Person of interest ID’d in Amber Alert of missing 12-year-old from Grand Junction

Guide to 2016 Colorado Republican U.S. Senate primary election

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DENVER — On June 28Colorado Republicans will decide who their nominee will be to go up against Democratic Senator Michael Bennet in November. Republicans mostly vote through mail ballots.

Important dates

  • June 6Mail ballots will start being mailed to registered Republicans. Only people who have affiliated with a party will be receiving a ballot. People who are unaffiliated have until primary election day to affiliate with a party.
  • June 28: Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Candidates

  • Businessman Robert Blaha
  • Former Councilman Ryan Frazier
  • El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn
  • Former Colorado State University Athletic Director Jack Graham
  • Former State Rep. Jon Keyser

Below is a brief guide to each candidate.


Robert Blaha

Robert Blaha (Campaign Photo)

Robert Blaha (Campaign Photo)

Current/most-known job: Businessman

What’s working for him: One of the first candidates to be on television, giving him plenty of time to increase his name recognition. Like Graham, in this season of outsiders, Blaha has never held political office and fits the “outsider message.” He is a businessman who is independently wealthy; perhaps that would help raise the necessary funds to beat Bennet. Received the endorsement of the Family Research Council and State Senator Tim Neville, who for months was considered the favorite for the nomination.

What’s working against him: Went through a shake-up with the campaign manager quitting in May. There have also been allegations that Blaha received excessive donations, which is against election laws. Like Keyser and Frazier, Blaha needed a court hearing to qualify for the ballot. Received national attention for saying Donald Trump’s Muslim ban does not go “far enough.”

Positions:

  • Supports Donald Trump
  • Against hearing for Supreme Court pick
  • Unclear if he would vote for Mitch McConnell
  • Against Obamacare
  • Believes in strong border/wall policy

Ryan Frazier

Ryan Frazier (Campaign Photo)

Ryan Frazier (Campaign Photo)

Current/most-known job: Consultant and former Aurora City councilman

What’s working for him: Frazier has already established himself with many voters as a political television analyst in recent years. He was raised by a single mother and was able to succeed, creating a very effective campaign narrative. Frazier served in the Navy and at the National Security Agency. He considers himself the charter school co-founder in Colorado. Frazier is a very talented speaker on the trail and would likely become a nationwide favorite for even higher office if he were to beat Bennet.

What’s working against him: Like Keyser and Blaha, Frazier struggled to get on the ballot. He is the only candidate in the race who needed the Colorado Supreme Court to weigh in on whether his votes should count.  His campaign has struggled to attract media attention outside his fight to get on the ballot. Additionally, he has lost recent elections for Congress and for Aurora mayor. Losing races rarely helps a career.

Positions:

  • Supports Donald Trump
  • Against hearing for Supreme Court pick
  • Unclear if he would vote for Mitch McConnell
  • Against federal minimum wage
  • Pro-life but would not vote for a personhood amendment

Jack Graham

Jack Graham (Campaign Photo)

Jack Graham (Campaign Photo)

Current/most-known job: Former athletic director at Colorado State University and businessman

What’s working for him: Outsider who has never held elected office. In this election year where “typical” politicians are not doing well, Graham fits that mold. He is a moderate on several positions and could fight for independent votes very easily if he gets the nomination. Graham said he believes in climate change and thinks Congress should give President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick a hearing. Graham is also the only Republican to get on the ballot through the signature petition process without needing a court hearing.

What’s working against him: Some of Graham’s cons are also his pros. Some wonder if he is “conservative enough” to win the Republican nomination. Graham was also a Democrat until a year and a half ago. Some candidates have alleged Graham had trouble working with staff members while at CSU, something Graham has denied.

Positions:

  • Against Obamacare
  • On June 7, Graham announced Trump lost his support
  • Believes in climate change
  • Pro-life but would not support a personhood amendment
  • Against federal minimum wage

Darryl Glenn

Darryl Glenn (Campaign Photo)

Darryl Glenn (Campaign Photo)

Current/most-known job: El Paso County Commissioner

What’s working for him: Only candidate who got on the ballot through the Republican State Convention. His speech is considered to have been one of the most persuasive in recent Colorado history — knocking off several Republicans from the ballot. He has received endorsements by national conservative super PACs as well as Sarah Palin, giving his campaign a boost with television advertising. He is a retired Air Force officer, giving him a strong military background.

What’s working against him: Relative political novice statewide. Whichever candidate wins, they will have to be able to raise massive amounts of money to unseat Bennet. Some wonder if he is up for that task. Divorced in March so it’s unclear how his personal life will impact his political life.

Positions:

  • Against Obamacare
  • Will support Donald Trump
  • Would vote to defund Planned Parenthood
  • Says he would have to read a personhood amendment before voting on it
  • For Ted Cruz on Supreme Court

Jon Keyser

Jon Keyser (Campaign Photo)

Jon Keyser (Campaign Photo)

Current/most-known job: Former state representative and member of reserves.

What’s working for him: Extremely well-connected financially. Keyser appears to be a favorite among top Republican donors and seems like he would be able to raise enough cash to run against Bennet. He is young and a military reservist, and has a family that some analysts have described as “darling.” Creating effective campaign commercials would not be a problem.

What’s working against him: Keyser has arguably the most widely publicized negative of any Republican candidate. In order to qualify for the ballot, it appears Keyser submitted fraudulent signatures. During a debate, Keyser was not able to answer the question whether he submitted fraudulent signatures. The moment quickly went viral. Keyser has since placed blamed on the petition collector. Keyser also had to get a judge to sign off on his signatures in order to qualify for the ballot.

Positions:

  • Supports Donald Trump
  • Opposed to Obamacare
  • Stronger border on immigration
  • Against federal minimum wage
  • Against hearing for Supreme Court pick