November 2018 is a long time away.
The Denver Post suggested this week that Colorado State Treasurer Walker Stapleton’s prominent role in a U.S. Term Limits rally was part of a “shadow campaign” for governor. Stapleton’s name gets mentioned a lot in Republican circles, and he’s one of only a handful of Republicans currently holding statewide elected office.
The term limits rally provides a double bonus for Stapleton. The two-term Republican financial chief appears in an online advertising campaign for the U.S. Term Limits campaign for a constitutional amendment on the issue. None of it counts as a campaign contribution, but all of it helps get his name in front of voters.
And more than exposure, the issue helps cast Stapleton as an anti-establishment candidate despite his ties to the Bush family. He supported relative Jeb Bush in the GOP primary before voting for Donald Trump.
Stapleton did not seem thrilled to be asked Thursday if the event, which featured a number of state lawmakers, including Democratic Rep. Jonathan Singer, was actually a campaign rally.
“No,” he said curtly. “I’m the treasurer of Colorado and nothing else.”
Is he planning on running for governor?
“Not anytime soon,” he said.
Getting term limits for Congress, while it polls well across the political spectrum, has been more popular on the Republican side. President Donald Trump backed term limits during his campaign, and there was a certain amount of “drain the swamp” rhetoric at the rally. The reaction was a little awkward when Singer said all the blue T-shirts in the crowd made him feel like he was at a Democratic event.
Given that Congress itself is very unlikely to initiate the constitutional amendment that would be required to adopt term limits, the U.S. Term Limits movement is trying to build support in the states for an Article V constitutional convention. Singer is joining Republicans state Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, state Sen. Vicki Marble and state Rep. Lori Saine in supporting a resolution in favor of an Article V convention to advance the term limits issue.
Singer said the threat of a convention helped spur Congress to end Prohibition and Saine noted that the many women of both parties in Colorado’s legislature had a better shot because the state has term limits.
“We all were elected to open seats due to term limits,” she said.