AG John Suthers Courted For Senate Run
ColoradoPols notes Suthers' rather unconvincing win last November in what many thought should be a cake-walk against an underfunded, under-the-radar Fern O'Brien. Apparently that hasn't squelched calls for the AG to mount a primary challenge against former Rep. Scott McInnis:
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said he is being courted to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated in 2008 by Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo.Depending on your point of view, Suthers either barely coasted to victory or withstood the nationwide anti-Republican sentiment and proved he had at least the ability to win a state-wide race.
“I’ve had conversations with people on several levels,” Suthers said. “The (National) Republican Senatorial Committee is obviously very interested in winning this race, making sure that the best possible candidate is in the race.”
Suthers, who has served as Colorado’s attorney general since 2005 and as the state’s U.S. Attorney from 2001 to 2005, said while he is not actively pursuing the seat, he will consider stepping up.
“It’s my impression that no one is gaining a great deal of momentum right now, and I’m keeping my powder dry, as they say in politics,” Suthers said. “So, I haven’t ruled it out, but I haven’t jumped in.”
Asked on Friday if he thought he would make a good candidate, Suthers quickly replied, “Oh, yeah.”
Citing his success in the 2006 election against Democrat Fern O’Brien, Suthers said he knows he could garner support from unaffiliated and Republican voters alike.
“I will tell you this: For us to win, we’ve got to do something Republicans haven’t done very well in Colorado over the last several years, and that’s get a lot of unaffiliated votes,” Suthers said. “And I was one of the few that got a lot of unaffiliated votes this past time.”
The race for Sen. Wayne Allard's seat will be exponentially more difficult, given the national scope of its importance and intense media scrutiny. He will need to prove that he has the ability to draw the kind of fundraising and support from the base that will bring at least the possibility of victory. Suthers himself notes the importance of the great Colorado unaffiliated bloc--an increasingly unpredictable and available contingent, given the candidates involved and the national mood. For a decade, Republican candidates appeared to be gaining inroads and securing majorities at all state levels only to see a reversal of fortune over the last two election cycles as demoralized Republicans and truly independent unaffiliateds switched over to the Democrats.
That the NRSC is sending feelers out to ascertain interest in campaigning for a seat that former Rep. McInnis has expressed interest in can only underscore a sense of uncertainty in the latter's ability to beat the expected Democratic candidate Rep. Mark Udall (D-People's Republic of Boulder). Perhaps the "McLobbyist" attacks have had some effect already.