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Jared Polis: A Rally cry for Republicans

George Leing, the underdog, against the financial powerhouse of Jared Polis for Congress
George Leing, the underdog, against the financial powerhouse of Jared Polis for Congress
George Leing for Congress

Perhaps the 2014 midterm election and Democrat Jared Polis will be the rally cry needed for the Republican base. If Republicans don’t have anyone inspiring on the ballot, perhaps the base can be energized by someone who is the polar opposite in values. Jared Polis is the current U.S. representative for Boulder, Estes Park, Grand Junction and other Colorado townships and counties. While Democrats are supportive of Polis, even they admit he has a bit of a problem in his run against George Leing (R).

Pros and cons

  • Leing is a lawyer in the finance and energy fields who recently worked as Senior Counsel to a renewable power development and construction company and is currently in private practice.
  • Jared Polis (D) is rich. He funded his own campaigns, basically buying himself seats on boards and in elections. He is reportedly worth $200 million and the 7th richest member of congress.
  • Jared Polis’s wealth is a problem for George Leing (R), an average guy who has raised just slightly over $120,000 for his campaign as of June 16.
  • Jared Polis funded a ballot initiative to ban fracking because his vacation home was in the area and he was worried about the effect it would have on his place.
  • George Leing is interested in his entire voting electorate, not just Boulder. He invited Jared Polis to a debate in Grand Junction on September 6, 2014, but Jared said “no” (Denver Post).
  • Jared Polis is exactly what Democrats say is wrong with the Republican party (he’s a rich white guy), but he’s a Democrat, so they won’t draw attention to the issue.
  • George Leing is a minority and (gasp) a Republican.

Will a dislike of Jared Polis (D) get Republicans to the polls? Or will the 4 million who stayed home continue to remain apathetic, without voting at all? There’s more at stake than just the seat Polis currently holds in Colorado Congressional District 2, which George Leing would like to capture.

At stake in the November 2014 election:

  • Current CO-4 House Representative Cory Gardner would like to defeat U.S. Colorado Senator Mark Udall. Udall was a staunch supporter of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but has been running from anything related to his actual voting record during his re-election bid.
  • Former U.S. Senator and buffalo rancher Bob Beauprez is up against Governor John Hickenlooper, who has not only supported, but pushed for anti-gun legislation in Colorado. Defeating a seated politician is always a challenge, and it will take the full Republican base for Beauprez to gain the momentum to win, even though Hickenlooper has been taking pages from President Obama’s playbook and deciding which laws he is going to follow and which he won’t. Hickenlooper supported the Affordable Care Act, but when over 330,000 residents of Colorado fought back because their plans were dropped, he changed the rules.
  • Republicans can control the Senate if they win 6 seats across the United States. There are 36 seats (out of 100) on the November 2014 ballot. Of those seats, 21 are held by Democrats and 15 by Republicans. Colorado is one of the swing states with a Democrat (Mark Udall) up for re-election and a strong challenger for his seat (Cory Gardner).
  • The last time Republicans controlled the Senate was in 2007. Unfortunately, they blew their trust within the party by overspending and what has been called “unnecessary” wars.

Don’t believe the polls, which say Republicans are going to take the Senate and retain the House of Representatives, and become confident. Remember, there’s always a slant. The most important thing to do is vote.

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