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.
4. Craigslist Deleted Its “Casual Running Mates” Section
And ever since, Stapleton hasn’t had any way to contact them.
5. He’d Tell the Voters of Colorado Who It Is, but We Wouldn’t Know Them Anyway
Stapleton's not-made-up running mate works primarily in the Ukraine. They were going to fly in for the announcement, but they're doing some modeling right now. They’re really busy, but they talk on the phone all the time. Look, Walker has a photo, so you know he’s not lying about this. See for yourself. No, that’s not something Stapleton cut out of a magazine. Shut up.
6. Because It’s the Fourth of July!
Campaign spokespeople have explained the delay in announcing by saying that they’d wait until later this month “when Coloradans have returned from their Fourth of July festivities.” And, really, who doesn’t take all of July off from work? Why we even call it “the Fourth” is a mystery, because it goes on for freaking ever; just day after day of nothing but fireworks, hot dogs, beers in coolers, the national anthem and not paying attention to any of the responsibilities of real life (or running for statewide office) whatsoever.
7. Stapleton Wants to Prepare Colorado for the Way He Wants to Run the State
Specifically: behind closed doors, twisting the language of the law to suit his own inscrutable purposes, and without regard for tradition, precedent or the wishes of the people. Also, lying is okay as long as you get away with it. It’s a strategy that’s at this point almost presidential.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
8. The Trump White House Hasn’t Told Stapleton Who His Running Mate Will Be Yet
Speaking of presidential, Stapleton is a Trump guy, even if Trump has no idea who Walker Stapleton is. But just you wait, Colorado. Trump’s pick for the GOP lieutenant governor is going to be huuuge. The Trump administration is full of very fine people.
Stapleton is just crossing his fingers that Trump’s people don’t send him Eric.