In the primary, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Darryl Glenn said Republicans compromise too much, and he would be someone who stood on principle rather than reach across the aisle. Democrats have been quick to call him “too extreme for Colorado.”
On Saturday, Glenn said his conservative positions will appeal to voters across the spectrum.
“This is not a partisan election, the way I look at it,” he said.
Glenn is traveling today from Larimer County to Pueblo on a “unity tour” with two of his primary rivals, former Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier and former Colorado State University athletic director Jack Graham, and Sen. Cory Gardner, the man whose 2014 win over Democratic incumbent Mark Udall Glenn hopes to emulate.
Several dozen people crowded into the Jefferson County Republican headquarters in Lakewood to hear Glenn and Gardner. It was one of two stops in the Denver metro area, the other one in Greenwood Village. (There was no stop in Denver proper, where Republicans are a distinct minority.)
Steve House, chairman of the Colorado Republican Committee, described the stakes: “Mark Udall was someone who didn’t do much at all, and Michael Bennet is someone who does damage. So it’s time to defeat Michael Bennet.”
Gardner thanked grass roots Republican activists for helping “fire Harry Reid,” the previous Senate majority leader, by electing him over Udall, and said Republicans need to work hard to elect Glenn to “grow and keep the Republican majority” as he described legislation that Congress has passed and Obama has vetoed.
“We need someone from Colorado in the majority who is going to stand up for what is right to grow opportunity in this country, who believes in limited government, free market principles, who understands as a veteran who has fought the wars of this country that we don’t empower state sponsors of terror by giving them billions and billions of dollars,” Gardner said. “He understands what it is to be strong and provide national security through leadership, not weakness. That is why it is so important that we elect Darryl Glenn.”
Then Gardner raised the issue that many people in both parties consider the most high stakes of the entire election:
“Who is going to be confirmed to sit on the bench of the United States Supreme Court? Do we want a Democrat majority Senate making that decision?” he asked to a resounding NO! from the gathered Republicans. “Or do we want a conservative Republican Senator Darryl Glenn making that decision?”
Glenn, though, focused his comments on the way regulations hurt ordinary Coloradans.
“I have met so many families that have been impacted by excessive regulation,” he said. “Obamacare. EPA. There are families that are out there hurting. What you don’t hear are Democrat, Republican, unaffiliated. What you do hear are hard-working Colorado families that are struggling. And that’s what this election is about. It’s not about partisan politics. It’s about coming together.”
If some of that rhetoric sounds positively Obama-esque, Glenn was quick to say that the President has not brought the country together.
“We are more divided today than we were back then,” he said. That drew murmurs of “mmm-hmmm” and “that’s right” from the crowd.
“This is not about black America, white America or brown America,” Glenn said. “This is about the United States of America. And all lives matter, ladies and gentlemen.”
In the gathered crowd waiting to shake Glenn’s hand was Jessica Fialkovich, a small business owner, and her friend Jennifer Fischer, an attorney with her own practice. They’ve been politically active Republicans for a while now, and they both live in Denver, where Republicans aren’t so common. They said they came out mostly to find out how they can support the campaign.
Fischer said the top of the ticket — that would be presidential candidate Donald Trump — might hurt Republican candidates for other races, which makes it more important than ever for local volunteers to make the case for conservative positions.
As small business owners, Fialkovich and Fischer are worried about the effects of Obamacare now and a $15 minimum wage in the future.
“Small businesses drive our economy, and it’s important to recognize the devastating effects this could have,” Fischer said.
Glenn thanked Fialkovich and Fischer for their support and said he’ll bring his message to places Republicans don’t normally campaign.
“You’ll see me in Denver so much you’ll think I’m running for mayor,” he said. “I’ll be knocking on doors.”