As I posted at length before, Colorado Republicans are trying to fill a legislative vacancy, after conservative Rep. Don Lee (R – Littleton) resigned in December.
Seven candidates have announced to fill Rep. Lee’s seat. Trying to separate himself from the pack, Justin Everett, 33, held a $50-a-person fundraiser last night, on the eve of the vacancy committee’s final ballot. (Disclosure: Justin Everett is a personal acquaintance and political ally.)
As Rocky Mountain News columnist Peter Blake points out, it may seem a strange affair to host a fundraiser before a vacancy committee selection, but Everett is boldly making a statement about his ability to perform a crucial political task. One of the reasons the GOP suffered in the state elections this past year was that the party got outmaneuvered financially. Everett brings a solid background of experience in political fundraising, starting with his work for the 1994 Bruce Benson for governor campaign.
My impressions of the other six candidates are mostly secondhand, though some I have no familiarity with at all. Mike Kopp, who managed the Steve Hackman for Congress campaign (lost to Mark Udall in the most recent election), has his conservative bona fides. Same for Mark Trevithick and Mike Mawhinney, though the latter is virtually unknown. Jim Kerr might be able to sway some of the more moderate committee members’ votes.
One thing is clear: we need a conservative in office with enthusiasm, experience, ambition, savvy, and the set of political skills that can help lead Colorado in the right direction for the future. Nothing against the other candidates, and my bias here is already known, but Justin Everett is a known entity – a fine fellow who meets all the above qualifications.
While I’ll be out of town and may be unable to comment, check tomorrow’s papers for the results.