UPDATE: Vicki Marble has withdrawn her HD49 candidacy and has filed to run in SD23 against state Representative Glen Vaad (R-Mead) in the Republican primary. (h/t Jason Worley of Grassroots Radio (560 AM weekdays 5-7pm)). Perry Buck has endorsed Marble’s Senate bid. Marble told the North Fork News that she expects Ken Buck will endorse her candidacy today.
As GOP Jedi hinted at on these pages a few weeks ago, recruitment for top flight GOP state legislative recruits has been an overwhelming success so far this cycle. In a stark comparison to previous years, the Republicans have secured a solid stream of big names and top notch candidates to run for the state House and Senate.
Two recent examples: Enstrom Candies executive Rick Enstrom is running for the state House in HD23 against Max "Children Are Like Maggots" Tyler, and Secretary of the Colorado Republican Party Perry Buck is running for B.J. Nikkel's current seat in HD49. Nikkel was drawn out of her own district in maps drawn by Democrats during the vindictive reapportionment process.
As a Republican conservationist with a small business background, Enstrom has a profile that will be very hard for Max Tyler and liberal special interest groups to pigeonhole as some right-wing extremist. Enstrom has served on both the Colorado Wildlife Commission and Great Outdoors Colorado, as well as being an EMT and a member of the Highland Rescue Team.
Speaker Frank McNulty had high praise for Enstrom, saying "Rick Enstrom has a remarkable resume of public service and real world business experience that we will put to immediate use in the state House when he’s elected. As impressive as Rick's resume is, he's the kind of guy who gets it. He knows that far too many Coloradans are out of work and that families need help now."
Max Tyler, on the other hand, is more notorious for calling children "maggots" when trying to make a political point against education reform. While reports have called him a "savvy businessman," he's struggled to comply with filing reports on time for his company, The Star Group, and is currently non-compliant per the Secretary of State website. Which is ironic, because Max Tyler never met a regulation (or tax increase) he wouldn't vote for.
HD23 leans slightly Democrat, with a 2-point advantage in the 2010 Regent's race — a race considered a good evaluation of the district's partisan lean. In a sign of good news for Enstrom, the district is trending Republican, with voter registration improving 3 points towards the GOP between 2008 and 2010. Tyler will also have to worry about Democrats who come out to support Obama, but don't vote for races further down the ballot, in addition to the harmful down-ticket drag that Obama is likely to produce across Colorado.
Perry Buck is running in HD49, a heavily Republican district, in a primary against Vicki Marble, which will ensure a conservative woman will represent the district. So much for Lynn Bartels' claim that GOP men are harming GOP women's representation at the Capitol.
Perry is a beloved figure among GOP activists around the state, and a big reason her husband was able to parlay a strong candidacy into a US Senate nomination. Smart, tough, ethical — Perry Buck will make a splash in the statehouse.
This latest round of candidate recruitment news is a great sign that Republicans are fired up about this election cycle and sense a conservative wave sweeping against Colorado.