Does Jane Norton's Name Give Her a Political Advantage?

February 12 2010, 10:05 AM
Wiens_Tom-1As Politico points out, if you are running for public office, name recognition will probably help you. U.S. Senate hopeful Tom Wiens, a Republican, would agree. Moreover, he further theorizes that your name may be more important than who you really are. That's how, he says, former Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton has become the frontrunner in the race for the Senate seat now held by Democrat Michael Bennet. The Norton associations are plentiful: There's Jane Norton's husband, Tom, a former U.S. attorney; former Interior Secretary Gale Norton, who was a Colorado attorney general; former state Senate President Tom Norton---the list goes on. They're not all related, but that's not the point, says Wiens, who is skeptical about how much voters know about Jane Norton: "I would imagine that when they're asked, I think a lot of people would say they'd probably vote for a Norton, no matter who the Norton is." Meanwhile, another GOP Senate hopeful, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, has picked up the endorsement of Erick Erickson, the conservative editor in chief of the influential conservative Web site RedState.com. "I like him. We're not going to have to wonder if he's one of those ‘split the baby' politicians," Erickson writes. If you're trying to keep tabs on just how many Republicans are vying for the Senate seat, refer to a comic by Westword's Kenny Be. He makes the seven GOP candidates---Norton, Wiens, Buck, Gary Kennedy, Vincent E. Martinez, Steve Barton, Cleve Tidwell, and Dr. Robert Greenheck---look like the "grand finale act of a matinee show on the Branson Strip."