Blaha pulls Senate petitions, welcomes seventh grandchild

 

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Robert Blaha’s nominating petitions have been approved by the secretary of state’s office. The Colorado Springs consultant and author is the second GOP Senate candidate to pull petitions this week, joining former Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier.

“I’m a bureaucracy-buster,” Blaha told a meeting of the Jefferson County GOP central committee Wednesday night in Lakewood. “That’s what I’ve done for the last 45 years. That’s what I do.”

“As a father and a grandfather and a Christian, our country is in disarray, and the reason it’s in disarray is the permanent political class,” he said, arguing that what the country needs is a “different cut of individuals in Washington, D.C. We need people who have done things, that have results, that can stand up with a track record.”

Blaha spoke briefly before heading to Castle Rock, where his seventh grandchild — a healthy 6-pound, 1-ounce girl named Elizabeth — had been born just hours earlier.

Blaha, the president of Human Capital Associates, a business consulting firm, spent $775,000 of his own money in an unsuccessful attempt to unseat U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn from his heavily Republican 5th Congressional District seat in a 2012 primary.

He didn’t officially launch his Senate campaign until after the first of the year, so his first campaign finance reports won’t be filed until April, but he’s already poured tens of thousands of dollars into splashy TV ads featuring an overflowing toilet, a painful rectal exam and the “Blaha Product Guarantee,” a promise to serve just one term if he can’t cut the deficit and “slash illegal immigration in half.”

Blaha will be able to start circulating petitions Monday and has until April 4 to turn in 10,500 signatures, with 1,500 from each of the state’s seven congressional districts.

A dozen Republican candidates have declared for the chance to run against U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet in the fall. Candidates can make the June 28 primary ballot by going through the caucus and assembly process or by submitting sufficient petition signatures.

At least three other candidates could be planning to pursue a spot on the primary ballot via petition, GOP sources tell The Statesman. Coupled with the possibility that two or three candidates might gain ballot access at the state assembly in April — it takes the support of 30 percent of delegates — Colorado Republicans could be facing one of the longest primary ballots in memory.

Four of the other Republican Senate candidates — state Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton, El Paso County Commissioners Darryl Glenn and Peg Littleton and tea party activist Charlie Ehler of Fountain — have declared that they’ll try to get on the ballot through caucuses and the state assembly. An aide to former state Rep. Jon Keyser, R-Morrison, said this week that his campaign is still determining how it wants to pursue the ballot. Other candidates in the running include Jefferson County Commissioner Don Rosier, perennial candidates Tom Janich and Michael Kinlaw and newcomer Jerry Eller. Hispanic business leader Jerry Natividad has said he’s planning to announce his candidacy by the end of the month.

— ernest@coloradostatesman.com

 

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