Colorado 3rd District Rep. Scott Tipton, who had long said he wasn’t “closing doors on anything,” told Roll Call Friday afternoon that he will be running for re-election to his House seat rather than running for the Senate.
“You know, we’ve got a lot of issue we’re working on that are incredibly important for my part of the state and our state at large. And we’ve had some success, and that’s where we’re focused,” Tipton said. Asked to clarify if he was still leaving the door open, Tipton said, “No, I’m running for the Third District.”
GOP consultant Michael Fortney, and Tipton himself, had previously told Roll Call that Tipton was content serving in the House. But he was often mentioned as a potential candidate, especially since the party has struggled to secure a top recruit in the race against Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.
But that might be about to change. According to the Colorado Statesman , state Rep. Jon Keyser will soon launch “a likely-to-be well-funded campaign.”
Keyser, an attorney and Air Force reservist who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was in Washington, D.C., last week for the Republican Jewish Coalition’s presidential forum luncheon, where his campaign reportedly received $3 million in soft money pledges.
A handful of Republicans are already in the race or have been strongly considering it, but several top recruits passed on the race earlier this year, leaving the party without a competitive candidate in a race the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report /Roll Call rates a Leans Democrat contest.
Most recently, Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler made a surprise decision not to enter the race in late September.
In what remains their best shot at unseating a Democratic incumbent, Republicans are optimistic that Keyser’s military experience will boost his candidacy, especially in a year when national security is expected to be a salient issue.
“I have firsthand experience on national security matters on things like Iran and Afghanistan,” Keyser told the Statesman. “I’m afraid it’s almost impossible to defeat an enemy some people in Washington don’t even acknowledge exists. The fact is, we’re in a global war against Islamic extremism. I’ve learned that dangerous times require serious leaders.”
Asked whether he’d be making an endorsement in the Senate race, Tipton said, “We’ll certainly take a look at our candidates down the road. But in Colorado, we’ve got a caucus system, and an engaged electorate, and I’ll have one vote along with everybody else.”