BOULDER – Republican candidates at the state assembly here on Saturday vowed to save Coloradans and Americans from a litany of liberal sins committed by Democrats that they say have eroded liberty and freedom.
The transgressions include Obamacare, gun-control laws, Common Core education standards, the national debt, red-inked federal government budgets and regulations that impede oil and gas energy independence and shackle small business development.
“It won’t be long until we will be looking in the rearview mirror at Mark Udall, John Hickenlooper and Barack Obama,” declared former U.S. Sen. Bill Armstrong, president of Colorado Christian University.
In the battle to win the U.S. Senate seat from the Democratic incumbent Udall, delegates wholeheartedly backed the nomination of Congressman Cory Gardner, who repeatedly blasted Udall for choosing Democratic Party politics over principles held by Coloradans.
“People are desperately seeking someone to stand up and fight this dysfunction in Washington,” said Gardner, who added that the policies have created pessimism and undermined America’s can-do spirit.
College graduates can’t find jobs, senior citizens worry about the future of the country and people are financially struggling and now are hit with losing their insurance coverage or paying higher premiums under Obamacare.
“This president had an opportunity to achieve energy independence,” said Gardner. “He put up road blocks instead of green lights.”
“And Mark Udall was just along for the ride,” Gardner said repeatedly.
Gardner vowed to offer real solutions for economic growth, responsible energy development balanced with environmental protections, and public education free of one-size-fits all Common Core standards.
“I will stand up for Colorado,” declared Gardner.
In the race to unseat Hickenlooper, delegates awarded top line on the ballot to former state Sen. Mike Kopp and a close second to Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler.
Kopp, who was nominated by Armstrong, kicked off his campaign speech with the Rolling Stones hit song “Start Me Up” and likened Republicans to a new generation of America’s founding fathers John Adams, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson who successfully defeated the “giant of tyranny.”
“Now it is our turn,” said Kopp, adding that it can be done if you “never, never, ever, ever, ever quit – you fight!”
Kopp asked Hickenlooper, if he was listening, to answer why the governor backed a campaign for a $1 billion statewide income tax hike for public education last year when “our state was still gripped in the height of recession, (and) 200,000 are looking for jobs.”
Kopp asked why the governor refused to sign the execution order for murderer Nathan Dunlap, why he refused to protect Colorado from Obamacare, and why he impeded job growth by signing into law 14,000 pages of new regulations on businesses and industries.
“Colorado, in our quest for freedom, I pledge to you that I will not quit,” said Kopp. “We will turn this state around.”
Gessler, who came in a close second to Kopp, touted his record for slashing fees, cutting red-tape bureaucracy and fighting for fair and honest elections as the secretary of state during the past four years.
He too blamed Hickenlooper for refusing to be a leader for all of Colorado, but instead backing the $1 billion tax hike, gun-control laws, Common Core standards, renewable energy mandates on rural communities and laws that allow same-day voter registration that compromises election integrity.
If elected, Gessler said his leadership would lead to “a government that we’ll regulate less – not more.”
In the primary race for governor, Republicans will have a choice of Kopp, Gessler, former Congressman Tom Tancredo, who petitioned successfully onto the ballot, and probably former Congressman Bob Beauprez, whose ballot petitions are being reviewed for certification.
In the quest to replace Attorney General John Suthers, the Republican delegates overwhelmingly awarded top line on the primary ballot to Chief Deputy Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, who was nominated by her husband Congressman Mike Coffman and Suthers.
State Rep. Mark Waller of Colorado Springs also made the ballot with nearly 31 percent of the delegate vote. Waller’s candidacy may have been hurt by a hit piece circulated to assembly delegates by Douglas Bruce. It seemed to stem from an old vendetta in 2008 when Waller wrestled the House District 15 legislative seat from Bruce.
The assembly delegates also nominated Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton and El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams for secretary of state. Neither has a primary opponent.
The assembly in the Coors Event Center in Boulder, a Democrat-dominated haven, was protected with security and processes that included metal detectors, handbag searches and visible credential badges.
“I have never felt this safe in Boulder,” Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman told the assembly. Cadman joked about the bleeping metal detectors that signaled delegates were carrying concealed firearms, and said he felt well protected among the 4,000 Republican delegates, many of whom were forced navigated around pro-Udall supporters on the sidewalk.
“I think we ought to come back and celebrate” when Republicans take back Colorado in November, suggested Cadman.