May 23, 2006

Republican Party Asks Holtzman To Drop Out Of Race

(CBS4) DENVER The head of the Colorado Republican Party asked Marc Holtzman to drop out of the gubernatorial race to support Congressman Bob Beauprez.

Holtzman refused to drop out and promised to petition his way onto the primary ballot. At his campaign headquarters, there were no signs he got steamrolled at last weekend's republican assembly where Beauprez got 72 percent of the vote.

“We did reasonably well,” Holtzman said. “We always knew that we were going to have to petition onto the ballot.”

Beauprez's camp said Holtzman should drop out and avoid a primary fight in the name of party unity.

And he should. Registered Republicans and conservatives of all stripes, as well as moderates, are down on politicians in general, and with the immigration issue, particularly hard on Senate GOP and the President--as they should be. But with both houses of the Colorado legislature in Democratic hands, retaining a Republican governor is essential, regardless of how people feel about the outgoing Gov. Owens. Holtzman's continued presence, combined with Ritter's now unfettered path, can only spell increased uncertainty and danger for GOP retention of the governor's seat in November. In tearing each other apart, the two candidates cannibalize fundraising, increase the likelihood of intraparty animosity of the kind that brought Coors down when not too few Schaeffer backers sat the 2004 race out--with Salazar winning the seat more handily than he might have with total support, and generally place themselves in the undesirable position of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. The people at the convention spoke quite clearly, and forcing the primary only to perhaps see a repeat of the same results is the definition of absurdity. There is nothing against Holtzman here, or resentment for his backers. At a time, however, of party upheaval and backpedaling nationally, it would be nice to see a more united front against the real opposition--Democrats in the person of Ritter, and not continue intraparty squabbles. Does any GOP voter really want four years of a Democratic governorship with the potential for holding both executive and legislative dominance for at least the next two years, if not longer? No, and this is a time to remember that politics is a game--one that some of us don't like to play, or don't care to envision as such. Nevertheless, it is a game, and sometimes the choices we confront are not ideal, but the alternative is usually much, much worse.

More here.


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