Update below: "My name is Darryl Glenn, and I'm an unapologetic Christian-Constitutional-conservative-pro-life-Second-Amendment-loving American."
That's how Glenn, an El Paso County Commissioner, introduced himself at this year's Colorado Republican Convention — and as you'll see in a video on view below, the crowd went wild.
This reaction carried over to yesterday's primary, when Glenn bested four better-known competitors — ex-CSU athletic director Jack Graham, onetime Aurora city councilman Ryan Frazier, former state representative Jon Keyser and Colorado Springs businessman Robert Blaha — to take the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, thereby winning the right to run against Democrat Michael Bennet in November.
It took a matter of minutes after Glenn emerged triumphant for Colorado Democratic Party chairman Rick Palacio to roll out a response. His statement says that Glenn is "too extreme for Colorado and will add to the dysfunction of Washington."
The "too extreme for Colorado" line is tried and true, though not always effective; it failed big time when used against Republican Cory Gardner, who defeated incumbent Senator Mark Udall in 2014. And while Glenn is indeed a favorite of ultra-conservatives — his endorsers include Sarah Palin, Texas senator Ted Cruz and Tea Party followers aplenty — he has a legitimate shot at electoral victory in this purple state for a very simple reason.
He's extremely charismatic, and Bennet, well, isn't.
Glenn's campaign didn't get off to a splashy start. In April 2015, as noted by the Colorado Springs Gazette, "top officials within the Colorado Democratic Party didn't know who Darryl Glenn was or that the El Paso County commissioner had declared his candidacy that January."
But he's been hiding in plain sight for years. A campaign biography points out that Glenn, the owner of the Glenn Law Firm P.C., which specializes in family law, public policy and campaign-management consulting, was appointed to the Colorado Springs City Council in June 2003. He was twice re-elected to that position, in 2005 and 2009, respectively, before becoming an El Paso County Commissioner in 2010. The site boasts that he won another four-year term in 2014 with more than 80 percent of the vote.
The first item in the bio's "Personal and Professional Affiliations/Accomplishments" category lists him as "Christian, New Life Church member." Yet he chafes at the idea of being dismissed as a proselytizer for his faith.
"The media's trying to portray me as the 'pastor in chief,'" he maintains in a campaign video also shared here. "And I'm not running to be your pastor. I've had the privilege of being able to travel across this state, and I've met so many wonderful people. But there's a lot of frustration and anger out there. And they always ask me the question: 'Why are you going to be different?'
"I'm telling you — I'm like you," he continues. "I'm tired of politicians saying one thing to get elected and then going to Washington, D.C., or Denver or wherever and completely forgetting about you. I want to make sure you understand that I'm listening to you, I'm going to fight for you, I'm going to make sure that when we're elected, we come back. Because this is your office. This is your opportunity to take control of your government. I'm 100 percent committed to doing that. It's game time. Put me in, coach — I'm ready to go."
The easy charm that characterizes Glenn's delivery of these lines was replaced by fiery passion at the GOP convention, at which he pressed every hot-button issue he could find.
"Listen up, Planned Parenthood," he said at one point. "[If there's] any taxpayer funding going to the dismemberment of our babies, I will vote to defund you."
Later, he announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, there is evil in this world. But if you believe like I believe, we can handle that. You need to understand that there is radical Islamic terrorism out there, and we have an administration that has failed to identify the enemy. America needs to step up and lead for once."
He added that this country needs to "rebuild our military...and remove those rules of engagement and allow them to win."
These positions virtually guarantee that the Bennet campaign will try to tie Glenn to Donald Trump — and Glenn isn't distancing himself from The Donald, despite Cruz's endorsement. The Colorado Independent quotes him as saying, “Look, Donald Trump went through the process, he earned the vote, and I am not in support of overturning the will of the voters. That’s why I am clearly stating that we need to support Donald Trump, because he’s the presumptive nominee.”
No need to put "presumptive" in front of Glenn's name. He's officially the Republican flag-carrier for the U.S. Senate in Colorado, and Bennet can't afford to dismiss him.
Update: Our prediction above about efforts to tie Darryl Glenn to Donald Trump have already come to pass. We've just received a statement about the primary results from Sadie Weiner, communications director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, a national organization devoted to supporting Dems. It's much more strongly worded than the take shared by Colorado Democratic Party chairman Rick Palacio, branding Glenn an "ultraconservative, nightmare-scenario candidate." But it concludes with a line that some observers may see as overconfidence.
The statement reads:
“After one of the most divisive and bizarre primaries of 2016, Colorado Republicans must now rally behind their ultraconservative, nightmare-scenario candidate Darryl Glenn. Glenn denies that climate change exists, believes Ted Cruz should be the next Supreme Court Justice and has called Donald Trump ‘a patriot.’ It’s no surprise he stands ready to enact the Trump agenda that would hurt Colorado’s hardworking families and move our country backward. Glenn was not the first or even fifth choice of national Republicans, whose recruitment meltdown was shocking, and he begins this general election ill-prepared to face Senator Michael Bennet, who has fought and delivered for the people of Colorado. We look forward to celebrating Senator Bennet’s re-election in November.”
Look below to see a 9News piece about Glenn's primary win, followed by the aforementioned campaign video and his convention speech.
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