Now that the primaries are over, the winning candidates are looking forward to the general election in November that will choose the state's next governor, treasurer, attorney general and a number of congressional reps and state lawmakers.
Though the primary outcomes were relatively predictable (save for a few surprises), the candidates were anything but. During the primaries we met a variety of characters, from savvy businessmen and women to political outsiders and intellectuals. Some of them may have lost, but we hate to see a good résumé go to waste. Here are suggestions for what ten losers from the primaries should do next.
Levi Tillemann joins the cast of Jackass
Levi Tillemann comes from politicians — he's an offshoot of former lieutenant governor Nancy Dick — so he understands, perhaps better than most, the power of a provocative ad campaign. In his quest to defeat Democrat Jason Crow in the primary for the 6th Congressional District, Tillemann released a commercial about school safety in which he advocated for pepper spray as an effective, relatively safe tool to combat a school shooter. Easy enough, right? But in what had to be the oddest stunt in the primaries, toward the end of the commercial Tillemann got pepper-sprayed in the face — on purpose — and illustrated his skyscraper-high threshold for pain. We don't know what the Jackass guys are up to these days, but maybe Tillemann should reach out.
Bernard Douthit leads Gringotts Wizarding Bank in next Harry Potter book
If your name is Bernard Douthit, you're almost sure to end up in some nerdy field, which is exactly what happened to the progressive Democratic candidate for state treasurer who ultimately lost to Dave Young. Douthit earned his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, a graduate degree in management and finance from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, duh), and has nearly thirty years of experience in business finance. Reality probably wasn't so fun for Douthit the night he lost the primary, so we think he should look to fiction. Considering his credentials, J.K. Rowling would certainly pick him to lead Gringotts Wizarding Bank in her next Harry Potter book. Say it with us, Bernard: wingardium leviosa.
Saira Rao leads a nationwide effort to abolish ICE
Okay, so incumbent Diana DeGette pretty handily defeated progressive Democrat Rao for the 1st District Congressional seat. But — but! — Rao clearly has a knack for drumming up nationwide attention. She's had her byline in the Huffington Post and Teen Vogue, and her campaign caught the attention of The Nation and the New York Times. Rao should use her progressive energy and voice to spearhead the growing nationwide effort to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement. If not her, then who?
Darryl Glenn becomes a motivational speaker
Just when we think we've seen the end of Darryl Glenn, he comes back swinging. Glenn made waves in 2016 when he clenched a surprise victory at the state GOP convention in his pursuit of one of Colorado's two U.S. Senate seats. Many attributed his victory to the rousing ten-minute speech he gave to delegates that would have brought Ronald Reagan to tears. He was even tapped to speak at the Republican National Convention that year. He ultimately lost to Michael Bennett and again in the most recent primary to Doug Lamborn in the Republican primary for the 5th Congressional District. But losing isn't everything. Glenn would be wasting his gusto if he didn't join the motivational-speaking circuit. Tony Robbins is getting weird, anyway.
Victor Mitchell becomes the Ray Romano impersonator the world didn't know it needed
According to some polls, Castle Rock businessman Victor Mitchell once led Stapleton in the Republican gubernatorial primaries. Mitchell has a pretty serious background that includes starting a company that funds the real estate market and serving as a state legislator. Maybe he wants to take a break and ease into the shoes of everyone's favorite mediocre TV comedian, Ray Romano. Or maybe he just wants to swim in his piles of money.
Greg Lopez becomes a casino owner
We wouldn't call Greg Lopez a numbers guy. The true underdog in the Republican gubernatorial primary was always a long shot; in the eleven months leading to the April state GOP convention, he had only raised $14,000, or about enough to buy a used Subaru. Not that Lopez cared. He fought until the bitter end, high probability of losing be damned, which proves he has the cojones to take on the dubious world of gambling. Or become one of those guys slumped over a slot machine in Vegas with a Pall Mall hanging off his lips.
Doug Robinson overcomes Mitt to become the butt of every joke in the Romney family.
Imagine this: Utah, a warm summer day. Papa Mitt takes his nephew Dougie on his lap and together they ponder the mysterious world of politics as the rocks burn red in the distance, or whatever happens in Utah. Mama Romney rings a cowbell signaling all the Romneys to come to dinner. Seated around the family table, papa and mama and cousin and brother and sister Romney start their usual round of "You lost, loser!" jokes, but instead of directing their jabs at Mitt, it's poor Doug, fresh off a loss in the Colorado Republican gubernatorial primary, who's sucker-punched. Then the family retires to the parlor, where Mitt's folk-rock group, Mitt and His Mittens, starts plucking away.
Donna Lynne joins a biker gang
For the second most painful political ad this primary season, Democratic gubernatorial candidate and current state lieutenant governor Donna Lynne got some ink on her arm pushing her campaign. Undoubtedly one of the more qualified candidates, Lynne likely wanted to show her edge. Why not go a step further? Buy a Harley, put on some leather, and head out on the open road.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Mike Johnston goes back to being your hot high school principal
The Democratic candidate was once a public school teacher in Mississippi and a principal at several Denver schools. He also advised Barack Obama on education. Mee-ow.
Cary Kennedy runs for mayor of Denver
Kennedy came in a sad second in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. Maybe it's time to forget statewide office and instead return to the city. The former state treasurer served as deputy mayor and chief financial officer in Denver under Mayor Michael Hancock. As the race to replace (or reinstate) Hancock fires up, she'd make for a formidable opponent. Seriously, Cary. Think about it.