The Repubs in HoCo are having what amounts to a family squabble as we enter the final week before the elections. At a time when the party should be coming together to support their candidates a widening rift is developing in the loco GOP ranks that has more to do with the next election than the current one. The formation of Republicans for Watson has so angered Senator Alan Kittleman that it has created a good bit of tension within the moderate ranks of the party.
It is widely expected that Alan will make a run at the county executive seat in four years when Ken Ulman is prohibited by term limits from seeking a third term. The absence of an incumbent in the race levels the playing field a bit for a Repub. The thinking is that, right now anyway, Courtney Watson presents the greatest Dem threat in four years so it would be best to knock her out in the council race this year thereby diminishing her political capital in 2014. The last thing he needs is moderate Repubs getting all friendly with Courtney. Of course it’s too late for that now.
This tiff comes on top of the Tea Partiers efforts to pull the loco GOP further to the right. The failed Taxpayer Protection Initiative was but one example of an effort to advance a more loco conservative agenda. Many moderate Repubs feel that Tea Party politics don’t resonate in HoCo beyond the party’s hardcore conservatives. The moderates believe that in order to win in heavily Dem HoCo, the party needs not only to capture the independent vote but a fair share of moderate Dems as well. In conversations with both moderate and conservative Repubs I’ve often walked away wondering if they are actually in the same party.
Will Rogers once quipped “I’m not a member of an organized political party, I’m Democrat”
This year, in HoCo at least, that could be said about the Repubs too.