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Dick Wadhams, not running to lead Republicans in CO, is tired of carping, conservative strategies

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Yesterday morning, I was talking to Dick Wadhams, the chair of the Colorado Republican Party, about the upcoming State Central Committee meeting, where he would be going for a third term. Yesterday evening, I was talking with Wadhams about his sudden announcement that he would not run again.

It was perhaps the last surprise of the 2010 campaign season, which had more twists and turns than the Mind Eraser. But the past was not what pushed Wadhams.

In 2010, a year when a Republican tidal wave swept over most of the country, Colorado threw a life raft to incumbent senator Michael Bennet, who'd been badly trailing Republican challenger Ken Buck just weeks before. And then, of course, there was the gubernatorial race, in which just 11 percent of the vote trickled in for Republican candidate Dan Maes.

Back in 2009, conspiracy theorists fretted that "we'd hand-selected candidates here and demanded that we stay out of the nomination process," Wadhams remembers. At last year's caucuses -- attended by 25,000 Coloradans, double the amount of previous years -- those conspiracy theorists and others eager to elevate outsiders wound up giving Maes top billing in the primary against insider Scott McInnis -- who was done in not by a rush of support for Maes, but by his own limp response to plagiarism charges.

"The very people who are now attacking me and this office for not vetting Dan Maes are the same people who'd told us to stay out," Wadhams says. "The irony is breathtaking."

Wadhams was not just tired of the conspiracies and the "incessant carping," but he was looking at a tiring "authentic conservative leadership" strategy." In a letter sent to the state Central Committee yesterday announcing that he would not run again, he warned, "The ability of Colorado Republicans to win and retain the votes of hundreds of thousands of unaffiliated swing voters in 2012 will be severely undermined."

And the fight had gone out of him -- at least for that fight. "The deeper I got into this, the more I thought there were other thing to do," says Wadhams, who's run numerous political campaigns in his career, and will no doubt do so again. "I've had a fun four years, and this was one of the most exciting things I've ever done -- but on the other hand, maybe it's enough."

There are three other candidates in the race -- state senator Ted Harvey; John Wagner, who ran the Senate campaign of Clive Tidwell; and Bart Barton, a Michigan transplant. "None of the three are anyone I could support," Wadhams says. "One or more other candidates will get in now... there's a lot of time between now and the state central Committee meeting.

Over seven weeks, in fact. Time for endless twists and turns on Colorado's political rollercoaster.

More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Roseanne remembered the words to 'The National Anthem,' unlike Christina Aguilara."

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4 comments
Eric
Eric

Mr. Lawrence,

Definately agree with you on your Rosen take.

Question, where did you get your numbers on his demographics? Everything you said makes perfect sense, from the average age of his listenters to the breakdown by age group , but my attempts to get hard numbers on the internet have come up empty.

Hope you see this.

Mr Lawrence
Mr Lawrence

Old man and gold course Republican mouthpiece Mike Rosen must be in serious mourning with the Tea Party taking over his party and soon his show. Life in Costa Rica cannot come soon enough for this hateful has been who is trapped in a mindset of yesteryear and reportedly is seeing growing negative ratings with too many unwanted demographics -- over 3/4 of his regular audience is over 60, and less than 10 % is under age 30 -- not the kind of numbers a rotting Clear Channel is happy with ....

jmarvin
jmarvin

ol dick wad is exaclty as the name implies.

Joanie
Joanie

Wadhams is an ass. Enough said.

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