November 6 2009, 9:49 AM
Former state Senator Tom Wiens, a Castle Rock Republican, is not intimidated by former Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton's campaign to unseat Democratic U.S. Senator Michael Bennet. Wiens, a Douglas County rancher who officially launched his own campaign this week, tells The Colorado Statesman he's willing to dig into his wallet and put up $500,000 to get going. He also claims to have a 100-member campaign-finance team that could help him catch up to Norton's coffers. A statement from Wiens indicates he would try to win the hearts of the middle class: "If you are at the top---from Washington or Wall Street---you get a bailout. If you are at the bottom you might get a handout. Those of us in the middle, we get to pay the bill" (via The Huffington Post). In addition to Norton, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck and retired businessman Cleve Tidwell are seeking the GOP nomination. Bennet also faces a challenge from fellow Dem and former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff. Wiens served two years in the state House and four in the state Senate before leaving office earlier this year, notes the Denver Business Journal.