August 3 2009, 11:03 AM
Republicans are eager to win Colorado in 2010, and at least some of the names on the ballot will look familiar to voters, such as former Congressman Scott McInnis or state Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry, both in the running for governor. But in the other big contest---the one to overthrow junior Senator Michael Bennet, the Democratic appointee to the U.S. Senate who has yet to win an election---the GOP competition is purely B-list. As Face the State puts it, "Considering a bid for U.S. Senate? Why not throw your hat in the ring? Every other Republican in Colorado is. Well, almost." Perhaps it's just a political name-building exercise, but Crested Butte attorney Luke Korkowski is the latest to join the swarm of the lesser-knowns, who now include Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, retired businessman Cleve Tidwell, and Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier. Korkowski (pictured) "touts himself as a free-market candidate looking to separate himself from the establishment," writes the Denver Business Journal, noting he would---if he could---replace income, capital gains, payroll, and other taxes with a national sales tax. "The folks I've talked with don't want someone cut from the same cloth as the politicians who have created our current economic mess," Korkowski says in a statement. No Democrats have stepped up to challenge Bennet, a potential advantage if his GOP opponents spend all their cash battling each other during primary season. Meanwhile, more Republicans could join the GOP's U.S. Senate fray. Fox 31 reports that former state Senator Tom Wiens of Castle Rock has filed the paperwork to explore a run. As for Bennet, if he's campaigning right now, it's very subtle and official-looking. He's going to be at St. Joseph Hospital in Denver today discussing "how insurance company procedures are burdening our physicians, nurses and patients," according to a spokeswoman quoted by The New York Times.