Assembly Eve

As the Denver Post highlights this morning, tomorrow is the big “showdown” in Colorado Springs, also known as the State GOP Assembly. I along with several other center-right Colorado bloggers will be on hand for various official duties and will give you updates as possible.

There are a couple salient points I wanted to bring forward about the Assembly, as raised in the article. First, both Republican gubernatorial candidates have focused an extraordinary amount of effort in seeking to persuade delegates from across the state to give their support. Neither candidate has been shortchanged in opportunities to control and direct their messages to this important audience, to make their best case for why their respective candidate should be the Republican nominee for governor.

The Assembly’s delegates represent a cross-section of the Party’s more conservative voters. Both candidates have fought for ground on the political Right to woo the delegates into their camps. Failure to attract a significant amount of support among this crowd would show that despite the best, well-funded efforts, a candidate has a nearly impossible case to persuade primary voters on Aug. 8 to choose them. That is why the Party’s rules stipulate that a candidate who does not earn a 30 percent share of the vote from the Assembly’s delegates does not get on the ballot.

Of course, there is the petition option. But such a route seems primarily reserved for a candidate who got a late start in the race for various reasons and did not have sufficient time to raise money and deliver their message to the Assembly’s delegates. Such is not the case with either Bob Beauprez or Marc Holtzman. And why I was disappointed to see earlier this week that Holtzman is determined to petition onto the ballot if he fails to achieve 30 percent at tomorrow’s Assembly.

The utmost efforts have been made by the State Party to address concerns about the security, fairness, and objectivity of the balloting process. Assuredly, the delegates do not want a repeat of the 2004 debacle that enabled many to vote twice and some to vote not at all. And as the Post story today points out, those concerns have been addressed:

A team of about 150 – including 35 El Paso County sheriff’s deputies, 35 ballot-box judges, 70 ballot-distribution judges, four computer experts and five ballot-machine experts – will watch the voting. Cellphones have been banned, and delegate credentials will be closely monitored.

The major upgrade in security is primarily due to Holtzman, who for months has expressed concerns that Republican Party leaders might block his ability to get on the ballot. However, he is not expecting any voting problems now, said spokesman Jesse Mallory.

While I have given my support to Holtzman, I have repeatedly said that both candidates have the conservative, character, and leadership credentials to carry the Party’s banner into the fall election. I also believe that the will of the Assembly’s delegates should be honored and that if either candidate earns 70 percent support there, the Party should rally around the winner. I am not in favor of either candidate at this point ignoring the delegates they have worked so hard to persuade and choosing the petitioning process to get on the ballot.

But if both candidates can pick up the requisite 30 percent support in this fair and secure election process, let the primary campaign continue. And may it be a battle of ideas.


  1. says

    I didn’t say the candidates shouldn’t be allowed the option of petitioning on but that in this case if either one did not earn 30% they would be wise to step aside.

    When I started engaging with this race last fall I looked forward to a debate on ideas & issues, but the contest has been far from it so far. The differences between what a Governor Beauprez & a Governor Holtzman would do are very small compared to the differences they would have with a Governor Ritter.

    My first interest is in GOP success this fall, in all the statewide & legislative races. I want to see not only the most contributions possible and the best message presented but also the broadest support of GOP foot soldiers for everyone from the top of the ticket on down.

    Do you believe the delegates to the State Assembly will represent more of the “Country Club” wing of the party? If anything, I think the delegate representation tends to overrepresent the social & cultural conservative elements of the party. But their voices are important, and they contribute the most volunteer efforts in the fall election. If less than 30% of them can come to support either Holtzman or Beauprez – after all the messages and money and outreach – that should be listened to.

    The Beauprez campaign has expressed great confidence they will at least get their candidate on the ballot. The Holtzman folks also have assured me they believe getting on the ballot will be no problem. If they’re both right, and there is a lack of consensus among the delegates, then a hard-fought primary is more than appropriate… it’s necessary.

    I hope that clarifies my position to you.

  2. says

    I agree to a large extent – I have been a Holtzman supporter because he was talking about the ideas and pushing a strong conservative message from the beginning. I have been pleased to see Beauprez take some strong stands on taxes & immigration recently and have no reason to believe either candidate would turn back on his word in office.

    The story of what’s going on with SD 22 with Kopp, Traylor, Everett, et al., is a different scenario, and one I don’t have time to address at the moment. Send me an email at the address listed on my sidebar, and I will be glad to discuss it further. Or you can search some of the keywords to see my previous posts on SD 22.

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