In the last day before the Republican Senate primary, Colorado Springs businessman Robert Blaha is going hard after Darryl Glenn, a former El Paso County commissioner whose all-volunteer campaign has become the darling of Tea Party conservatives.
The chink in Glenn’s armor? Comments he made that could be interpreted as openness to an alternative candidate for president — that is, not Donald Trump — along with the late endorsements of two conservative senators known for their opposition to Trump.
Here’s Blaha on Twitter:
The article in question comes from The Denver Post’s John Frank. He reported on some private comments Glenn made to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz that could — perhaps — be interpreted as support for a contested convention, though the campaign insisted that was not what Glenn meant.
Here’s what Glenn, who has repeatedly stated his support for Trump, said publicly at an event last week with Cruz:
“Right now, we have a presumptive nominee,” Glenn started. “And if he remains our presumptive nominee, we have a responsibility, a responsibility, to get in line and support that candidate.”
If. If he remains. Hmm.
And then later, in a back room, speaking directly to Cruz:
“I’m telling you. If you can be there, you find a way to get there. But I’m very serious about the Supreme Court, if that doesn’t happen.”
Frank suggests that Glenn could have been referring to a move to take the nomination from Trump. The campaign formally denied that but didn’t make Glenn available for an interview.
It’s unclear what role Donald Trump will play in the choices of Republican voters. Every candidate has expressed some iteration of support for the Republican nominee, though former Colorado State University athletic director Jack Graham and former Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier hedged that support after Trump’s comments about a judge whose parents were Mexican immigrants. Even Republicans widely condemned those remarks as straight-up racist.
Glenn has won the backing of Cruz, Trump’s last standing rival from the crowded GOP field and, in the last day before the primary, two Republican senators associated with the #NeverTrump movement, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Mike Lee of Utah. Sasse has explicitly called for a third-party conservative candidate.
Colorado Republicans threw their support behind Cruz at their state convention, and Coloradans are prominent in the movement to find another nominee, with members of the rules committee promoting a conscious exception that would unbind delegates who are currently pledged to Trump.
It’s worth noting that Glenn also has the endorsement of Sarah Palin, a vocal Trump supporter.
While it’s anyone’s guess what will happen Tuesday, the Senate race does seem to be attracting a lot of interest from Republican voters.
The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office reported Monday morning that 24 percent of eligible Republican voters had returned their ballots already. In 2014, turnout for the primary was just 21 percent and a fifth of all ballots were turned in on election day.
The winner will try to unseat Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.