COLORADO SPRINGS: Colorado Republicans are meeting Saturday at Colorado University, Boulder to pick its candidates for the November general election. The biggest single race is to replace term-limited Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Any candidate who gets more than 30% of the delegate vote is on the June primary ballot. That can often result in two candidates advancing to the primary—or just one if he or she garners more than 70% of the vote.
A Colorado Candidate can “petition on”
But it doesn’t end there: a candidate can “petition on” to the ballot by collecting enough signatures from around the state. This has been the preferred method for well-funded establishment types.
There’s a third wrinkle in the process since voters approved two initiatives in 2016 to hold open primaries.
The people voted to manage the party’s nominating process. Any registered voter can vote in any one primary.
In Colorado, the parties are split approximately evenly between Democrats, Republicans, and Independents with no party affiliation.
This year will be the first time this new system is put into practice.
U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, Democrat nominee
There are a couple of contenders on the Democrat side. However, U.S. Rep. Jared Polis will be their nominee.
On the Republican side, it seems that everyone is running. Among the more notable names are Cynthia Coffman, current Attorney General, Walker Stapleton, current Treasurer and Greg Lopez, former mayor of Parker. Late entry into the race is businessman Barry Farah.
The point for Republican activists, however, isn’t so much who’s running as it is, “Who can win?”
An article in the Washington Examiner on Tuesday assessed GOP chances in the U.S. Senate this year. This quote from the article applies to Colorado as well:
“Republican primary voters, they say, are looking for authenticity and aggressiveness. The usual resume that would describe a GOP candidate as top tier — accomplished, well spoken, genteel — no longer applies, and won’t motivate base turnout in November.”
Truer words were never spoken.
Take Cynthia Coffman for example.
Regarding her stand as Attorney General in the baker Jack Phillips case now before the U.S. Supreme Court, she said at a GOP breakfast a few weeks ago that she agreed with Phillips and thought there ought to be an exemption in public accommodation law for rights of conscience. But such a thing isn’t the law, she said, and she had to follow the law.
Here’s the problem with that position: such scruples never stop Democrats. They find ways around the law, bending the law into pretzel shapes to get what they want. They invent new legal theories to justify their actions. There is a zeal in the single-minded pursuit of their goals.
Republicans, on the other hand, use their scruples to hold themselves back. They want to be the nice guys. They want to be Knights in Shining Armor.
That’s not what Republican activists want this year. These days we have plenty of candidates with the right moral qualifications. They all know how to say “conservative,” “liberty,” “pro-2nd Amendment,” and “pro-life.”
In the 1966 election, Barry Goldwater said:
“Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.” It seemed a little over the top then. Not now.
We don’t need a Knight in Shining Armor.
We need a fire-breathing dragon!