Update below: Days before tomorrow's Republican senate primary, Jane Norton appeared on the campaign trail with Arizona Senator John McCain -- a controversial figure for Tea Party and 9.12 project members. And since those are the very sort of folks who may elevate Ken Buck to a surprise victory, his spokesman, Owen Loftus would like everyone in the so-called liberty movement to know it.
"We're very excited" about tomorrow, Loftus says. "Every independent poll has shown Ken is ahead -- and after the weekend he spent with grassroots Coloradans, we're even more hopeful for victory on Tuesday. He was in Colorado Springs and all over the Front Range making phone calls and waving signs and visiting churches -- and he went to a couple of Republican socials in Broomfield and Boulder.
"Contrast that with what Jane Norton did. Ken is finishing the race the same way he got into it -- with the grassroots. And Jane is ending it the same way she got into it, too -- with John McCain.
"She's made herself out to be a senator in the vein of John McCain by the way she's talked about amnesty and a lot of other issues. So it wasn't surprising that she called in the Washington bigguns, like him, to help her."
Loftus is equally critical of the Norton campaign's reliance on ads focusing on joking comments Buck made at an Independence Institute event at which he talked about "Weld County bullshit" and his preference for cowboy boots over high heels.
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"Jane Norton's shown that she's not going to talk about the issues," he maintains. "She's running an all-negative, all-the-time campaign. And Coloradans want a senator who's positive, and who will represent them -- not just another D.C. politician."
Fortunately for Buck's sake, Loftus says, his grassroots base isn't swayed by the sort of spots on which the Norton camp is pinning its hopes. "They're knocking on doors, making phone calls, and spreading the word via e-mail, Facebook and text messages that we need them to vote for Ken.
"I think Ken's going to have the momentum coming out of the primary," he adds, "and not just because of the in-fighting among the Democrats, but because of their stance on the issues. They're both trying to run to the left, and Coloradans are looking for someone who's going to be more responsible to serve in the U.S. Senate."
Update: Today, Westword conducted primary-eve interviews with spokespersons for all six major candidates being tested tomorrow. Click to read posts about Andrew Romanoff, Michael Bennet, Scott McInnis, Dan Maes and Jane Norton.