CD3 candidate Casida fires back at GOP establishment

It seems like only yesterday that then-GOP Chair Dick Wadhams was scrapping with both the party’s nominee for governor Dan Maes and third-party candidate for the job Tom Tancredo.

(Image courtesy of Tisha Casida)

Today, it is Third District congressional independent candidate Tisha Casida who finds herself in a bit of a row with current GOP Chair Ryan Call.

Call recently said voters were “too smart” to vote for Casida, because a vote for Casida was essentially a vote for Democrat Sal Pace against Republican incumbent Scott Tipton.

Casida today described Call’s remarks, made in an interview with the Colorado Statesman, as “condescending” and said Call was out of touch with voters in her district.

“I’m not happy that he has taken all of our supporters and made it seem like they aren’t smart enough to know how to vote,” she said.

Casida is a conservative who says GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul is one of her inspirations. Still, she says she has never been registered as a Republican and she thinks the two-party system is broken.

As to whether she can win a three-way race, she says she can win if she has the money, which she acknowledges so far is in short supply. “I think we are in it for the long haul,” she said.

“Really, [Call’s remarks] just added fuel to the fire,” she said.

Call has also suggested that Casida, who has never held public office, should start her political career by running for local office before she runs for Congress.

Call did not return a call seeking comment.

Colorado College political science professor Robert Loevy said Call was right to be concerned. “I understand where Ryan Call is coming from,” he said. “His analysis is right on.”

He said the Third District can go either way and that a third-party candidate probably has no chance to win but that a candidate coming from the right could take enough votes away from Tipton to toss the election to Pace.

“A third-party candidate has virtually no chance of success unless one of the other candidates is badly flawed,” Loevy said.

By flawed, he was referring to someone facing morals charges, criminal charges, or accused of plagiarism as one the gubernatorial candidates was two years ago.

“Every American has the right to run for any office they want,” Casida said. “If they believe in a cause, then we were all created equal and it is the right of every American to run for any office they choose,” she said.

“I am tired of people telling me and my constituency to sit down, shut up, and stand in line. I am here to turn over the apple cart, and I am not running for dog-catcher to prove to them that I want to join their team. Their team has sold us out.

“It’s simple, they say that we don’t matter, but we do. We are a threat, the obviously bigger elephant in the room,” she said, referring to recent New York Times’ coverage of her campaign.

Loevy agreed with Casida that she has every right to run and every right to consider herself a serious candidate. “I don’t want to sound like I am down on her running. We can’t say she can’t make it until it is over,” he said.

If she is not successful in winning the election, she said she really doesn’t care which of the other candidates do win.

“I think Pace and Tipton are from the same camp. They say whatever they want to get elected but they really don’t stand for anything,” she said.

“This is exactly why the Republican Party is in for a wake-up call in November. They have ignored their base. They have treated independents like outcasts. And they refuse to peacefully acknowledge anyone who truly stands for fiscal conservatism and social liberty.”

Casida said she stands for smaller government, adherence to constitutional principles, less red tape for business and less interference in people’s personal lives. She recently told the Independent that she supports marriage equality— or more precisely that she does not believe it is the government’s role to determine who can or can’t get married.

Her campaign estimates they have reached over 60,000 followers and supporters to date in the district and beyond with their campaign efforts.

“If it’s about winning independents and some Republicans and some Democrats, then we have a good shot at winning in November. The math and the voter sentiment is in our favor,” she said.

“Look at the Democratic primary in West Virginia, where an inmate – in prison as we speak – got about 15 points less than the sitting president. Whoever says that we can’t win as an independent is ignoring the facts. People are fed up with the corruption in Washington, D.C.”

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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