DSCC not taking Udall’s GOP challengers very seriously

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Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, left, state Sen. Owen Hill, center, and state Sen. Randy Baumgardner, right, are all seeking the GOP nomination to challenge Democratic Sen. Mark Udall next year.

DENVER — A press release from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Thursday lampoons the three GOP candidates who have announced their intention of challenging Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall.

Below a colorful circus-colored banner with a cartoon elephant and the heading, “GOP Tea Party Primary-Palooza, the DSCC writes: “the Republican primary in Colorado quickly devolved into a divisive primary with numerous Tea Party candidates whose policies and positions are no joke.”

The release, reprinted below in full, treats those candidates as, well, a joke.

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It’s a nightmare scenario for Colorado Republicans. In 2010, Republican primary voters nominated extreme Tea Party candidate Ken Buck whose far-right positions on issues cost him the general election and torpedoed Republican chances to win the majority. Now, Ken Buck is back and competing against other Tea Party candidates for a chance to challenge Senator Mark Udall.

It is stunning that in states that were competitive for Mitt Romney, like Colorado, Virginia, and New Hampshire, Republicans are failing to compete.

After national Republicans failed to recruit their top choice, the Republican primary in Colorado quickly devolved into a divisive primary with numerous Tea Party candidates whose policies and positions are no joke.

Capitol CowboyRandy Baumgardner was the first candidate to announce. The state Senator already knows what it takes to win a nasty Republican primary. In 2012, Baumgardner won a primary race by attacking his Republican opponent for supporting civil unions, even though Baumgardner took heat for housing an unregistered sex offender. Baumgardner is actively soliciting Tea Party support and embraces extreme positions that could position him to the right of Ken Buck. Which of course, is totally insane.

Owen Hill has only served one eighth of his first term in public office, but now he’s also asking Colorado Republicans to give him a big promotion to the Senate. Hill is just as right wing as his competition, but the NRSC may be trying to handpick him.

Last week, Ken Buck announced that he is in, three years after losing to Senator Michael Bennet. While Buck captured grassroots energy to win the primary, the far-right Tea Party ideologue was too extreme to win a general election. In 2010, Buck drew heavy criticism for comparing homosexuality to alcoholism and a 2005 rape case that he refused to prosecute because he said that the victim just had “buyer’s remorse.” This week the Chair of the Colorado Republican Party admitted that Buck will have to overcome “challenges” in his campaign to win the GOP nomination but is “driven and focused.”

Rep. Bob Beauprez and state Rep. Amy Stephens are also considering running, which could make an already messy primary even more contentious.

While Republicans face another bruising and costly primary fight, Mark Udall is “well-positioned for reelection.” During his time in the Senate, Udall has focused on job creation, preserving the quality of life for all Coloradoans, and keeping our country safe. He is well known throughout the state and has $3.4 million in the bank.

“In 2010, Colorado Republicans had a messy primary that left them with Tea Party ideologue Ken Buck and they’re facing the same nightmare in 2014,” said Justin Barasky, National Press Secretary at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.  “It is stunning that Mitt Romney could make Colorado competitive, but Republicans can’t at the Senate level. While Colorado Republicans fight it out, Mark Udall will continue to build his campaign and focus on the issues that matter most to Colorado. Colorado is yet another purple state where Republicans will fail to be competitive in 2014.”

The DSCC’s “GOP Tea Party Primary-Palooza” campaign will continue to highlight the more than dozen Tea Party primaries developing in Senate races across the country. Divisive Senate primaries have lost the party numerous races over the last several cycles, and will cause them to lose races again in 2014. These primaries waste valuable resources and force all the Republican candidates to pander to the far right wing by endorsing controversial positions on jobs, health care, taxes, Medicare, Social Security, and issues that have hurt them with women voters like access to contraception, pay equity and the Violence Against Women Act.

The DSCC’s sustained campaign started with KentuckyLouisianaGeorgia, Alaska, Iowa,  Michigan, and Minnesota will feature web-ads, online ads, Twitter and Facebook, and up to the minute “Tea Party Primary-Palooza” news alerts, highlighting the latest developments in Republican primaries across the country.