I Hope the Rumors of Premature NRSC Colorado Endorsement Are Unfounded

Update, 5:00 PM: Complete Colorado has uncovered evidence of the NRSC registering web domains for Jane Norton, which unfortunately would seem to confirm the rumors. Writing at the People’s Press Collective, El Presidente echoes my sentiments and notes that the popular outrage from grassroots Colorado conservatives is starting to build.

A well-placed rumor is circulating that the National Republican Senatorial Committee is planning to endorse former lieutenant governor Jane Norton upon her official entry into Colorado’s Republican U.S. Senate primary in the next few weeks. I sincerely hope the rumors are unfounded.

The NRSC has no business coming into this race so early in the process to endorse anyone. It wouldn’t matter if they endorsed Ken Buck, Ryan Frazier, or even Cleve Tidwell. Any such reckless action by the NRSC risks a backlash that could turn their well-placed intentions upside down.

Republicans in Colorado — including ones like myself, both sensible and principled — generally are tired of the candidate coronation process that has triggered a string of high-profile electoral defeats. Think Pete Coors 2004 and Bob Beauprez 2006, both fine men but both badly squandered chances. In each case the process that led to their selection generated a great deal of ill will that many of us are still working to overcome.

When Bob Schaffer ran in 2008, the fallout from the previous two election cycles did nothing to aid his already uphill challenge. Now, with an out-of-control Democrat majority revitalizing the grassroots in ways certainly not seen in my lifetime, the prospect of 2010 has brought hope that the slate can be wiped clean, that the Colorado Republican Party can listen to the voice of the people and return to its limited government, fiscally conservative roots.

Colorado Republicans, independents, and other engaged citizens don’t even know where all the candidates stand on the key issues yet — especially Jane Norton, the newcomer and great unknown. For example, I would be interested to hear where the former Department of Public Health director and recent McCain campaign state co-chair comes down on the critical health reform debate of our time.

Not whether she is against Obama Care … of course she is. But is Norton going to run on “the seniors’ health care bill of rights”, the Bobby Jindal plan, the Paul Ryan plan, the Tom Price plan, or some other consumer-centered reform? As a matter of fact, I’d like to hear from all the candidates out there on this issue. Can’t we at least get an answer before Washington outsiders tell us who we ought to vote for?

If the NRSC backs Norton (or anyone else) this fall, you can expect the ground troops will be demoralized. Those like myself — a committed conservative Republican volunteer and local party activist since high school (the last three election cycles here in Colorado) and one of the state’s most experienced and respected right-leaning political bloggers — and many others I know will turn their attention to other races, other issues, other activities. There perhaps might even be a Marco Rubio-style backlash in the form of a renewed grassroots fundraising effort to repel the NRSC.

Memo to Senator John Cornyn and the NRSC: We are glad to know you are available to help provide aid to the primary election winner next fall during the crucial contest to unseat Michael Bennet and his hollow record. We kindly but firmly plead that you do not throw your weight behind any candidate in Colorado before that, especially not so early in the game.

Like I said, I hope the rumors are unfounded….


  1. call sign viper says

    I hope the rumors are true, and here’s why:

    While Frazier, Cleve, and Buck are fiddling around as 2nd rate candidates that can’t even raise $10,000 democrats are raising MILLIONS. It’s about time a serious candidate announces with the support of the national party. That will clear the field of wannabes, and open the door for the Republican fundraising machine to start putting up the $$$$ numbers to compete with Bennet.

    It’s it and that’s that. Elections are all about money.

  2. Haners says

    I actually agree with this 100%. Norton, Fraizer, Buck, or Tidwell (tee-hee-hee) need to win the nomination on their own right without outside endorsements. In state endorsements are fair game, but the national committee needs to stay out.

  3. Starbuck says

    call sign viper, that’s the kind of attitude that gave us the big-spending Republican congress of the Bush years. Norton was in favor of Referendum C and made a lot of questionable comments about healthcare during her career. The simple fact is, you can’t count on her to be the slightest bit conservative on fiscal issues since she already has a record of betraying us when it’s crunch time.

    I don’t care how much money she can supposedly raise, I don’t want her representing me and I sure as hell don’t want John Cornyn telling me I can’t have a voice in the primary.

  4. Alex says

    I agree with both Haners and Ben. I’d leave the tee-hee-hee out only because anything can happen in the next year, I mean anything. Don’t count anyone out…or in yet.

  5. Norma Jenkins says

    What a joke nobody knows her and she did support higher taxes as I have read. I went to the R Block party tonight with a friend and I assure you she could not hold a candle to Tidwell whom I heard for the first time tonight. So why would the national party get behind her. Don’t think it will happen. Even then the people of Colorado will decide. Just another reason why we wouldn’t pick her. What a screwed up party.

  6. Sarge says

    Call Sign Viper,
    You mean you want to repeat what the National did to us with Beauprez and Coors. McCain and the National want a moderate with left leanings in the mold of McCain. No thank you. It is time we return to strict conservative doctrine. Norton supported Owens of Referendum C. Go Figure. She was McCain’s co-chair, go figure. It is time we vote for a candidate that wants to take appropriate actions against the illegal alien problem. It is time we vote for a candidate who has shown he supports fiscal conservatism and is against Obama’s health care bill. That candidate is Ken Buck. By the way Buck raised $350,000.00 the first quarter not the $10,000.00 you stated.


  1. […] Following the publication of Ben’s posting on substantial rumors that the National Republican … nine months before the state party convention and nearly a year before the actual primary, I’ve been getting emails expressing deep concern, and have chosen to publish some here (with the emailers’ permission). I will continue to add other emails as they come in, so if the idea of the NRSC determining the “anointed” GOP candidate in the 2010 race against Senator Who?/Michael Bennet does not sit well with you, please let me know (elpresidente@peoplespresscollective.org). […]

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