With the news of Senate GOP Minority Leader Mike Kopp stepping down, the inevitable jockeying for his replacement has begun. Our sources tell us Kopp's Number Two, Assistant Minority Leader Bill Cadman (R-CO Springs) is likely to lock up the race in the near future. While our sources say Senators Harvey (R-Highlands Ranch) and Scheffel (R-Parker) are considering campaigns, Cadman is the current frontrunner.
Cadman is a long-time legislator, first elected to the House in 2000 and rising to the state Senate through a vacancy appointment in 2007. Prior to being an elected official, Cadman worked for CO Springs-area Congressman Joel Heffley from 1994 to 2000. A long time politico, well versed in the ways of legislative warfare, Cadman will be a significant force next session.
A strong conservative, earning the award for Senate Guardian by the Colorado Union of Taxpayers for the 2011 legislative session (PDF), Cadman is likely to continue Kopp's leadership on keeping the caucus united against Senate President Brandon Shaffer's tax and spend agenda.
More importantly, he is the perfect foil against Shaffer because, as one source put it, he's got a personality. Cadman is well-liked at the Capitol — "the life of the party" — as opposed to Shaffer who is known to have a short temper and is not well received across the aisle.
Cadman is also a strong fundraiser, unlike Shaffer, who often chooses to farm that work out to Senators Johnston and Carroll. When Shaffer held a fundraiser after the last legislative session to honor his accomplishments, barely anybody showed up.
For more on the moves inside the Senate GOP Caucus, check back at the Peak.