Colorado GOP Picks Kramer To Battle for Senate Seat
Colorado Republicans made Rep. Ken Kramer their Senate nominee yesterday at the state assembly in Denver. The conservative will face liberal Democratic Rep. Tim Wirth in November for the Senate seat being vacated by Gary Hart (D).
Three Republicans had sought the Senate nomination, but Kramer ran so strongly -- he won the support of 62 percent of the delegates -- at yesterday's assembly that neither of his challengers received the 20 percent necessary to earn a spot on the August primary ballot. Moderate state Sen. Martha Ezzard ran second, far behind Kramer in the balloting. Businessman Terry Considine, despite an endorsement from Sen. William L. Armstrong (R-Colo.) and a $500,000 media campaign, was third. Gobbling Up the Good News
Vice President Bush hosted a small private luncheon here Friday for the once and (maybe) future governor of Texas, William Clements (R), and they dined on good news.
Clements' pollster, Richard Wirthlin, was there to report that his client is riding a gusher of good will; his favorable/unfavorable rating stands at 62 percent to 14 percent. Anyone who remembers how badly then-Gov. Clements was sliced up by then-candidate (now Gov.) Mark White (D) in their 1982 battle will find the rehabilitation barely believable. But Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Tex.) reportedly offered this explanation: What the voters didn't like about Clements in 1982, they like about him now. He's tough -- and that's just what the troubled Texas economy needs. Clements will face White in a rematch this fall, and he's ahead in the polls.
Bush and Clements have never been especially close, but any Republican governor in Texas is well worth the time of any sometime Texan who would be president. Chrysler Keeps Shooting
Millionaire businessman Richard Chrysler shot to the head of the pack in the Michigan GOP gubernatorial primary race this spring with a $500,000 television buy that told his rags-to-riches success story.
Since then, he's gotten more exposure -- this time from the free media and featuring some details he left out. The press has been full of reports about delinquent state taxes -- more than $186,000 -- owed by his auto-customizing business and of a disclosure that he paid to settle a sexual harassment charge by a former secretary.
Republican National Committeeman Peter Secchia said, "Chrylser has shot himself in the foot so often, he ought to get a free membership from the National Rifle Association."
The recent news breathes new life into the campaign of Wayne County Executive William Lucas, Chrylser's principal rival for the nomination, and also will help Oakland County Executive Daniel Murphy and state Rep. Colleen Engler, the other two candidates in the race.
Gov. James J. Blanchard (D), running for reelection, has had no comment. Republican Troubles
Troubles mount for the GOP in Massachussetts. State Rep. Royall H. Switzler, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, admitted last week that his military record was exaggerated in campaign literature during three previous campaigns. (Later in the week he was accused of having made similar embellishments in statements on the House floor and in a newspaper interview.)
Switzler, endorsed by the state party but now under pressure to withdraw, attributed the embellishments to "overanxious campaign people." He said he wants to remain a candidate in the September primary, but added, "If party leaders think they have a better candidate, there's another candidate who has filed papers."
But the other candidate, attorney Gregory S. Hyatt, also has problems. He has had to deal with allegations from his former employer about poor job performance and peculiar behavior, including standing naked in the office and having phone conversations with no one on the other end. Hyatt has denied the allegations.
Gov. Michael S. Dukakis (D), running for reelection, has had no comment. Personal Consideration for Baker
Former Senate majority leader Howard H. Baker Jr. (R-Tenn.) will take his wife, Joy, to the Pain Clinic at Duke University Tuesday to seek relief for her severe chronic back problem. "Her health is going to be a consideration" in whether Baker chooses to seek the presidency in 1988, said his spokesman, David Spear. Joy Baker, who had a bout with lung cancer several years ago, has been to the Mayo Clinc and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in recent months about the back problem. Spear said tests show that she does not have a recurrence of cancer. Weiss Elected ADA President
Rep. Ted Weiss (D-N.Y.) was elected president of Americans for Democratic Action, the country's largest liberal organization, at their convention yesterday, succeeding Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). The 10-year congressional veteran from the Bronx said he has worked with the ADA since its founding in 1947. Catastrophic Insurance
The wife of Tennessee state Rep. Tim Garrett (D) is committed to keeping her husband's House seat in the family -- no matter what. She filed qualifying papers last week to run for his seat in case he does not return safely from a trip to Germany.
"It's an insurance policy," Pam Garrett said. "I am not going to run against him."
She said she will pull out of the 50th District race before Thursday's deadline for removing names from the ballot if her husband returns from Europe.
Garrett said she and her husband, a funeral director, "worked real hard for that seat as a team, and we don't want to lose it."
"It is a measure of realism," Garrett said. "You have to know Tim. He is realistic about everything."