Did Darryl Glenn’s convention speech shift the US Senate race?

COLORADO SPRINGS — Not long after giving the most well-received speech at today’s GOP state convention, El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn was mobbed by Republicans.

“You’re like a breath of fresh air,” a man said, reaching out for a handshake. Others, like Jessica Gallegos, waited for a chance to speak with him just to say what a great speech he had given.

Gallegos came to the convention from Silverton without knowing who she would vote for in the race for U.S. Senate. She said after the Glenn barnburner he won her vote.

“To hear him— there’s no doubt in my mind,” she said. “He’s such a motivational speaker. It was amazing.”

Kyle Fisk, a Republican campaign consultant who is not working on Glenn’s campaign, said he thought the speech could have shifted today’s race among the seven candidates trying to get out of today’s convention.

Seven candidates for U.S. Senate gave 10 to 15 minute speeches to a crowd of more than 5,000 convention-goers, many of whom are delegates and will cast votes to decide who they think can beat incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet in the fall. Candidates like Glenn need to crack 30 percent in order to make it out of the convention and onto the June GOP primary ballot. With seven of them in the race, only three could possibly emerge in the most balanced scenario. It’s also possible only one candidate wraps up enough votes to win it outright, knocking the six others out. (There are four other Republican candidates who have petitioned onto the June primary ballot outside the convention process.)

Related: US Senate candidates swing at Colorado’s GOP state convention 

Republicans will vote today at the state convention at the Broadmoor World Arena.

Fisk, a longtime friend of Glenn’s, recalled a recent conversation he had with the candidate about what Glenn needed to do at today’s convention.

“I said, ‘You’ve got to give the speech of your life,’” Fisk told The Colorado Independent. Glenn’s reply: “I’ve got a sermon ready.”

“And he was right,” Fisk says. “Because he brought it. That was the best speech of the day. By far. Not even a close second.”

Speaking second to last in the bunch, Glenn came out swinging fast, starting off thanking his mother for giving him life and positioning himself as a strong defender of rights for the unborn.

“Listen up, Planned Parenthood,” he said, promising to defund the women’s health organization that provides abortions if any tax money goes toward — his words— the dismemberment of babies. He introduced himself as an “unapologetic Christian constitutional conservative pro-life, Second-Amendment-loving American that will beat Michael Bennet.” He said he’d defund sanctuary cities, cut taxes, and bring more money back to individual taxpayers. He railed against the Iran nuclear arms deal and earned roaring applause when he said he hoped media reported this line: “All lives matter.” Glenn also brushed away bipartisanship. “One thing I’m absolutely tired of hearing is Republicans are reaching across the aisle,” he said. “We need to step up and lead, ladies and gentlemen.” Glenn said America’s entitlement system has people “bowing down to government instead of to God.” And he took aim at the potential Democratic nominee for president, saying he was personally committed to getting Hillary Clinton out of her pantsuit and into a “bright orange jumpsuit.”

A convention speech might have more sway at this convention than in years past.

Colorado Republican Party Chairman Steve House said 30 to 40 percent of the delegates who showed up to this year’s GOP congressional assemblies and the state convention are new to the process. That means they aren’t necessarily the loyal party machine types or ones who jump onto bandwagons with certain Colorado Republican tribes.

These kinds of delegates who will be voting today, Fisk says, “want to hear the speech. And [Glenn] owned it.”

If there was ever an indication that a convention speech can carry significant influence, consider what happened Friday during the 5th District congressional assembly that took place in a hotel across the street from the Broadmoor World Arena.

There, a relatively unknown 32-year-old legislative staffer named Calandra Vargas had given a passionate speech about why she should replace incumbent Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn, whose district encompasses Colorado Springs.

Following her speech, she came just 18 votes shy of taking out a sitting congressman who has been in Washington for five terms.

“This is an unusual election year,” Lamborn told The Colorado Springs Gazette following the results.

At least one of Glenn’s rivals in the U.S. Senate race said he isn’t worried.

