DA Mark Hurlbert, who is running as a Republican candidate for Colorado state Senate District 16, just received the endorsement of outgoing, term-limited Democrat Summit County Commissioner, attorney Bob French. French told me this yesterday afternoon, in the course of my inquiring about the reasons the county commissioners had approved Hurlbert’s budget increases during a recession when case filings had gone down by at least 20 percent. Hurlbert is running against conservative/libertarian Republican Tim Leonard, an Evergreen business owner, for the Republican spot.
French is a very nice and a very smart guy-a Harvard Law grad, with an impressive biography. Pretty much out of the blue he stated: “As a good Democrat, I support Mark Hurlbert for state Senate.” Even I was stunned by this one, and I asked him to confirm it and that I had permission to report it. He gave me the green light.
This latest Democrat endorsement follows on the heels of Hurlbert’s own endorsement of another Summit County Democrat whose campaign platform consists of imposing a lift ticket tax to “create jobs” and install some kind of government, micromanaging “incubator” for businesses. Hurlbert had also received the endorsement of teachers’ union favorite, Al White, better known as the term-limited, biggest liberal on the Republican side of the senate aisle. Undoubtedly, Hurlbert got word he better scrub that one off his Facebook wall and promptly did so, though the memory of the controversial endorsement is still preserved here.
The French endorsement holds particular significance, as the Democrat candidate to replace French on the county commission is the current State Senate District 16 incumbent, liberal Democrat Dan Gibbs. Precisely the job Hurlbert seeks. Gibbs’ Republican opponent for the $72,500 per year job is Breckenridge Realtor, Darcy Lystlund.
Given that a very intelligent, articulate, liberal Democrat with an excellent reputation and lots of experience – Gilpin County Commissioner Jeanne Nicholson, is already in the Democrat race and Hurlbert technically is not, I asked French about this cross-party endorsement. He stated either one would make a “great Colorado State Senator.”
I disagree. I think if you’re a liberal Democrat, you should vote for Jeanne Nicholson. She graciously spent a lot of time speaking with me in a recent interview and was very impressive despite our major policy disagreements. She’s upfront about being a liberal Democrat, and is experienced and knowledgeable. She’ll make a formidable opponent for a real conservative Republican. And it’s clear at this point that only one conservative Republican is running for senate District 16, and it’s not Mark Hurlbert, it’s Tim Leonard. Leonard will attract conservatives and independents unhappy with the Democrat domination of all three branches of Colorado government.