Election 2018GovernorNews

Barry Farah congratulates Walker Stapleton, who bumped him from the governor’s race

Author: Joey Bunch - April 16, 2018 - Updated: April 26, 2018

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The Coors Events Center is pictured during the 2018 Colorado Republican State Assembly on the campus of the University of Colorado Boulder in Boulder on April 14. (Photo by Andy Colwell for Colorado Politics)

Businessman Barry Farah had a short battle in the governor’s race. Ultimately, it could be argued that Walker Stapleton sank his battleship.

Farah finished third in the Republican State Assembly Saturday, with 13 percent of the delegates,  short of the 30 percent he needed to qualify for the June 26 primary ballot.

He entered the race on March 22, as Colorado Politics’ Ernest Luning was first to report. Had he made the ballot, it would have given Farah two more months to sell his candidacy to Republican voters.

Stapleton, who it seems has been running for governor for the eight years he’s been state treasurer, was even more of neophyte to the state assembly process. He jumped in only a week so before the delegates showed up in Boulder to vote.

Stapleton had planned to collect petitions, but then he had doubts about the firm he hired to collect petitions, so the GOP opted for the assembly, scrambling the field. When Cynthia Coffman tried to call out Stapleton’s switch in her floor speech, she drew boos from the crowd, John Frank of the Denver Post tweeted. Coffman, long seen as a viable option for non-Stapleton Republicans, got only 5 percent of the delegates Saturday.

Stapleton carried the day with 44 percent of delegates.

Farah managed to call out Stapleton, in a subtle way, and congratulate him at the same time.

“I jumped into the race when I did because the landscape had changed,” Farah said in a statement released Sunday.

“I saw a potential path to victory in offering the delegates a principled conservative candidate at the Republican State Assembly. When front-runner Walker Stapleton withdrew his petition and entered the Assembly process four days before it convened, his influential endorsements and 8-year history with many delegates and supporters served him well.”

Farah continued, “I want to congratulate Walker Stapleton on his win. I also want to acknowledge the hard work of the other candidates and thank the delegates from all over our beautiful state for their participation.”

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.