“Speeches can always change things,” said Tim Neville, a state senator who is also running for U.S. Senate through the convention process, and gave his own speech today. But there are speeches and there are records, Neville said, hoping that those voting today will take that and more into consideration.

Glenn himself acknowledged that his speech likely helped him today, but he downplayed how much it meant in the context of his campaign.

“This is my hometown, so I do kind of have the home field advantage being a commissioner,” he said in an interview. “But afterwards people were coming up and they appreciated what I had to say, because I’m going to fight, and that’s what it’s about.”

Glenn says he expects to come out with enough votes to push out his six other rivals.

“We expect to win. We want to be the only ones coming out here. That’s our goal,” he said. “This is the best poll there is.”

Kelly Maher, director of Compass Colorado and a conservative commentator in Denver, noticed the line of people waiting to meet Glenn following his speech.

“He definitely got the crowd as excited as we’ve seen in the last three conventions,” she said. “If there was a speech that could have shifted the tide, that was it.”


  1. I’m sorry, but this insistence on beating up on Planned Parenthood for things they AREN’T doing is just a sure sign of the corruption of the republican party. The videos that these people are using to demonize the only health care provider for hundreds of thousands of American women are faked, it’s KNOWN they are faked, and the people who made them are up on charges in several states over those very videos. And you’re going to tell me that THIS is your “evidence”? Then you have NO evidence.

    To continue to use it as political fodder is just proof that this is just one more disingenuous republican. I don’t care if he makes a good speech or not, that’s just window dressing. The fact that he doesn’t care about the TRUTH or HONESTY tells me that he’s just another blasted republican.

    Just what we DON’T need around here. Honestly, what have they EVER done for us? Why do people still fall for their nonsense? Time for them to GO!

  2. @willmorrison
    HaHaHaHa how much are you getting paid to post this propaganda? Thanks for the laugh!

  3. Will Morrison & Robert clearly are living in the imaginary world of Main Steam Media Propaganda.

    All the videos are available online, in full length unedited. Planned Parenthood is a Nazi death camp for prenatal persons that sells body parts for profit.

    Planned Parenthood is Pure Evil and so are those who support it (Democrats)!

    Democrats have a long history of hate and murder. They are the party if slavery and abortion: same tyranny different faces.

  4. “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

    Translation: Everything spoken here will fit into our narrative. We demand free speech but insist on silencing your speech at the same time.

    Oh the Irony of liberal logic.

  5. Will Morrison & Robert clearly are living in the imaginary world of Main Steam Media Propaganda.

    All the PP videos are available online, in full length unedited format. Planned Parenthood is a death camp for prenatal persons that sells body parts for profit.

    Planned Parenthood is Pure Evil and so are those who support it (Democrats)!

    Democrats have a long history of hate and murder. They are the party if slavery and abortion: same tyranny different face.

  6. So with Obamacare, PP needs to even exist WHY? If PP quit spoonfeeding the taxpayers’ money back to Dems they’d be a lot easier to ignore- they’ve made their own bed.

  7. It amazes me when a criminal says, “I’m innocent.”, and people are gullible enough to believe it. Like it or not, PP is selling body parts. And I’m glad Glen is not afraid to say it and fight it.

  8. If you want to believe this, then go right ahead. But PPFA has been investigated by HOW MANY states and been found blameless in EVERY one? Fact is, they aren’t doing anything illegal. This is REALITY, folks. You can be mad about things that people ON TRIAL FOR LYING made up and claim they are true, but all that makes you is a fool.

    And again, I ask, what EXACTLY has the republican party done for this state? It’s a party basing it’s entire existence on fear and division, is THAT how a country should be run? Or a state? I’m sorry, but you people have swallowed a pack of lies for a generation, now, I guess this is just one more, why should I be surprised?

    Oh, and it’s amazing how you righties are the ONLY people who know your “truth”. Maybe that’s because it’s NOT the truth.

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