COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., March 2, 2014—It looked as though the Republican line-up for Colorado’s senate seat was firm. Weld County District Attorney and 2010 U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck held a commanding lead among likely Republican voters. State Representative Amy Stephens and newly-elected State Senator Owen Hill trailed in the low single digits and all others barely rated a mention.
Then U.S. Representative Corey Gardner stepped in.
Gardner represents House District 4, which includes all of Colorado’s eastern plains. He was elected convincingly in 2010; previously he had served in the Colorado House. He’s a fifth-generation Coloradan from Yuma. According to Mark Udall’s campaign manager, Gardner is in the top ten most conservative members of the House.
While this is cause for scorn among the left, it makes Gardner popular with almost everyone on the right. The fact that he’s a seasoned politician endears him to the party establishment; the fact that he votes conservatively makes him popular with the grass roots. The Republican Party won’t see the massive infighting that occurred in 2010.
During the senate race then, the eventual nominee faced a strong and very negative challenge from Jane Norton, a former lieutenant governor. Democrats hoped for a replay of that election, with Amy Stephens playing the role of Norton. The same people who ran Norton’s campaign backed Stephens.
Unfortunately for Democrats, it hasn’t worked out that way. Stephens and Gardner are friends and she withdrew in favor of him. Ken Buck did as well and both Buck and Stephens were on stage yesterday as Gardner made his formal announcement.
The lone holdout is Owen Hill, who petulantly accused Gardner of making backroom deals. Hill has the endorsement of two national Tea Party groups, but none from Colorado.
It is a testament to the myopia of the left that they accuse all their opponents of being “Tea Party extremists,” as if the Tea Party were an actual political party and not a movement based on traditional American ideals.
Aside from Hill, no other senate candidate has as yet an endorsement from any organization associated with the Tea Party movement. In 2010 both Buck and Hill, running in different races, had such endorsements. Hill ran against now-recalled John Morse. Morse barely won with a plurality, spending ten times as much money as Hill. Buck was leading Bennett in the polls right up to the weekend prior to the election when he said on national TV that abortion was wrong in all cases whatsoever.
2014 is not 2010 and elections in Colorado have taken on a whole new twist.
Today, there’s no such thing as “election day.” It’s “election season” and every registered voter—alive or dead, real or imaginary—gets a mandatory mail-in ballot. No more local polling places, no voter ID. Union and OFA ballot-harvesters have almost a month to collect ballots; there is no practical limit to how many ballots a person can turn in to the new “voter service centers.”
Furthermore, Mark Udall is not Michael Bennett. He’s far more politically savvy. Whereas Bennett ran as an unabashed supporter of the Obama agenda, Udall is trying to hide his lock-step voting record and convince people he really is a conservative.
Denver talk radio host Peter Boyles says that Colorado is a petri dish for Democrats and their agenda. They took control of Colorado by a combination of billionaire dollars, community organizing and smear campaigns. After six years of their policies voters may be beginning to wake up. The radical agenda of the last two legislative sessions, rubber-stamped by Gov. Hickenlooper, can be seen in two lights. The first is what radical left Democrats will do when given unchecked power. The second is what they will do to stay in power.
The senate recalls last year have left them shaken. The weakness of their defending senatorial and gubernatorial incumbents must have them worried. Their economic record is abysmal and over 355,000 Coloradans have lost health insurance coverage under Obamacare and the state exchange.
Time will tell whether ordinary Colorado citizens can pull themselves together and overthrow the tyranny of the left in a peaceful revolution.