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State GOP chairman Dick Wadhams sits down and opens up on a wide range of political topics in an illuminating interview with The Colorado Statesman editor Jody Hope Strogoff and reporter Jason Kosena, who was The Colorado Independent's chief political reporter through the 2008 election. Unlike his ubiquitous -- sometimes vulgar -- sound bites issued during the heat of the campaign, Wadhams sounds positively relaxed and introspective as he discusses the future of the Republican Party in Colorado, prospects for retaking the legislature and statewide seats, and even whether Marilyn Musgrave should have called to concede to Betsy Markey after losing her 4th District seat in Congress (short answer: yes).
Big talk of the week has shifted to who would replace Sen. Ken Salazar after he, in what is looking like a done deal, leaves his Senate seat to lead the Interior Department. But days after Colorado House Minority Leader Mike May announced he was stepping down, there's no word yet on who might lead Republicans in the House into the new year. Among the top contenders to emerge: Reps. David Balmer, Frank McNulty and Amy Stephens.
How cute is this? The Colorado Springs Gazette ran a story this week about the fact that a few short years ago El Paso County lawmakers held the majority of leadership positions in the Legislature, but now they’ve got just one. They quoted former House Speaker Doug Dean surmising that maybe the folks from the Springs are viewed as just too far right, too strident, too out there, for leadership. This is the same Doug Dean who went into the Legislature vowing to chemically castrate sex offenders and left the Legislature chasing his girlfriend down the street in the middle of the night wielding a screwdriver?
And you thought the election was over? Colorado lawmakers are meeting today to pick new leaders charged with keeping the Capitol running smoothly, and, with Democrat Bernie Buescher unexpectedly out of the picture, a couple of surprises are in store for the donkeys. Over on the Republican side, a reported coup may be in the works.
The McCain campaign on Tuesday will announce three Colorado members to a "Palin Truth Squad," designed to debunk "smears" against vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. State Rep. Amy Stephens (R-Monument), State Board of Education member Peggy Littleton and former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton will be part of the McCain team's on-the-ground response to stories about the Alaska governor, along with 33 members in other swing states.