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Senate primary: Frazier is ready to win

Republican known for working across party lines

DENVER – Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ryan Frazier doesn’t buy the commentary that this is his last chance to prove himself given previous failed political bids.

For one thing, Frazier says he is a winner.

He served two terms on the Aurora City Council, establishing successful strategies to ensure that he would continue working for the people of that city.

“I’ve won more than I’ve lost. Sometimes that’s missed on people,” Frazier said.

In his early 30s, Frazier was hailed as a rising star of the Republican Party.

He ran against incumbent Ed Perlmutter in 2010 in the 7th Congressional District.

The race didn’t go so well, and he lost to Perlmutter by 11 points.

To Frazier’s credit, the district is a difficult one, and fellow members of the GOP have lost by similar margins or more to Perlmutter.

The next year, in 2011, Frazier sought to become the mayor of Aurora. He lost that race to Steve Hogan, the current Aurora mayor, by 8 points.

“I know what it means to lose, and I tell you what, you pick yourself up, and you keep going in life,” Frazier said, stopping to speak with The Durango Herald recently while on a campaign trip through the Western Slope. “You learn so much more about yourself.”

Now, at 38, Frazier is ready to unseat Democrat Michael Bennet, something he sought to do in 2009, before dropping out of a crowded field to focus on the 7th District race.

Frazier again faced a crowded field this year, but he found his way onto the June 28 primary ballot in a five-man U.S. Senate race. Doing so was not easy.

Frazier took the petition route, collecting signatures in each of the state’s seven congressional districts. But the campaign faced a setback when the secretary of state’s office determined that the signatures Frazier submitted were insufficient.

He took the case to the Colorado Supreme Court, which asked that the lower court take another look, and sure enough, Frazier learned that his votes would be counted.

“In this race, we have businessmen, we have military veterans, we have local government representatives. I’m the only guy who brings all those things together,” Frazier said.

In addition to operating his consulting company, Frazier Global Strategies – which boasts, “Excellence. Everywhere” – Frazier has also worked for communications companies and defense contractors. He spent time in the Navy working in intelligence.

He has a reputation as being someone who can work with members of the other party. In fact, Frazier forged a lasting friendship with James Mejia, a Democrat, who once ran for mayor of Denver and sat alongside Frazier as commentators for 9NEWS in Denver.

“If he can make it out of the primary, I think he’ll be formidable,” Mejia said. “I wouldn’t make too steep a bet against him, if he can make it through a primary.

“We agreed more than we disagreed, of which is good for a general, but probably not good for a primary.”

The dynamics of the U.S. Senate race have been difficult to overcome, especially for a moderate Republican candidate.

Bennet is stacked with cash, at least $7.6 million in the bank, and the race has been overshadowed by national politics.

Frazier acknowledged that it can be frustrating, surmising, “We certainly spend a lot of time talking about (Donald) Trump instead of issues that Coloradans really care about.”


Ryan Frazier

Age: 38.

Residence: Stapleton.

Education: Undergraduate Columbia College, graduate degree from Regis University.

Political background: Two terms on the Aurora City Council; Unsuccessful run against U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat, in the 7th Congressional District in 2010; Unsuccessful bid for Aurora mayor in 2011.

Occupation: Consultant.

Family: Divorced; three children.

Top endorsements: Business Leader Jerry Natividad, state Rep. Don Coram, R-Montrose, former Larimer County Treasurer Myrna Rodenberg, The Durango Herald, The Cortez Journal.

Funding: Received $352,181, according to latest filings with FEC.

Presidential preference: Never endorsed a candidate before Donald Trump became presumptive nominee; now supports Trump as the Republican nominee: “I expect better of Donald Trump. I want to give him time to show that he’s ready to lead this country.”

On Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland: “I don’t believe that the environment, or the temperament, of the current politics will allow for this process to really unfold in a way in which I believe is appropriate to make a decision of this magnitude.”

On Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet: “Michael Bennet has never been in touch with Colorado. Look at his voting record on Iran, on Obamacare, on allowing detainees to be transferred from Guantanamo Bay to U.S. soil.”

On primary opponents: “In this race we have businessmen, we have military veterans, we have local government representatives. I’m the only guy who brings all those things together.”

Biggest issue: “Jobs. We are at a point in our country where we have more people in poverty ... and we have less people working who could be working.”

On rural Colorado: “Rural Colorado has been increasingly forgotten by Washington, D.C. I would include Michael Bennet amongst that group. ... We have a federal government that continues to over reach.”

On marijuana: Would fight to preserve legalization, adding, “The people of Colorado have spoken.”

On gun control: “I’m going to fight for our Second Amendment rights. Last I checked, law-abiding citizens aren’t the problem.”

On abortion: Opposes abortion; opposed personhood initiatives, which would assign constitutional rights to the unborn, thereby banning abortion in all cases.

On immigration: “We have to fix our immigration system. It starts with, first we secure our borders. Only after we’ve gotten a real handle on the enforcement and security side of our immigration equation can we even begin to address needed changes to our work-visa program.”

On health care reform: “I’ve heard story after story of rising health care costs. We have to replace Obamacare with a set of consumer-driven solutions.”

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