Hill rankles some Republicans; Stephens considering Senate run
DENVER — Colorado Sen. Owen Hill continues to raise Republicans’ eyebrows with brash fundraising emails.
After stating last week that he’s the one GOP U.S. Senate hopeful that Democratic Sen. Mark Udall truly fears, Hill blasted out another email to his list Tuesday naming first-term state Rep. Dan Nordberg as his source on Udall’s alleged fear of his campaign.
“According to those connected with the Udall campaign and several of my Democratic colleagues at the capitol, the overwhelming consensus is that of all the potential Udall challengers, the only one they’re scared of is Owen Hill,” Nordberg said, according to Hill’s email Tuesday.
Nordberg, R-Colorado Springs, did not return a call from FOX31 Denver seeking comment.
Hill, who is just 31, is trying to raise money and support in a GOP primary field that currently includes two other candidates, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck and state Sen. Randy Baumgardner of Hot Sulphur Springs.
But his brash campaign tactics early on are alienating a number of Colorado Republicans, several of whom have told FOX31 Denver that people are “livid” and “pissed off” over Hill’s cockiness.
Hill’s comments last week to the Denver Post — he responded to reporter Lynn Bartels’ question about Baumgardner by saying, “Randy, who?” — further rankled Republicans.
“It just shows a stunning lack of humility and maturity,” one GOP office-holder told FOX31 on the condition that their name wasn’t used in the story.
Jon Hotaling, a Colorado Springs political operative with close ties to Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and its executive director, Dudley Brown, is running Hill’s campaign.
Interestingly, Hotaling and Brown have also been associated with his two current challengers, having supported Buck’s 2010 U.S. Senate run and Baumgardner’s 2012 primary win over Republican Sen. Jean White.
State Rep. Amy Stephens, R-Monument, is also likely to enter the field, several sources tell FOX31 Denver; and she could have an opening in a primary should Hill and Buck split Tea Party/RMGO conservatives.
“I’m heavily considering this,” Stephens told FOX31 Denver on Tuesday. “A lot of people have called me, a lot of women especially, and so I’m giving it serious thought.”
Stephens said she’s been “humbled” by those discussions, including some with the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and that she will make a decision on whether or not to run “soon.”
Sources also tell FOX31 Denver that former House Speaker Frank McNulty and former Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry have pledged Stephens their support.