Saturday, May 22, 2010

Tom Lucero Defeated in Congressional Bid

Cory Gardner wins Republican nomination in Colorado

Running as an underdog candidate in the race for the Republican nomination for Congress in Colorado's 4th District, Tom Lucero needed an edge.

Lucero must have thought that he had found an edge by running on his role in the firing of University of Colorado Professor Ward Churchill. Churchill was fired for multiple cases of academic misconduct in an investigation that followed the publishing of his infamous "little Eichmanns" essay.

By running on his role in that affair, Lucero was effectively running against Churchill rather than his opponents in the race. That may have been a mistake, as Cory Gardner was the only candidate to surpass the 30% of votes cast to appear on the ballot at the Republican GOP's nomination meeting.

Gardner received the votes of 61% of those who cast ballots in the preliminary vote. Lucero received 19%, third to Dean Madere who received 20%.

It's unfortunate for Lucero and for the Republican Party. With issues pertaining to education coming to the forefront in the lead-up to the 2010 midterm elections, Lucero could have emerged as a star candidate for the GOP.

Lucero's role in the firing of Churchill would have resonated clearly within a party in which the topic of university Ethnic Studies programs has become something of a cause celibre.

At least Lucero's seat on the U of C Board of Regents will remain in Republican hands. No Democrats have filed candidacy papers in the district.

Gardner, on the other hand, seems to be the annointed cabinet by the Republican National Committee. Although Gardner has been critical of RNC Chairman Michael Steele even though the party has aided him through its "Young Guns Program".

Gardner has been electorally successful in Colorado, as he currently serves in the Colorado State House of Representatives. He serves as minority whip.

In Democrat Betsy Markey, Gardner will set his sights on an vulnerable incumbent who recently received some help from Vice President Joe Biden.

Even though Colorado Republicans didn't recognize the potential star candidate value of Tom Lucero, it won't require a major upset for Cory Gardner to win Colorado's 4th District come November.

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