative Republican values — the same conservative values that motivate these wonderful grassroots leaders to volunteer their spare time and serve at this base level of our democratic process,” stated Harvey.

The main reasons stated for Mike Coffman’s lack of support among these GOP activists are the growing controversies surrounding his office, opposition from Colorado Republican Party Chair Dick Wadhams, and abandonment of the Secretary of State’s office to Democratic Governor Bill Ritter who would appoint Coffman’s successor should he win the 6th CD race.

Based on recent assertions from the Coffman campaign, they are likely to claim that Coffman enjoys popular support among 6th CD Delegates and Alternates but that he will none-the-less petition on the ballot as a calculated strategy to benefit his odds.

“Even if I must stand alone I will continue to lead the conservative Republican movement among this outstanding and dedicated corps of grassroots activist,” concluded Harvey.

Coffman Touts Huge Lead in Own Poll

Republican Secretary of State Mike Coffman took time out from his day job of dismantling voter confidence to commission a poll in the race for CD-6. According to a press release, Coffman is an overwhelming favorite to win the GOP primary.

Question: “If the Republican primary election for Congress were held today and you had to make a choice, for whom would you vote?”

Response: Mike Coffman 44%

Wil Armstrong 10%

Ted Harvey 8%

Steve Ward 1%

The poll was conducted for the Coffman for Congress campaign by the Tarrance Group between 1/22/08 and 1/23/08 with a margin of error of +/- 5.8%

That Coffman is ahead at this point should be no surprise, but the margin is a little shocking (although 37% are apparently undecided). In terms of name recognition, Coffman is heads and shoulders above any of his other opponents, and apparently few average voters are interested in the fact that Coffman is a complete disaster as Secretary of State. That last point shouldn’t be a surprise, either, because voters in CD-6 continually turned a blind eye to Tom Tancredo’s congressional ineptitude and re-elected him repeatedly.

Perhaps Coffman shouldn’t be such a favorite in CD-6, but as we’ve said from the beginning, his name ID alone makes him the man to beat in a district that, by and large, is not that politically-savvy.

Click below for the full press release.

COFFMAN CAMPAIGN SHOWS OVERWHELMING STRENGTH IN CD 6 RACE

Highlands Ranch, CO – 6th Congressional District candidate Mike Coffman released today results from a recent poll of likely Republican primary voters.

Question: “If the Republican primary election for Congress were held today and you had to make a choice, for whom would you vote?”

Response: Mike Coffman 44%

Wil Armstrong 10%

Ted Harvey 8%

Steve Ward 1%

The poll was conducted for the Coffman for Congress campaign by the Tarrance Group between 1/22/08 and 1/23/08 with a margin of error of +/- 5.8%

Coffman for Congress Campaign Manager Dustin Zvonek said, “I think these strong numbers are a testament to the fact that Mike is a proven Conservative leader, and that the voters believe he will bring a critical perspective and much needed experience to Congress, specifically on national security, securing our border, the economy, and fiscal discipline”.

Coffman for Congress also recently announced raising over $200,000 in the 4th quarter of 2007 and will have a full disclosure of their contributions and expenses by weeks end.

Coffman Raises $200,000 in Q4

Republican Secretary of State and CO-6 candidate Mike Coffman reported raising more than $200,000 in Q4 today. Click below for the full press release.


Highlands Ranch, CO- 6th Congressional District candidate Mike Coffman has raised over $200,000 in contributions in less than two months. Coffman filed his candidacy with the Federal Election Commission on November 6th, 2007.

“Since filing in early November, we are proud of the strong support and momentum our campaign has built,” said Dustin Zvonek Coffman for Congress Campaign Manager.

“I am humbled by the outpouring of support I have received. It affirms my message of bringing real change to Washington D.C. and restoring conservative principles is resonating with voters of the 6th Congressional District,” said Mike Coffman.

Coffman for Congress will file a full financial report with the Federal Election Commission on January 31st to include contributions and expenditures during the 2007 4th Quarter.

Comings and Goings in CD-6


State Sen. Ted Harvey formally announced his candidacy in CD-6 yesterday, and if you had any doubt that he would try to lay claim to being the most conservative of the GOP candidates, his press release should end any of those questions. “Conservative  Republican State Senator Ted Harvey Announces Candidacy for 6th Congressional District” [Pols emphasis] was the title of Harvey’s press release, which included an impressive list of some of the most conservative members of the legislature (including Sen. Dave Schultheis and Rep. Kevin Lundberg).

Harvey will need those endorsements in a race that is shaping up to be a classic Colorado Republican insider battle. Wil Armstrong is widely expected to announce his candidacy at some time in the near future, and when he does, don’t be surprised to see traditional power brokers such as Bruce Benson, Bill Owens and Bob Beauprez standing in his corner (thanks, no doubt, to the influence of his father, former U.S. Sen. Bill Armstrong).

Coffman Makes it Official; Harvey Next


Republican Secretary of State Mike Coffman made it official yesterday: He’s running for congress in CD-6. As the Rocky Mountain News reports:

Secretary of State Mike Coffman on Tuesday formally filed to run for Congress, angering some Republicans who fear a Democrat will take over his state job but thrilling others who want an Iraq war veteran in Washington.

Coffman notified the Federal Election Commission that he will run in the 6th Congressional District, said Sean Tonner, his campaign spokesman.

