Battle For Santorum Delegates, Lamborn Renomination Contest Dominate GOP Gathering

April 14, 2012
By

 

Incumbent Rep. Doug Lamborn, who knocked challenger Douglas Bergeron off the ballot, has come under fire for being ineffectual in Washington

DENVER– The Colorado Republican Convention kicked off Friday with patriotic pitches by candidates vying for 21 National Republican Convention delegate slots – three delegates and three alternates were elected from each GOP congressional assembly.

Today, the state GOP conventioneers select 12 delegates and 12 alternates to the national convention.

The battle for delegates at the state convention erupted this morning with Ron Paul for president supporters bashing frontrunner Mitt Romney in the Ritchie Center at the University of Denver. The impassioned Paul supporters waved “Mitt = Gun Control” posters and used bullhorns to blast the former Massachusetts Governor.

National delegate candidates courted votes with candy, Mardi gras beads and campaign flyers – but most influential on Friday were groups promoting a slate of candidates. Congressional assemblies were swamped with handouts of slates promoted by Romney “Believe in America,” Constitutional Conservative Republicans for Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich’s “The Newt List.”

Though Rick Santorum pulled out of the presidential race this week, his delegate coordinator Sean Conway teamed up with Paul’s Coloradostate director Matt Holdridge to promote the “Conservative Unity Slate Colorado 2012” with a list of delegates in six of seven congressional districts.

National delegates and alternates elected from the congressional districts were a mix of those who had pledged to Santorum, Romney and Paul, and several who were uncommitted.

The biggest winners in the delegate contests were those endorsed on multiple slates. For example, the 5th Congressional District assembly elected state Sen. Kent Lambert and Robin Coran who were listed on slates pushed by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, Conservative Unity, Coalition of Politically Active Christians and Republican National Coalition for Life.

Lambert, who had run as a Santorum delegate, said he’ll support the party’s nominee and predicted it will be Romney. The CD5 assembly also awarded a delegate slot to Romney-pledged Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, and alternates to El Paso County Treasurer Bob Balink, pledged to Romney, and Paul supporters Charles Aligaen and Joseph Burke of Teller County.

In the 3rd Congressional assembly, Todd King of MontezumaCounty and Luke Kirk of La Plata won the top two delegate seats – both were listed on the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, Tea for Education School Choice Now and the Conservative Unity slates. Romney slate candidates Frieda Wallison of Pitkin County won the third delegate slot and alternates went to Nancy Carlson of Garfield County, Michelle Gilleland of La Plata County and Barbara Smith of Mesa County.

CD5 Fireworks

As triumphant as elected delegates and alternates was 5th District Congressman Doug Lamborn who was nominated for re-election and knocked challenger Douglas Bergeron off the ballot. Lamborn won 532 delegate votes; Bergeron garnered 84 delegate votes.

Lamborn faces a primary battle against millionaire businessman Robert Blaha, who petitioned onto the ballot. The congressman devoted much of his speech to defending his voting record against Blaha’s attacks and comparing his activism in the GOP over the past three decades to the newcomer businessman’s lack of involvement.

Businessman and Lamborn challenger Robert Blaha

“While you and I have been fighting these battles against liberals, my opponent has been AWOL until the last three months,” said Lamborn of Blaha.

“My opponent has voted in just one election in the past six years of Republican primaries,” asserted Lamborn. “Is there anyone in this room that has given to little support to the Republican Party?”

Blaha, who has vowed to spend a $1.5 million on the race, has relentlessly pummeled Lamborn in radio ads, and campaign flyers disseminated at the congressional assembly on Friday.

“If we judge Congressman Lamborn on fixing the economy, he’s failed. If we judge him on his ability to pass legislation, he’s 0-for-37 on bills in which he’s the lead sponsor,” declared Blaha. “That’s zero percent.”

“My opponent can say anything he wants – talk is cheap,” declared Lamborn. “He’ll say anything to get elected!”

“Killing bad bills is as important as passing good bills,” countered Lamborn, who touted his conservative voting record rated by fiscal conservative groups.

Giving a reality check, Lamborn said that his bills were killed by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when Democrats held a majority. Now, with a Republican majority, Lamborn said his bills pass in the House but are killed in the Senate dominated by Democrats.

“I’m sorry but I can’t control (Senate Democrat Leader) Harry Reid,” said Lamborn.

Lamborn reeled off a list of his bills, including a measure to “defund public radio” that prompted boisterous applause and whooping by delegates.

“If you want the most conservative representative in the United States Congress – I’m your man,” said Lamborn.

Without Bergeron the ballot, Lamborn faces a two-man race for the first time. The Congressman won election in 2006 in a six-way primary. In 2008, Lamborn won re-election, but he petitioned onto the primary ballot to run against Republicans Jeff Crank and Bentley Rayburn, who were nominated in by CD5 assembly delegates.

Comments made by visitors are not representative of The Colorado Observer staff.

Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Complete Colorado
Colorado Peak Politics - Sometimes Unruly. Always Conservative.

Visitor Poll

Should illegal immigrant kids flooding the border be housed in Colorado?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

The Colorado Observer