With Trump’s wins last night, the question of whether Colorado Republicans will vote for the mogul, if he’s the nominee, became even more relevant, as we inch toward the Republican Party’s July 18 national convention in Cleveland.
Here’s an update of my handy TrumpWatch guide for reporters tracking the local GOP response to Trump.
The mogul still apparently has only one GOP elected official who, based on public statements, affirmatively likes him and would vote for him as nominee. That’s State Sen. Laura Woods, the Republican from Westminster (though her candidate-of-choice is Ted Cruz). You recall, Woods “narrowed” her choices to Cruz and Trump after the GOP debate in Boulder.
Other high-profile Republicans in Colorado don’t share Woods’ enthusiasm. Even a brash politician, like former CO Secretary of State Scott Gessler, is turned off by Trump. Asked last week by 9News’ political reporter Brandon Rittiman if he’s “comfortable with Trump being the face of the Republican Party,” Gessler said:
Gessler: “My sense with Trump is, he certainly could beat Hillary Clinton, but he could end up being a complete disaster. Obviously, he’s been a lot ruder and cruder than other candidates to date. Does that alienate a lot of the electorate? I think there’s a really high probability of that. And his style is certainly not my style. And that’s in part why I’m not real comfortable with him.”
Still, as you can see below, I can only find a couple former or current Republican elected officials or candidates who will say, flat out, that they won’t support Trump.
One of them is former State Sen. Shawn Mitchell, who wrote on Facebook last week:
Mitchell: “I can imagine Hillary representing me on the world stage before I can stomach His Blondness performing on my behalf. I won’t vote for her, but I will not vote for him. Supreme Court be damned. America has recovered from worse, and if we don’t recover, God is in charge.”
A larger number of prominent Republicans have said they’ll back Trump as nominee.
Here’s the latest summary.
Elected Republicans Who Are Declining to Say If They’ll Back Trump
U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (though he called Trump a “fraud.”)
U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman. (But campaign spokeswoman Kristin Strohm told the Colorado Statesman Feb. 2, “Will Mike Coffman support the Republican nominee over Bernie or Hillary? The answer is obviously yes.”)
State House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso.
Elected Officials Who Actively Like Trump
State Sen. Laura Woods has said Trump is one of her two favorite prez candidates (here at 25 min 50 sec), but she’s backing Cruz.
Elected Officials Who Will Back Trump, if He’s the Nominee.
State Sen. President Bill Cadman.
Sen. Cory Gardner (even through called Trump a “buffoon.” ) (even though only answered after being asked seven times) (even though he seems to be backtracking.)
Rep. Doug Lamborn.
U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton.
Former Elected Officials Who Will Back Trump, if He’s the Nominee
Former Colorado Senate President John Andrews.
Former Rep. Bob Beauprez.
Former Elected Officials Who Actively Like Trump
Former State Rep. Spencer Swalm is an “out-of-the-closet” endorser.
Former Elected Officials Who Will Not Vote for Trump
Former State Sen. Shawn Mitchell.
These GOP U.S. Senate candidates told the Statesman they’d back Trump as nominee: businessman Robert Blaha, activist Charlie Ehler, Ryan Frazier, El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, former CSU athletics director Jack Graham, former Rep. Jon Keyser, El Paso County Commissioner Peg Littleton, and State Sen. Tim Neville.
Casper Stockham, who’s challenging U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, says he will vote for Trump if he’s the nominee.
Notable Republicans Who Think “We May Be Seeing the Final months of the Existence of the Republican Party”
Former Rep. Bob Schaffer
Please send me any additions to this list.