May 27, 2009


In defeat, Colo. GOP gets set for victory (Valerie Richardson, May 26, 2009, Washington Times)

Experienced Republican hands like former Gov. Bill Owens and former Sen. Wayne Allard recently met with the party's emerging leaders to brainstorm, trouble-shoot and plot strategy. In the past few months, at least two Republican-themed organizations have emerged, founded not by the usual Republican suspects, but by newcomers to the political scene.

"One of the prerequisites for victory is to go through a defeat," said Mr. Owens, who served two terms as governor in the Republicans' heyday from 1998 to 2006. "I would have preferred it not happen, but that definitely lays the groundwork for victory."

"Being in the minority focuses the mind," Mr. Owens said. "It allows us to bring new people into the coalition and reminds us we have more in common with each other than we do with the Democrats." [...]

[D]emocratic Gov. Bill Ritter Jr. is seen as vulnerable. An independent survey released last month by Public Policy Polling in Raleigh, N.C., showed former Republican Rep. Scott McInnis leading Mr. Ritter in a hypothetical 2010 match-up by a margin of 48 percent to 41 percent.

There's also opportunity for Republicans in 2010 on the Senate side. Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, appointed in January by Mr. Ritter after Sen. Ken Salazar was named secretary of the interior, must face the voters in 2010 to keep his seat.

While the former Denver Public Schools superintendent has raised an impressive $1.4 million, this is his first bid for public office. "They [Republicans] have the benefit of weak-appearing Democratic incumbents," said pollster Mr. Ciruli. "They're still searching for the right candidates and perhaps a theme, but they're better off than they were in the fall when [Republican presidential nominee] John McCain was struggling."

On the gubernatorial side, Mr. McInnis has already declared his candidacy, as has Evergreen businessman Dan Maes. State Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry is considering entering the race.

Two Republicans have lined up for the opportunity to challenge Mr. Bennet in 2010: Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck and Aurora City Council member Ryan Frazier. Neither has much in the way of statewide name recognition, but then again, neither does Mr. Bennet.

Republicans are also making a bid to oust Democratic Rep. Betsy Markey, who defeated Mrs. Musgrave in the predominantly Republican district. State House Minority Whip Cory Gardner and University of Colorado regent Tom Lucero have both entered the Republican primary race.

Recall that in 1992 the Right was powerful enough to defeat a sitting Republican president by mounting primary and general election challenges, yet when the Party returned to the White House it was under an open borders, open trade, strong government leader.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 27, 2009 7:44 AM
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