To hear Dan Maes tell it, the scandals that plagued his campaign for governor shouldn’t have been as big a deal as they were. As for his convoluted explanation for being fired from his job as a police officer in Kansas, his campaign-finance violations, his bankruptcy, and other issues that seemingly derailed his campaign, the Republican writes on Facebook, “I own up to them but will never accept the rational that they made me a bad candidate” (via The Colorado Independent).

In fact, Maes argues that the reason he finished a distant third in the race was because of elite GOP leadership and Tom Tancredo, the former Republican congressman who ran with the American Constitution Party. “To imply I was at any fault for the results of a split vote reveals the ignorance and arrogance of the power structure and the people that naively followed their manipulative and destructive campaign against me,” Maes continues. He also promises to begin a private venture to merge his small business experience with the political world to help support the “second half of the conservative revolution in Colorado,” presumably referring to a continued tea-party insurgency.

Republican Ken Buck, who lost to Democratic U.S. Senator Michael Bennet in the Senate race, is also blaming his loss on the Republican Party. As Buck tells The Denver Post, “My effort was to focus on spending and unemployment, and they wanted to talk about anything but. It was part of their effort to focus more on their version of Ken Buck rather than the issues that I thought most voters were concerned about. I don’t know that there’s any way to avoid it; I wasn’t going to derail my message to have an election decided on abortion, or any social issue, for that matter.” Yet many political observers believe it was social issues–some of which arose in the form of gaffes (as when he likened homosexuality to alcoholism)—that led to Buck’s narrow defeat in the election.