The O. Zone

Anti-establishment candidates get GOP nod in Colorado

By David O. Williams
Real AspenAugust 11, 2010

Dan Maes

With 100 percent of the vote counted, Republican tea party favorite and Evergreen businessman Dan Maes continued the Colorado GOP trend of sweeping aside establishment frontrunners by defeating former six-term congressman Scott McInnis in Tuesday’s gubernatorial primary.

Maes won by just over 5,300 votes, 196,560 to 191,209 – a margin of 51 to 49 percent. Tea party favorite Ken Buck also defeated party favorite Jane Norton to win the GOP’s U.S. Senate nomination.

Maes immediately began calling for American Constitution Party candidate Tom Tancredo to get out of the governor’s race.

Tancredo, also a former Republican congressman and in some circles popular anti-immigration advocate, got into the race after major campaign blunders by both Maes and McInnis, including campaign finance violations by Maes and a plagiarism scandal for McInnis.

There is concern in the GOP that Tancredo will split the vote and allow Democratic Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper – unchallenged in the primary – to walk away with the general election in November.
Ken Buck

Meanwhile, Republicans went with Walker Stapleton 51 percent to 49 for J.J. Ament in the GOP primary for Colorado’s state treasurer, and incumbent Democrat Cary Kennedy, unchallenged in the primary, wasted no time going on the offensive.

“Throughout this economic downturn, Colorado’s investments have fared better than other states,” Kennedy campaign manager Serena Woods said in a release. “Cary has kept Colorado on sound financial footing and our state’s credit remains strong. She kept Colorado out of risky investments and worked to make the state’s finances more transparent than ever before.”

“Walker Stapleton’s primary victory gives voters such a clear choice in the treasurer’s race – between a risky, unproven candidate, Walker Stapleton, and a proven state treasurer with an excellent record of managing the taxpayers’ money wisely, current treasurer Cary Kennedy.

Former lieutenant governor and state treasurer Gail Schoettler also weighed in:

“At a time when Colorado faces the worst economy in generations, the self-funding Republican candidate for treasurer’s lack of experience is not the right choice for Colorado taxpayers.”

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