Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Tom Tancredo and most (but not all) Republican gubernatorial candidates to face off

When Aaron Harber started planning an episode of the Aaron Harber Show that would feature the Republican candidates for Colorado governor, there were only three: ex-congressman Tom Tancredo, who got more than 36 percent of the vote running for governor on the 2010 American Constitution Party ticket; onetime state senator Greg Brophy; and Secretary of State Scott Gessler. Then former state senator Mike Kopp "entered right before we sent out the invitations," Harber recalls. And if he hadn't sealed the lineup at that point, Harber might have had to get a bigger set.

Because then Jim Rundberg, who made a quixotic run for the presidency in 2012, entered the race, and yesterday, a sixth candidate, Adams County GOP chairman Steve House, a health-care consultant, announced that he was getting in the game. And there are rumors that still more will throw their hats into the very crowded Republican ring.

But when the globe-trotting Harber, whose show runs statewide on Comcast (and on Channel 3 in Denver) and has featured everyone from Colin Powell to Jimmy Carter to Jesse Jackson, tapes tomorrow, there will only be the first four announced Republican candidates on the set. "The chairs are cemented to the ground and the candidates will be shackled to the ground," he promises.

The gubernatorial episode will be the last of close to a dozen shows that Harber is taping tomorrow, although it will probably be broadcast first -- and it's definitely the one that promises to be the most incendiary. (Harber's also doing two on the wildfires that could be smoking: "The government isn't telling us everything," he says.)

And what will Harber be asking the candidates? The obvious questions that everyone expects, he says, including, "Why should Colorado voters elect you?" and "Why does Governor John Hickenlooper not deserve a second term?" Beyond that, the topics will range from the economy to deforestration -- and the studio could be all scorched earth by the time the taping is done.

This debate between the Republican candidates will be "the first, and maybe the last," Harber promises.

Want to watch history in the making? You can sign up to be part of the studio audience on Wednesday, November 13 at the Comcast Media Center, 4100 East Dry Creek Road in Centennial. The event begins at 4:30 and ends at 6:15 p.m.; there will be an informal reception following. Admission is free, but you have to register this morning at bit.ly/ShowRSVP.

More from the Calhoun: Wake Up Call archive: "Border lines: Tom Tancredo and Gustavo Arellano, opponents on immigration and allies on marijuana legalization."

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun