It's been about a week since an advisor to Republican Rep. Scott Tipton floated his name for U.S. Senate in 2016, and things have been quiet ever since. This seems to have been an effort to just throw Tipton's name out in the mix, rather than a true trial balloon, but is there more to last week's story in The Hill newspaper:
“Congressman Tipton was honored to have been elected to serve a third term and is focused on fighting for the issues that matter most to Colorado's 3rd Congressional District,” a political adviser to Tipton told The Hill. “But Congressman Tipton isn't ruling out any options down the road that would enable him to have the greatest impact possible for the people of the State of Colorado.”
Former Colorado Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams said Thursday that Tipton would be a strong candidate.
“He beat a respected Democrat in a Democratic county with a big chunk of Hispanic voters,” Wadhams said. “If he wanted to run for Senate, he would be a very credible candidate.”
It's not at all uncommon for elected officials to float their names for future office, whether they really have any intention of running or not. It increases Tipton's political influence to be mentioned as a potential candidate for Senate, and it is also a nice little ego boost. But the lack of any serious follow-up news in the 10 days since The Hill story does make us wonder if there is anything more to this besides name-floating.
Tipton would be an interesting candidate in 2016 should he decide to challenge Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, though we doubt he'd be able to clear the Republican field first. Tipton represents a huge geographical area in the sprawling CD-3, but he has largely toiled outside of the Denver Metro media market and would have a lot of work to do just to raise his name ID. On the other hand, Tipton does have some personal wealth that he could tap into for a Senate run, and Republicans wouldn't have to worry about losing his seat in a General Election as CD-3 looks to be solidly in the red column (and there would be plenty of Republicans looking at CD-3 who would offer Tipton encouragement to move along).