“As someone I greatly respect, I want you to be among the first to know that I plan to run for Governor of Colorado in 2006.”
That’s how Mark Holtzman opened his first mass mailing to the donor list he’s been hording over for the last two years. The letter is dated March 19, 2005. So this is it: we officially have three contenders for the Governors race in ’06: Beauprez, Coffman and Holtzman. Though insiders are betting on McInnis entering the race in the next week (after this “draft Scott” campaign fizzles), few believe Scott-y boy can (um, how should I say it…) “match up” against Bob B.
Interestingly enough – Holtzman has obviously done his field research; he correctly names the “Big Three” issues of this next campaign season: Education, the Economy and the Environment. The only question is this: is Marc the right Republican to clearly articulate those messages to the voters of Colorado. I gotta say no.
And that gets us back to Beauprez… Alva, James and Jesse are absolutely correct in their rankings of the Republican field for governor. BB is the unquestionable front runner – and not JUST because he’s being backed by the “Powers that Be” on the Republican Side. But before I get into that – let me just say this (you’ll hear it repeated throughout the next 9 months): I like Mike. Mike’s great. He’s a man of the people, knows the activists, counties and issues. I have no problem with Mike… he just no longer fires me – and others like me – up. He’s become old hat, a professional civil servant who has lost touch with (nonpolitical) ma and pop folks.
And for those of you who are saying “Beauprez hasn’t announced yet”, well, ya, you’re right. But come on. He really has. This is a done deal. Within the next few weeks, the campaign manager will be hired and the team built. We’ll have another pretty photo-op on the steps of the capitol (perhaps sans Phaseline this time) with the same heavy hitters and the same media opportunists present that we had when Coors announced his candidacy. But this time, we’ll have a credible businessman who happens to also have a credible legislative record.
Bob knows the economy, has voted on the environment and is a huge advocate of education reform. He walks the walk that Holtzman talks (ya gotta love Mike Miles) and has the money behind him, to boot. So, though I appreciate that Mark Holtzman respects me (really??), and give him kudos for finally admitting what we’ve all known for months, his candidacy will end as it began; forced and base-less.