Politics & Policy

Thursday Morning Wrap: CO GOP in a Maes

Update–The former state senate president, a Republican, has also withdrawn his endorsement of Dan Maes:

“As a conscientious Republican who earlier voted for Dan, I cannot support a manifestly unfit nominee. He has flunked his job interview with the people of Colorado in the weeks since Scott McInnis faded. The party should cut Maes loose if he does not resign the nomination.” [emphasis added]

Dan Maes is in a firestorm with many Republicans demanding he resign the party’s gubernatorial nomination in light of questions about his personal and campaign finances.

Following yesterday’s momentous announcement that former U.S. Senator Hank Brown, who many view as one of the deans of Colorado Republican politics, was withdrawing his endorsement from embattled gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes, a cascade of speculation and calls for Maes to withdraw has begun–but first to Brown’s statement:

“I’m concerned about the revelations. I’m withdrawing my endorsement,” said Brown, referring to a Denver Post story today that Maes embellished details about his law enforcement background. “I’m beginning to find that (Maes’) explanations are not adequate.”

The GOP’s 2006 gubernatorial candidate, former congressman Bob Beauprez, has also called on Maes to exit the race:

“If Dan really is committed to doing the best for Colorado, as well as for the GOP, he ought to take serious inventory and see if this isn’t the time to do the noble thing,” Beauprez said. “He can live to fight another day.”

It isn’t just voices within the Republican party that are concerned. Colorado’s liberty groups, many of whom championed Maes through the primary process, are noting their displeasure and seeking answers to questions about Maes’ record and his inconsistencies, according to Colorado 9/12 Project coordinator Lu Busse:

“We have heard from people who want more information,” Busse said, declining to elaborate on which Maes controversy was the most problematic. “It’s a set of things … We want to find out from him, not from rumor or innuendo.”

Busse points out the group never formally endorsed any candidates, but that there are many 9.12 people who are “unhappy and concerned.”

Hear Us Now, one of the original Tea Party groups in Colorado and among the leaders who organized the first Tax Day Tea Party in Denver in April 2009, has already rescinded its endorsement, noting that there is a great deal of disagreement within the ranks of the various liberty groups in Colorado.

The rumor mill is in full swing, as news of the Republican Governors Association’s summoning of Maes to DC early Wednesday led to speculation of whether or not the group, which had pledged millions of dollars of support to Colorado for former congressman Scott McInnis had he won the nomination, was interested in helping Maes or applying more pressure for him to get out of the race.

The Colorado Statesman reports on measures to replace Maes should he decide to drop out:

Although Maes said Wednesday he is no longer talking to the press, Republicans statewide could hardly contain their speculation that the rookie candidate might be replaced on the ballot by early next week.

According to sources in the Colorado Republican Party and elsewhere interviewed Wednesday by The Colorado Statesman, major escalating problems and daunting revelations about Maes’ gubernatorial candidacy — with still more possible bombshells to drop — could unravel any hopes Maes has to stay on as the GOP standard bearer by Friday, prompting the state party to convene a special vacancy committee to select a new nominee after the required five-day advance notice. If that happened, the meeting could be held Tuesday, Sept. 7, and a spokesman for the secretary of state’s office said that even though the general election ballot is set to be certified this Friday, Sept. 3, there is probably enough wiggle room for county clerks to update ballots next week if necessary. [emphasis added]

However, as of early Thursday, Maes remained defiant, via his Facebook account:


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