The RLC of Colorado is not endorsing any particular candidate in the race for Colorado Governor. We’ve interviewed all the Republican candidates who were in the race as of March 1st. Thank You to each of them for taking the time to meet with our board and discuss their philosophy, their record and their approach to the campaign.
We encourage our members to do their own research and consider the strengths and weaknesses of each of the candidates. We trust them to make the decision that best meets their individual criteria and application of our shared principles. We suggest that the following candidates, in no particular order, are worthy of consideration for their support at upcoming assemblies and in the primary.
Greg was the winner of our straw poll conducted on the eve of the caucus registration deadline. He has attended a couple of our events in addition to the interview.
Greg has a solid grasp of the philosophy of liberty and demonstrates, most of the time, the ability to govern with those principles. He does seem to occasionally have a soft spot for green energy projects and government managed growth that cause him to vote against principles. His history of support for personhood would be used against him by the media and the Hickenlooper campaign in a way that might be hard to overcome in a statewide race.
Greg has a quirky combination of rural farmer and electric car driving Colorado personality that would compete well against Hickenlooper’s pretended goofiness. Greg has shown that he pulls no punches and would be a tough fighter in the general election.
Tom is a great campaigner and a happy warrior. He is a known quantity who speaks his mind. We were proud to stand on the Capitol steps with Tom when he announced his support for Amendment 64, to allow adults access to recreational cannabis.
Tom is fantastic on most issues, but on some issues he misses badly. During his time in the US Congress he voted in favor of the Patriot Act and TARP. In the wake of the Columbine shooting he also supported certain gun control legislation. And of course there is the immigration question. There is a great deal more to Tom than this one issue. His campaign would like to move beyond it, but many of his backers continue to make it the key to their support.
Tancredo has high negatives among general election voters and in the Republican party. This may bedue to his third party run in 2010 and support for marijuana legalization. He is also the last guy that the party establishment wants to see get the nomination.
Steve is a longtime activist and first time candidate. Steve is an accomplished businessman in the healthcare field, which gives him good credibility against Hickenlooper on the pivotal issue if 2014. Steve has exhibited a great talent in uniting Republicans as Chairman of the Adams County GOP and has been welcoming to liberty groups.
Steve is clearly looking to deemphasize the social issues and talk about managing the state as a business. Though he speaks the language of liberty, on some issues his thought processes turns away from principles and towards utilitarianism. He might tend to weigh the greater good against individual liberty, without regard for the proper role of government. This is often seen in those who approach government from a managerial perspective.
Regardless of the outcome of this race we expect to see Steve again. He is one to get to know and keep an eye on.
Scott has won high marks for his time as Colorado Secretary of State from various factions in the Republican Party. In almost all instances Scott has been fair and seeks to unite the party. He is a Republican’s Republican and tends to view many issues through that partisan lens.
He has been attacked with various ethical complaints, though the extent to which these can be used against him is questionable. Polling shows Scott is perceived negatively by a significant percentage of potential voters but his negatives are much lower than Tancredo’s. He has good name recognition and strong support among Republicans.
There are other candidates who are perceived as “establishment” who show a disregard for the grassroots and the caucus process. That is not the case with Scott. His campaign has been aggressive about getting Republicans to participate. This is a healthy strategy for our party regardless of the outcome of this race.
You can expect Scott to be very aggressive in a general election. His moniker of “Honey Badger” has been well earned.
There is a strong case to make against Hickenlooper for anyone who loves freedom and understands constitutional fundamentals. His support for gun control legislation, higher taxes and green energy burdens placed on rural Colorado earn him disdain from traditional Republicans.
For those of us who emphasize personal freedom his record on liberty and federalism is terrible. He actively opposed the legalization of recreational cannabis despite his party’s platform support for the measure. When Amendment 64 passed anyway, his first reaction was to seek permission from Washington DC rather than to implement the will of people in accordance with the Colorado Constitution. He also signed a bill giving federal agents the power to enforce local laws and temporarily detain citizens without arrest.
We hope that the Republican Nominee for Governor will highlight this litany of abuse and be a leader for grassroots liberty in the party and in Colorado.