Walker Stapleton wants Coloradans to know that he totally, totally chose a running mate for his upcoming GOP run for the governor’s seat in November. And that, for the reals, Colorado, he met the legal deadline to do so last week. And he pinkie-swears he’s not lying. Cross his Trump-loving heart.
Stating for the record that he’s “offered the position to a well-qualified candidate,” Stapleton claimed last week that said candidate has already accepted. Guess we'd better pop the cork on that imaginary champagne.
But why would Stapleton not want to announce who the candidate is, assuming that it’s not just that he forgot to do it, thereby lying to cover up another violation of election law? Here are eight of our best guesses.
1. It’s a Surprise! During the primary, Stapleton’s campaign very nearly derailed because of fraudulent signatures on ballot petitions, forcing him to miss the deadline and rely on winning enough delegate support at the Republican state assembly. Surprise! And then Stapleton won the GOP nomination anyway. Surprise again! And now: surprise times three! We’re just going to have to wait to hear about the awesome running mate until the time is right and Stapleton and his entire campaign staff jumps out from behind your couch and announces the second for the GOP ticket. If you pretend to be surprised, we all get cake sooner.
2. His Running Mate Wants to Keep It Just Between Them for Now Walker’s totally real running mate wants to just keep it between them right now. They don’t think it would be a good idea for them to be seen in public just yet. Someone might see them and assume they’re together or something. Not that he or she is ashamed of being Stapleton’s running mate or anything. It's just not anyone's business...particularly not the voters of Colorado.
3. Scrubbing an Online Presence of Dubious Affiliations Takes Serious Time No, no…that group’s acronym stands for Kitty Kat Kingdom. It’s…a fan base for the Warriors books, set in a mythical and magical land of clans of violent kittens. The Stapleton family and its associates have a deep history of Kitty Kat Kingdom fandom; it goes back for generations, as an oral tradition in the Stapleton family before the books ever saw print in the early 2000s. There was cosplay and everything.
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Teague Bohlen is a writer, novelist and professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction in 2007; his textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success came out in 2014. His new collection of flash fiction, Flatland, is available now.