Wadhams to run for Colorado Republican Party chairman | PostIndependent.com

Wadhams to run for Colorado Republican Party chairman

Associated Press Writer
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

DENVER (AP) ” Former Colorado campaign manager Dick Wadhams said Monday he will run for state Republican Party chairman in an effort to help the GOP rebuild after two straight election-year losses.

Wadhams ran successful GOP campaigns in Colorado, Montana and South Dakota, but last year he managed the failed campaign of Virginia Sen. George Allen, a potential presidential contender who blew a comfortable lead in the polls and lost his re-election bid.

State Republican legislative leaders said they asked Wadhams to run for the Colorado chairmanship when it comes open in March. House Minority Leader Mike May of Parker and Senate Minority Leader Andy McElhany of Colorado Springs said the party needs a strong leader after losing a U.S. Senate seat, two U.S. House seats, the governor’s office and control of the Legislature.

Wadhams said he believes he can help the party get past its internal differences.

“I’m going to do this thing,” he said.

The current state chairman, Bob Martinez, said he has no plans to run again. Wadhams said former House Speaker Lola Spradley and several other candidates said they would step aside and support him.

Wadhams managed successful campaigns for Colorado Sen. Wayne Allard in 1996 and 2002 and Gov. Bill Owens in 1998, when Owens became the first Republican elected governor of the state in 24 years.

In 2000, he managed Montana Sen. Conrad Burns’ successful campaign and turned it into a victory.

In South Dakota, he was credited with engineering the defeat of Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle in 2004.

In Virginia, Allen was comfortably ahead in polls until August, when he referred to the son of Indian immigrants as “Macaca,” regarded by some as a racial slur. The incident, caught on videotape, became international news.

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