A national Super PAC called Senate Conservatives Action, which aims to help elect hard right underdogs to the U.S. Senate, will air TV and radio ads in Colorado in support of Darryl Glenn.
While the current El Paso County Commissioner is popular among grassroots Republicans in Colorado and has been traveling the state meeting voters for more than a year, federal campaign filings show he had only about $11,000 on hand for the race and has personally loaned his campaign $16,000 as of late March.
“I’m not worried about money, which surprises a lot of people,” Glenn told The Colorado Independent this spring. “Our strategy is we’re going through the grassroots.”
So far he has focused on his ground game.
A handful of county Republican Party chairs recently told The Independent they’d seen Glenn in their areas more than any other candidate in the primary.
Glenn’s name will be first on the ballot in the June 28 primary atop four other Republicans because of his winner-take-all victory during the April 9 Republican state convention. Also on the GOP ballot is former NFL quarterback Jack Graham, ex-lawmaker Jon Keyser, businessman Robert Blaha and former Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier. Ballots will start hitting mailboxes June 6. Each of them used the petition-gathering process to get on the ballot rather than the caucus-assembly process that Glenn used. (Keyser, Blaha and Frazier had to go to court to get on the ballot after their signatures were initially rejected by the Republican Secretary of State.)
With the Senate Conservatives Action PAC running ads for Glenn, he will join Blaha, Graham, and Frazier on TV screens across Colorado, along with incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet.
Glenn stunned political observers in April when he won 70 percent of the vote among Republican delegates to the state assembly, knocking out six of his rivals after giving a rousing speech. The TV ad supporting him, titled “Unapologetic,” uses footage from that barnburner. A radio ad running in Colorado also uses parts from his speech.
Senate Conservative Action is the Super PAC arm of the Senate Conservatives Fund helmed by former Virginia Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. The group has had mixed results when backing anti-establishment Republican candidates around the country. Created in 2008 by ex-U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina (the group formed its Super PAC in 2012), SCF has taken on party leaders such as Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. In his memoir, McConnell called the group “the worst of the worst” after it backed his GOP primary opponent in 2014.
During a candidate’s forum Thursday in Colorado Springs, Glenn touted his endorsement from SCF and said he would wear a sticker stating he would not vote for McConnell as majority leader if elected to the Senate. Glenn has also said Republicans don’t need to reach across the aisle and work with Democrats, but rather lead themselves.
The Senate Conservatives group has been criticized by some Republicans for underwriting ultra-conservative candidates who win in GOP primaries but are deemed too extreme by voters in general elections, such as Christine O’Donnell in Delaware. But the group also helped make the careers of U.S. Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Florida’s Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Mike Lee of Utah, among others. In 2010 the group backed Colorado’s Ken Buck in his Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Buck lost to Bennet that fall.
A spokeswoman for the Senate Conservatives Fund said the PAC has already paid about $50,000 for the Glenn ads. That figure could rise before the June 28 primary.
*A previous version of this story misstated who SCF supported in a primary.