I was able to attend the CD-7 Assembly on Thursday as well as the State Convention on Saturday. Here are some of my thoughts.
1) Lang Sias: Lang has improved 200% in speaking and just being a candidate of the past months. His campaign closed a huge gap with Frazier to end the assembly 43-48. Sias' biggest problem though is raising money. He has had big names behind him for a while, McCain, Tancredo, Beauprez...yet he still cannot raise a dime. Sias cannot win a primary against Frazier's war chest of over 600k without the money needed for commercials.
3) Ken Buck: After his standing ovation following the appearance of Jane Norton, it was clear Ken Buck was the caucus, hard-core-conservative favorite. His speech doesn’t need to be remembered, only that he outperformed Jane Norton through his actions to stick through the caucus like he started instead of false words as Norton has gone around the state preaching.
2) Ryan Frazier: Frazier came on top for the ballot. While Sias has propelled through the assembly to catch up to him, Frazier beat him back. Had Sias gotten the top spot, Frazier’s theme of “I’m the one that can win” would immediately be halted. Frazier continues to overpower the room with his energy and voice. Watching him go against Ed in a debate would be something.
1) Mike Deeming: He had a nomination and a second of the nomination…and only one vote…enough said.
2) Jane Norton: When Jane showed up at the assembly, the very thing she skipped out on because she was too chicken, her actions had consequences. The crowd did not even give her attention while speaking, and rightfully so.
STATE CONVENTION WINNERS
1) Dan Maes: By just 16 votes, Dan Maes and the conservative movement, beat the establishment candidate, Congressman Scott McInnis. Even comparing the two speeches it was very clear that Dan Maes has a clear advantage in energy and response in the room. If you want a united party come November that is recruiting new volunteers all over…you want Dan.
2) Ken Buck: Buck winning almost 80% of the vote and keeping a potential competitor, Cleve Tidwell, off the ballot strengthened his campaign. Norton could only hope that Buck would receive under 70% to get another candidate on the ballot, but their efforts and hopes failed. Buck’s microphone cut-off (the first candidate of the day it occurred to), turned into a benefit for him as the audience cheered “We want Ken”.
3) Colorado Caucus: There’s been no closely watched and dramatic convention then 2010. After recounts for the gubernatorial race, the suspense continued to rise all day. 2010 was definitely a renewal to Colorado’s caucus system.
4) JJ Ament: JJ received a standing ovation with more cheers than even Ken Buck. Ament’s campaign hit a record high when Ali Hasan failed to make the ballot. All Ament has to face now is Walker Stapleton, who has kept quiet since his announcement to petition on. This race should be a shoe in for Ament.
5) Scott Gessler: The GOP’s only SOS candidate proved himself worthy on Saturday with a rousing speech in an area most people don’t care about. Gessler proved to me he can win a general election while touting his experience of getting Ralph Nader on the ballot…not because he liked him, but because he wanted to be fair and just.
1) Jane Norton: Not only did Norton skip the caucus, but Ken Buck won by a huge margin. Momentum is in Buck’s favor and Norton only has days before her petitions are due and word has been going around for weeks that her team is having trouble collecting signatures.
2) Ali Hasan: Hasan spent a ton of money in this race only to come out short with 19% of the vote. Hasan recently took many hard balls with his “false accusations” on how Colorado is investing its money, on JJ Ament’s record, and on being under qualified for the job.
3) Cleve Tidwell: Tidwell’s only hope was to get on the ballot by the convention. When both Wiens and Norton dropped out of the convention route, things could not have gone better for the Tidwell campaign which gave them hope. However, Cleve failed to deliver an A+ speech needed to take the spotlight from Buck. While Cleve had energy, the actual speech was average while an underdog needs it to be historic.
4) Joe Gschwendtner: After saying that the campaign will be ready to go toe-to-toe against Scott when Maes didn’t make 30%, Joe threw in his marbles only to lose them. Dan Maes’ victory was a huge revival for the campaign, enough to propel him into a position to seriously challenge McInnis in a state-wide contest (money wise). After sending robo-calls to the delegates, hiring day labors to hold his signs, Joe seems like the candidate buying his way into power…and 2010 is not the year to do that.