An interesting division has been occurring in the Aurora mayor's race scheduled for November. It's not the usual split you see amongst the GOP — establishment vs. grassroots. This time it's more of a generational split, or the old guard vs. new guard in our view. When you compare Ryan Frazier's supporters against the others in the field this distinction is hard to miss.
There are a number of upstanding citizens running to succeed the long reign of the father-son mayoral dynasty of Paul and Ed Tauer. That does not include Defector Debbie.
It does include people like Jude Sandvall and Steve Hogan.
Hogan is a former Aurora city councilman, who ran for Congress as a Democrat twice in the early 80s, later switching to the Republican line, and served a total of 24 years on the council. Over the years he has built up a successful network of contacts on both sides of the aisle, allowing him the ability to raise a serious chunk of change. A couple of weeks ago, Hogan released his initial fundraising numbers reporting that he had raised $125,000 already.
He will be a serious challenger with top level operatives in Marcus Pachman and Sean Walsh. It's an interesting re-match against Frazier for Walsh, as he ran the campaign of Frazier's 7th CD primary opponent, Lang Sias, in 2010.
Hogan's rolodex has garnered him the backing of some serious old guard establishment figures like former Governor Bill Owens and former US Senator Hank Brown. He also has the support of the Tauer family, which has ruled over Aurora for nearly the last 20 years.
Jude Sandvall is a Realtor with some significant old school establishment support of his own (see his supporter list after the jump). Behind his campaign stand a bevy of backers who have dominated Colorado politics for a long time. From former state Senate Majority Leader and former State Treasurer Mark Hillman to the one and only Tom Tancredo, Sandvall has his fair share of dominant figures behind him.
Perhaps most important to his campaign is the backing of the Cottrells. Bo and Lynn Cottrell, Republican activists who have been doing the heavy lifting of the GOP since forever, are strong supporters of Sandvall. They are highly respected and their endorsement will no doubt carry a lot of weight. Sandvall is a great guy with solid conservative principles. Even those not supporting him say he would make a good mayor.
But good is not enough. Many new school Republicans and activist types want more than a "good" mayor. They are looking for dynamic, engaged leaders to represent them at all levels of government, including the mayor's office in Aurora. A quick perusal of supporters of Ryan Frazier's campaign from an upcoming fundraising event notice bears this new school vs old school paradigm out.
From newly elected Adams County Commissioner Erik Hansen, who has been busy cleaning up the wave of Dem corruption that has hit his county, to Brett Moore, who recently finished his tenure atop the Denver Metro Young Republicans, Frazier is garnering the support of the next generation of GOP leaders.
It is no surprise that we are fans of Fraziers, as we pointed out in our post about his entrance into the race. Some may say we are just shilling for our guy in the race. We're not. We haven't made any endorsement of Frazier's mayoral campaign. While we've spoken highly of Frazier, the generational and establishment lines that separate Frazier from Sandvall and Hogan are distinct and notable. It is an interesting split, regardless of who is in the race.
The supporter list of Frazier looks more like a who's who of those fighting the political battles in the here and now, whereas Sandvall and Hogan's endorsers read more like a list of political alumni. Many younger activists and GOPers see Frazier as a rising star with an ability to reach out to new constituencies and act as an able spokesman for the conservative philosophy. His numerous appearances on Fox News point to the fact that his messaging abilities are able to tap into a larger segment than your average Aurora mayoral candidate.
The fault lines can also be seen in the candidate's interactions on Facebook. Steve Hogan has a FB page, but it is barely ever used and has less than 100 "likes." Sandvall likewise has a FB page with less than 100 "likes," though he uses it more often than Hogan. Frazier, who was able to port over his nearly 2,500 "likes" FB page from his Congressional campaign, has a lively exchange going on with his supporters. In a low turnout, off-year election things like this can have an outsized effect. It's also an unmistakable sign to supporters that Frazier gets the new way campaigns are run. Social media matters.
Frazier clearly has a major leg up on his competition, having run for the 7th Congressional district last year. In addition to his FB page, he is able to take his lists of volunteers and donors, as well as the relationships he has built with activists and opinion makers, and bring them to bear in the race.
While Sandvall has sold himself as the Tea Party candidate, the real movement candidate appears to be Frazier, who brings with him a long list of supporters invested in putting young, dynamic conservative leaders into office. Just as with the fight between Sarah Anderson and the El Paso GOP, a newer and younger generation of conservatives are lining up against the old guard establishment. There are good people on both sides of each struggle, but the distinction between new guard and old guard is impossible to miss in both battles.
Jude Sandvall endorsers from a recent fundraising email forwarded to us by a source (not available on his website)