Although some of the state’s top Republicans have tried to talk Coffman out of running, Tonner said many rank-and-file party members and veterans are thrilled with the idea.

“He’s been absolutely inundated the last four days,” Tonner said.

Coffman, of Aurora, is expected to be one of at least four candidates seeking the GOP nomination in next year’s primary. State Sen. Ted Harvey, R-Highlands Ranch, will announce today.

Coffman enters the field as the likely favorite given his strong name ID from three statewide victories. But the Republican primary will likely be a race to the right, and look for Harvey to try to position himself as the most Republican of the Republicans in the race.

Tancredo’s Out; What’s Next?


UPDATE: Rep. David Balmer is already out. He posted a comment below to that effect.



Now that Rep. Tom Tancredo has offically announced his plans to not run for re-election in CD-6, what’s next? Or, more accurately, who is next?

We’ve updated The Big Line, but expect to see a lot of changes in the coming months. Republican voters outnumber Democrats by a 2-to-1 margin in CD-6, which is nearly the same margin as the GOP leads in CD-5. While CD-6 isn’t nearly as naturally conservative as CD-5, it is one of the richest congressional districts in the entire country and the GOP candidate will have a decisive advantage in the general election. This is also a huge GOP prize, because the winner will likely hold the seat for as long as they want (or at least until redistricting).

With no known or obvious Democrats to consider at this point, here’s an early look at the potential candidates on the Republican side:

  • State Sen. Tom Wiens
  • State Sen. Ted Harvey
    These two are in the top tier, because both have been preparing for a CD-6 run for months. Wiens has more personal money to draw from, but Harvey’s Senate district takes up most of CD-6 already. Harvey is one of the more conservative members of the state legislature and will likely seek to establish himself quickly as the most conservative of the Republican candidates.

  • Wil Armstrong
    Armstrong has been making noise about running for a long time, and if he does, he’ll trade heavily on the name of his father: Former U.S. Sen. Bill Armstrong. But would that be enough to get him through a primary? That probably depends on how many candidates ultimately enter the race; the more the merrier for Armstrong.

  • Secretary of State Mike Coffman
    Coffman really wants to run for something more prestigious than SOS, but he’s in a tough spot here because the State Republican Party really doesn’t want him to leave. Republicans will likely hold onto this seat because of the huge voter registration advantage, so they don’t need Coffman to run. If Coffman did run for CD-6 and won, then he would have to give up his SOS seat…which would promptly be filled by Gov. Bill Ritter, who would select a Democrat as the next SOS. Republicans don’t want to give up one seat for another seat that they should already be able to keep, but ultimately that may not stop Coffman; this is probably too good of an opportunity for him to pass up.

  • House Minority Leader David Balmer
    Balmer would like to move up, but the field may be too crowded for him. Still, don’t discount Balmer’s fundraising ability; if he could get some good financial commitments to run, he might take the leap.

  • Jane Norton
    The former Lt. Governor is always rumored to be running for something, and this would be as good an opportunity as anything.

  • Aurora Mayor Ed Tauer
    Tauer may not live in the district, but that doesn’t really matter (ask Bob Beauprez about that).

  • Who Might Win? (CD6)


    This is a little different than our polls yesterday (on CD-5, CD-4, and CD-2) and today’s poll on the U.S. Senate race.

    In this poll, we want to know who you think would win a primary in CD-6 if Rep. Tom Tancredo didn’t run again (which many Republicans anticipate).

    Click below to vote…

    Who Do You Think Would Win a CD-6 Primary?

    View Results

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    Tancredo Inching Closer to Presidential Run

    Tom Tancredo continues to move closer to becoming a full-fledged candidate for President.

    Political commentator Bay Buchanan announced today that she is leaving CNN to become Tancredo’s senior advisor, and expects a formal announcement on a Tancredo candidacy in about a week. As the Associated Press reports:

    CNN commentator Bay Buchanan said Monday she will temporarily oversee the presidential campaign of Colorado Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo and has resigned from the cable network.

    Buchanan said she will function as campaign manager until someone is appointed to that job.

    Tancredo said last week he had not yet formally decided whether to run.

    “I’m certainly encouraging it,” Buchanan said. She said she expects Tancredo to formally announce his plans in the next week or so.

    Two things are abundantly clear after this news: 1) The GOP primary fight in CD-6 is about to heat up, and 2) Bay Buchanan is going to be looking for a job in 18 months.

    Open the CD-6 Floodgates

    Tom Tancredo announced today that his Presidential exploratory committee has raised more than $1 million, which means, as the Rocky Mountain News reports:

    …he had set a goal of raising $1 million for his exploratory committee, Tancredo for a Secure America, by the end of the first quarter of this year.

    Crossing that goal, “kicks my enthusiasm level up about a million times,” Tancredo said in phone interview. “It just simply means it’s certainly more likely that we will announce I will be a candidate for president,” he said.

    He’ll make a final decision within two weeks.

    And as Colorado Confidential explains:

    More importantly for Colorado, Tancredo’s fundraising success means that he is less likely than ever to run for re-election to his congressional seat. Several Republicans, including state Sens. Tom Wiens and Ted Harvey, and Wil Armstrong, son of GOP patriarch Bill Armstrong, have already been putting together shell campaigns for taking a run at CD-6 in the event that Tancredo doesn’t run for re-election; expect them, and others, to speed up the process in the next couple of weeks.

    Gentlemen…engines…start…ready?