Primary facts & unfacts

I never enjoy primaries where good Republicans are pitted against each other in the spring for a nomination to oppose the Democrats in the fall, so I don't usually take sides. But since I'm often asked my preference in the GOP's upcoming June 24 election, and since a state Senate candidate recently claimed my support without permission, here's a rundown of the contested races.

* I am neutral in the governor's race. Mike Kopp, Scott Gessler, Bob Beauprez, and Tom Tancredo are all much preferable to John Hickenlooper, the incumbent - though I doubt Tancredo's electability.

* I support Congressman Doug Lamborn in his CD-5 primary.

* I support Michael Fields in the HD-37 primary, my own state representative district.

* I support Tony Sanchez in the SD-22 primary, Jefferson County.

* I am neutral in all other legislative primaries, including SD-19, Jefferson County, where I'm friendly with both Lang Sias, the 2012 nominee, and Laura Woods, the newcomer. I've accepted Woods's apology for mistakenly listing me as a supporter in a recent mailing. Either could serve well in the state Senate; may the best candidate win.

Michael Fields for HD-37

pix michael fields Colorado State House District 37 in Centennial, where I've lived for 40 years, has been ably represented by Rep. Spencer Swalm since 2006. Now that he is term-limited, the safely Republican district faces a spirited primary between Jack Tate, an engineer in his 50s, and Michael Fields, a young lawyer and schoolteacher who's not yet 30.

They are two good men, and the voters can't go wrong. But when balloting begins for the June 24 primary, Fields will get my vote.

Michael's thoughtful, well-researched position papers on conservative approaches to education reform and other issues impress me. His time as a staffer in both the US Senate and the Colorado General Assembly gives him a lot more experience with the legislative process than Jack.

I like it that Fields is youthful and that he has lived the black experience, being the son of an African-American professor whose own father was a distinguished pastor. Talking with Michael about race issues, though, as I've done and as Rep. Swalm did before endorsing him a month ago, you find he's crystal clear that equal opportunity doesn't mean equal outcomes and that past injustices to blacks don't justify an endless victim narrative.

Like former Sen. Bill Armstrong, himself elected to the State House in his mid-twenties, and who has also endorsed Fields, Michael has the potential to begin serving with distinction from the day he takes office--and to become part of the new face of the Republican Party in years to come.

To win in the 21st century, conservatives must forge an optimistic, forward-looking, right-minded coalition of all colors and all ages. Michael Fields, well prepared and solidly grounded on America's freedom principles, embodies that. I hope you will join me in supporting him for House District 37.

To compare the candidates, go to www.fieldsforcolorado.com and www.jacktate.org. I think you will come to the same conclusion that I have.

Tea Party meets with GOP legislators

Republicans in the state Senate and House huddled with Tea Party leaders on Jan. 6, just hours after my column urging such cooperation was filed for publication on Jan. 9 (see left column on main page, Andrews in Print). The following report came to me Thursday evening from a friend at the Capitol: Today Colorado Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp and six other legislators from both the Senate and House met for 90 minutes with 25 leaders of Tea Party and 912 groups from across the state. The groups represented thousands of grassroots activists from Greeley to Pueblo, eastern plains to Grand Junction.

They agreed to forge a strategic partnership to advance a "small government agenda" with three policy themes -- taxation, regulation and immigration. Leaders of the groups pledged to get their members involved in the legislative process including hearings and advocacy, and legislative leaders pledged to work with the leaders to build local membership and better awareness of state issues.

Participating with Kopp were Senators Ted Harvey, Scott Renfroe, Kevin Lundberg, and Kent Lambert, along with Reps. Libby Szabo and Chris Holbert. Speaker Frank McNulty and other members of House leadership were in DC, hence unavailable to attend.

Then on Sunday afternoon, after my column ran, headlined "Hey, Colorado government, we're out of patience" and sprinkled with imaginary signatures such as "Worried in Widefield" and "Available in Arvada," I received the following email from someone calling himself "Juiced in Jeffco." Could it have been Mike Kopp himself?

Dear Former President Andrews: The Senate Republicans stand ready to blast steadily and constructively at the destructive statist policies of the day. Look for bright and passionate moments of contrast when such issues appear. Look for some surprises on new ways to void Obamacare. And look for a steady appeal to competent governance and for Senate Repubs to be continually let down after pursuit thereof yields smaller than hoped-for results. Please let us know how well you think our message, on the foregoing items especially, is penetrating the T space.