Gardner gets GOP “Young Gun” ranking

May 24, 2010

Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, is now a Young Gun.

Cory Gardner knocked his opponents off the ballot last week, earning him a promotion to “Young Gun” status by the group helping Republicans get elected to Congress.

Gardner will be in Washington this week for Young Gun Day.

Gardner, a state representative from Yuma, is the 24th Republican to attain Young Gun status within the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Supporter Sean Conway, a Weld County commissioner, says Gardner won’t meet the same fate that befell U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave in 2008 when some 16,000 Republicans didn’t mark their ballots in that race.

At the 4th Congressional District assembly in Loveland [2], Gardner received 61 percent of the delegate vote. Candidates needed 30 percent to make the ballot. Dean Madere received 20 percent, while Tom Lucero got 19 percent.

Lucero and Madere’s supporters were crushed at the outcome, but a number of Republicans admitted they were thrilled. Without a primary, Gardner can save his money and focus on unseating U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey, D-Fort Collins.

The 4th District had been represented by a Republican for decades. But in 2008, Markey capitalized on Musgrave’s unpopularity, voters’ disenchantment with Republicans and a Barack Obama tidal wave to win election.

Conway said 2010 will be a very different story. “There won’t be an undercount,” he said.

GOP presidential candidate John McCain in 2008 received 56,256 votes in Weld County. Conway in his commission race got 54,892 votes. But Musgrave received only 39,499 votes (she lost Weld County to Markey 47 percent to 54 percent). Conway said he believes about 16,000 Republicans opted not to vote in the congressional race.

“That’s not going to happen this time,” Conway said.

But Markey’s got an impressive war chest and is ready to do battle.

“If my opponents want to fight me on my record, I say, bring it on,” she said at Saturday’s state Democratic Assembly [3].

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