Colorado GOP Sticking with Dick Wadhams
by Jonathan Singer, Mon Mar 23, 2009 at 03:36:37 PM EDT
After the 2008 cycle, during which Colorado Republicans lost a seat in the Senate and the House and John McCain became only the second Republican in more than 40 years not to carry the state's electoral votes, you might think that the party would think about getting rid of its chairman -- particularly considering that the chairman's previous accomplishment was heading George Allen's 2006 reelection campaign, which turned the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination into a Senator who couldn't earn a second term. But, no, that's apparently not how Colorado Republicans think.
On the heels of thumping losses in last fall's election, Colorado Republicans decided Saturday to stick with the one that brung `em.
State GOP Chairman Dick Wadhams easily won re-election to a second two-year term with 85 percent of the vote at the party's central committee meeting. Wadhams rebuffed challenges from former Eagle County Commissioner Tom Stone and party activist Christine Tucker, who threw her support to Stone at the end of her nomination speech.
"In 2008, the Democrats picked one heck of a fight, and that's a fight we're going to finish in 2010," Wadhams told a crowd of about 400 Republicans at Douglas County High School in Castle Rock. He vowed Republicans will win back majorities in the state Legislature and defeat Democrats Gov. Bill Ritter and Sen. Michael Bennet.
Going into the 2004 election, Republicans controlled both chambers of the Legislature and held both Senate seats, five of the state's seven congressional seats, the governor's office, and three of the remaining four statewide offices. In the three elections that followed, Democrats exactly reversed the Republicans' advantage and threw in the state's electoral votes for Barack Obama, only the second time a Democrat has won Colorado's vote in four decades.
If the Republicans believe that they would be well served by sticking with Wadhams, who hasn't had much of any success since helping John Thune defeat then-Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle in 2004, I say go ahead. The Democrats are on a serious upswing in the state, and if the Republicans believe that they are best represented by a hard right conservative who doesn't understand the changes in the Centennial State, they're likely to see more of the same results they have experienced in the past few years.