Jack Graham resurfaces in Colorado politics universe
Author: John Tomasic - February 23, 2017 - Updated: February 23, 2017
Jack Graham joined the board of the Common Sense Policy Roundtable.
“Our state is facing a number of serious issues,” said Graham in a statement accompanying the news. “Finding common sense solutions that address health care, education and transportation is essential to the well-being of the citizens of Colorado and the protection of jobs and our economy.”
The Common Sense Roundtable is a pro-business well-funded lobby shop. Last year it strongly opposed raising the minimum wage in the state. Critics dismiss the group as a mouthpiece for powerful libertarian or anti-labor free enterprise interests.
Graham was a member of the board of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. He is perhaps best known, however, for serving as Colorado State University’s athletic director. He was also a Miami Dolphin and a multi-millionaire insurance man.
Last year, Graham jumped into state politics, petitioning his way onto a crowded Republican primary ballot for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Michael Bennet. Graham seeded his candidacy with a $1 million of his own money and hired Dick Wadhams, former Colorado Republican Party chairman, to steer his campaign. As they say on the gridiron, it was a short run.
Graham was a Democrat until 2014 and he was mocked by his hardcore conservative rivals in the primary race as an ideological lightweight and wannabe. In the year of Donald Trump, Graham never stood a chance.
“I went to work for Jack because I thought he was a strong candidate who fit the Colorado model — like Hank Brown, Bill Owens, Cory Gardner,” said Wadhams. “There’s a thread that runs through all of them — they were all conservatives but conservatives who could appeal to everyone in the state.”