Nighthorse With No Name

Ron Gunzburger

When US Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-CO) unexpectedly announced his retirement two weeks ago, the GOP instantly began a scramble to find a strong replacement candidate. Republicans quickly rallied around Governor Bill Owens — who would have been an instant frontrunner — but he soon opted out of the race citing family problems. The past week hasn’t been good for the GOP. Congressman Bob Beauprez? Out. Congressman Tom Tancedo? Out. Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton? Out. Former Republican National Chairman Jim Nicholson? Out. Congressman Scott McInnis? Out. State Treasurer Mike Coffman? Out. Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave? Out. As of today, the Republicans have two announced candidates: former Congressman Bob Schaffer and attorney Dan O’Bryant. The only Republican of note still pondering the race is US Interior Secretary Gale Norton. On the Democratic side, meanwhile, party leaders continue to rally behind the candidacy of Attorney General Ken Salazar. Salazar faces only nominal opposition for the Dem nomination.

Interesting. I don’t have much sense of Colorado politics, but Norton would be an interesting choice. I mean, how much fun could the Interior job be, anyway?

FILED UNDER: 2004 Election,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Well, according to Jessica Simpson, it includes decorating the white house.

  2. Kivacom says:

    This is Jane Norton, the Colorado Lt. Gov., not Gale Norton, the Secretary of the Interior.

  3. dw says:

    HEY! WHERE MY PROPS? I commented on this very blog a few weeks ago — without Owens the GOP has no strong candidate who can beat any major Dem in the race.