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Grassroots Trifecta at the GOP State Assembly

May 23, 2010

By now you may know that Dan Maes pulled off a stunning upset by narrowly placing ahead of Scott McInnis in the balloting for governor, 1741 to 1725.

Maes addreses supporters after assembly win

Both McInnis and Maes began their nominations with a video. The theme of McInnis’ video was that “help is on the way.” It was mostly black and white and featured an interview of him against a dark background. It struck me as odd because he was right there to speak: why the interview in the video? A few people I talked to were turned off by the 911/help theme which came across as “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Really? Isn’t too much government what we’ve been protesting for the past year?

Dan Maes came on second. He was nominated by State Senator Kevin Lundberg from Larimer County. The nomination was seconded by Lana Fore-Warkocz, publisher of The Constitutionalist Today and Silverio “Silver” Salazar from Pueblo, cousin of Ken and John Salazar and a former Hillary Clinton backer. Dan’s mother was there and spoke, too. I think Dan got he loudest applause when he spoke about his unwavering support for the 2nd Amendment.

Dan’s upset of McInnis was stunning. The McInnis campaign has a lot of money and his green color was everywhere. Dan, however, was clearly the people’s choice. The margin of victory slim: 1741 votes to 1725 but it was a David versus Goliath contest and David won.

The nominations for the senate race actually happened first. Ken Buck  began with a short video featuring interviews of his family. He was nominated by his wife Perry. Following Perry, a number of tea party and 9-12 leaders lined up in the background seconded the nomination. That’s one difference I’ve noticed at both the county and state assemblies: establishment politicians have other establishment politicians nominate them; new and grassroots candidates have family members and grassroots leaders nominate them. I like that. Buck had a rousing speech. He got a particularly large round of applause when he said that if a foreign leader came to the White House and insulted our country or even a state in his presence, he’d get up and walk out.

The third contested race was, to me, another surprise in the large margin of victory. Like the McInnis campaign, the Hasan campaign had spent a lot of money on signs and t-shirts and even provided golf carts between the hotel and the event center. Ament ran away with 79% of the vote. My perception is that everyone—liberty activists as well as party regulars—liked and supported JJ. Hasan’s attack ads in the previous week turned a lot of people off.

Maes is certainly right: grassroots-supported candidates made a tremendous showing on Saturday while McInnis and Hasan found out that it takes more than money to win this time around. Other candidates such as Jane Norton and Tom Wiens seem to have seen the handwriting on the wall and are petitioning on to the ballot instead.

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