REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR GUV DROPS IN, OUT OF RACE
Republican political consultant Patrick Davis of Colorado Springs has a real penchant for adding to the future fodder of political trivia. Okay, campaign wonks and wonkettes, see if you can figure this one out. Who was Davis referring to when he said his candidate “has the best shot at getting on the ballot and winning the Republican primary to take on Democratic candidate John Hickenlooper?” Upon his official announcement into the governor’s race, the candidate was quoted as saying, “Make no mistake — the economy of Colorado is still at great risk. We can’t afford another politician who lacks the skills to fix this crisis and we certainly don’t need politics as usual.”
If you answered Steve Laffey, a former Rhode Island town mayor who recently caught Davis’ eye as a fresh face for governor in 2014, close but no cigar. Sure, Laffey was briefly a candidate for governor against Hickenlooper, but that was so last week. He has subsequently dropped out of the race.
We’ll raise the stakes…
For double points, who was Davis’ first candidate for guv who pretty much met the same criteria?
Hint: This likewise short-lived campaign occurred in 2010.
Hint number 2: His last name was so difficult to pronounce that his campaign installed a button on its website to push to hear the correct way to say his name.
Come on, Republicans! Certainly you remember the name of the candidate who jumped into the gubernatorial race in May of 2010 and then quickly withdrew his candidacy before the GOP state convention?
It was Joe Gschwendtner!
Or, as he was known by lenguisopas (persons who can’t pronounce the “s” correctly) simply Joe G.
“Joe will quickly become known in Colorado,” predicted his campaign manager back then. “I fully expect that he will be our next Governor,” said Davis of the easy ridin’ candidate pictured below.
But we digress. Our apologies, it’s just that this race for governor is starting out to be so much fun!
Back to Laffey, because we feel we should give him his fair due before he’s wiped forever from our collective memories.
In addition to being the former mayor of a town about 1,950 miles from Denver, Laffey also ran for the U.S. Senate from another state in 2006, losing the GOP nomination.
After former CD 6 Congressman Tom Tancredo entered the race this week, Laffey decided to make way for the conservative-in-chief: “I have been in two contentious primaries, against people with whom I disagreed immensely and were leading us in the wrong direction,” Laffey explained.
“When I entered this race there was no one else who had the capability to bring the case for Limited Government, Freedom and Jobs to the people of Colorado,” he continued.
“In this case, Tom and I agree on much, plus he is a good and honorable man, has a great background for the job, and will work towards producing more freedom for the people of Colorado,” Laffey added.
Rounding out the field of “others” before we revert back to Tancredo and Secretary of State Scott Gessler, Jim Rundberg also has filed paperwork for the gubernatorial race. But name recognition will be his problem.
Not much is known about Rundberg except that he’s considered pro-business, as in the Republican from Moffat County is reportedly starting a telecommunications business.
Another Republican, Michael Frick of Loma, has also filed paperwork.
Matthew Hess, from Littleton, has filed his intention to run for governor on the Libertarian ticket. He says he is in the process of building a war chest and gaining name recognition.
“With the heavily slanted government we have in Colorado today we will desperately need a solid check and balance against a single party tyranny over Colorado,” Hess said in a statement. “Only Libertarians offer the necessary checks against the burgeoning state government we will have over the next few years.”
Unaffiliated candidates John French of Aspen and Jarred Ahrend of Colorado Springs have also penned their names on candidacy papers.
And as promised, an update on the two mainstream GOP candidates who would like to unseat the Democratic incumbent.
Tancredo announced on Thursday on his good friend Peter Boyles’ radio show that he’s officially filing paperwork to challenge Hickenlooper.
The last time he ran for office was in 2010 when Tancredo switched to the conservative-leaning religiously based American Constitution Party to challenge Hickenlooper. Actually, Hickenlooper was a side project. Tancredo just couldn’t stand to watch GOP challengers Dan Maes and Scott McInnis — both embroiled in scandal — run the Republican Party into the ground.
The Tanc is back with the Republican Party, and this time Hick’s indecision on Dunlap was the “final straw.”
There can be only one thing to rival Tom’s entrance. That would be the great Honey Badger, Scott Gessler. The Honey Badger is fearless.
Even though Gessler, as secretary of state, is charged with one of the most nonpartisan elected roles in government, he has decided to make partisan politics the name of his game. Most recently, he called Democrats “crazy” for pushing elections reform, and stated that the policy was “piss-poor.” If Republicans were looking to get a rise out of Democrats, look no further than Mr. Gessler. He’s got you covered.
Scott has not officially announced yet, though he has filed exploratory paperwork.
This week he decided to attempt to bring an ethics complaint to an end by taking the advice of Statesman columist Miller Hudson who on these pages just last week suggested that Gessler repay the state nearly $1,300 for a political trip to Florida last year. The move renewed speculation that he is planning a run for governor, though his political director is staying fairly mum.
Gessler is facing an ethics complaint over the trip after he was reimbursed for travel to a Republican election law training event and the Republican National Convention last August.
Meanwhile, Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray — who isn’t as fearless as Gessler, but who certainly isn’t afraid to speak his mind — also has not made a decision on whether he might run, but he is certainly toying with the idea. For Brophy, gun control was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
An ardent supporter of the Second Amendment who has a large cache of weapons, including assault rifles, Brophy was quick to criticize Hickenlooper this week over the Nathan Dunlap “temporary” reprieve.
Brophy couldn’t get the microphone on fast enough following Hick’s press conference. With the TV cameras set on him, he quickly called the governor “gutless” and questioned his leadership.
Does Brophy think that he’s got a better shot at leading? We have a hunch that he does.