Denver Post endorses Republican Clapp in SD-26 race

The Denver Post has endorsed Republican candidate Lauri Clapp for a contested state Senate seat located in the southern suburbs of Denver, despite the fact that the daily has had apparent qualms about the candidate in the past — reservations that motivated the paper to endorse three of Clapp’s legislative challengers in the last 10 years.

On Friday, The Post announced their endorsements for the Senate, picking House emeritus Lauri Clapp over Democratic newcomer Linda Newell:

Republican Lauri Clapp, an eight-year House veteran, is our pick to replace outgoing Steve Ward. But voters looking for a fresh face have an able challenger in Democratic businesswoman Linda Newell.

The move is interesting, considering the fact that The Post has endorsed Clapp’s House challengers at least three times, citing Clapp’s “fervent opposition to even moderate gun-control measures” and “divisive stands.”

In fact, the last time The Post openly endorsed Clapp in 2002, it was because she had “tempered her generally conservative record with advocacy of light rail and other growth-related needs.”

Here is what The Post had to say about Clapp while she was running as a lawmaker for House District 37, also located south of Denver.

HD-37 – Wendy Band – October 6, 1998

Popular incumbent Republican state Rep. Martha Kreutz is not a candidate for re-election to her House seat, having opted to make an unsuccessful run for Congress. Of those seeking to replace her, we believe Democrat Wendy Band comes closer than Republican Lauri Clapp to reflecting the constructive moderation that made Kreutz a legislative standout.

Clapp, who opposes abortion, won a three-way primary to secure her party’s nomination. Although Clapp is an incumbent member of the Englewood City Council, we believe Band more thoughtfully reflects the needs of the inner-ring suburbs that make up this diverse district.

HD-37 – Paula Busey – October 1, 2000

Incumbent Republican Lauri Clapp survived a bitter primary with moderate challenger Heidi Frey. But Clapp’s fervent opposition to even moderate gun-control measures tips our support to Democrat Paula Busey. Busey, a librarian, has thoughtful views on growth issues and opposes Amendment 24 because she doesn’t think details of growth management should be rigidly locked into the state constitution.

HD-37 – Lauri Clapp -October 6, 2002

Incumbent Republican Lauri Clapp has tempered her generally conservative record with advocacy of light rail and other growth-related needs. She faces Democrat John Phillips.

HD-37 – Thomas Donahue – October 3, 2004

Our choice is Thomas Donahue, a Democratic advocate of fiscal reform. Incumbent Republican Lauri Clapp was one of just three legislators who voted to impeach Denver District Judge John Coughlin for ruling that a woman must protect her adopted child from “homophobic” religious doctrine. That’s typical of the divisive stands Clapp often takes. Libertarian Travis Nicks is also on the ballot.

During her House terms, Clapp supported required placement of the Ten Commandments in public schools and restricting marriage to be defined as being only between a man and a woman.

For more information on Clapp, who has been described by both colleagues and friends as a conservative firebrand with strong moral beliefs, check out a recent interview and profile from The Colorado Independent.

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About the Author

Erin Rosa

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature.

Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state.

Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters.

She can be reached at

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