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U.S. Senate primary: Robert Blaha guarantees action

Self-funds campaign to tune of $1 million

DENVER – Republican U.S. Senate candidate Robert Blaha has a product guarantee.

The product is himself. The guarantee – if he doesn’t cut the federal deficit by 50 percent, reduce illegal immigration by 50 percent and bring tax reforms, including a repeal of the estate tax, then he would not run for a second term.

“The problem with politicians is all they do is talk, they’re not willing to be held accountable to anything, so if you can find a way to put some accountability into what you’re doing ... that’s how we came up with the product guarantee,” said the 61-year-old Colorado Springs businessman.

Blaha’s story is one of great business success, after growing up in Iowa and attending the University of Iowa on a football scholarship.

After holding senior management positions with four major corporations, including Ford Motor Co., Blaha moved to Colorado Springs. He was 37.

He co-founded Integrity Bank & Trust, where he serves as vice chairman of its board. In 1993, Blaha founded Human Capital Associates, a consulting firm.

His successes have allowed him to make a $1 million investment into his campaign.

“We put a major down payment into a new product, and the product was this campaign, and then we said to people, after we prove ourself ... we want everybody to pony up,” Blaha said.

But it hasn’t been all success for Blaha.

Some of his business pursuits have failed, and he ran unsuccessfully against U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn in the 5th Congressional District’s Republican primary in 2012.

“You’re going to have failures,” Blaha said. “A failure will either define who you are, or it will refine who you are – there’s not a third choice.”

Those who know him say Blaha is a man who rarely hesitates and takes decisive actions.

“This guy, when he puts his mind to something, he gets it done, he makes it happen,” said John Bolin, who has known Blaha for 20 years. “He’s the kind of guy where when he says it, he means it, and he stands by his word.”

Democrats, however, say the words Blaha uses aren’t always the best choice. He often takes a blunt approach, and has been compared to Donald Trump on numerous occasions. While Blaha first endorsed Ted Cruz for president, he has ultimately come around to backing Trump.

Those on the left fear that Blaha would support prohibiting foreign Muslims from entering the United States.

“Instead of focusing on real policy solutions, Blaha is adding to the outlandish, offensive, prejudiced rhetoric that is antithetical to our values as a nation,” said Chris Meagher, a spokesman for the Colorado Democratic Party.

Blaha acknowledges his larger-than-life personality. When he kicked off his campaign in January, Blaha sent bobbleheads of U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet to newsrooms across the state, suggesting that Bennet is one of the “chief bobbleheads in the circus” that is the U.S. Senate.

Blaha is competing against four other Republicans in the June 28 primary to oust Bennet this November.

Blaha had a bit of a head start, beating other candidates to television ads, with his first ad featuring a plumber failing to fix a broken toilet and a doctor who shoves his fist up a patient’s behind.

“We’re running as an alternative to the permanent political class,” Blaha said. “I’m a Republican, I’m not a never Trump. You’re either a Republican, or not.”


Robert Blaha

Age: 61

Residence: Northern El Paso County.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Iowa.

Political background: Unsuccessful run against U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn in the 5th Congressional District’s 2012 Republican primary.

Occupation: Investor, business consultant.

Family: Wife, Susan; seven children; several grandchildren.

Top endorsements: Family Research Council Action; state Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton, a former U.S. Senate candidate who failed to advance out of the state convention this year.

Funding: Started with a $1 million investment in his own campaign.

Presidential preference: Ted Cruz; now supports Donald Trump.

On Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland: “I would hope that as Republicans, as conservatives, that we could get somebody who is much more out of the (former Supreme Court Justice Antonin) Scalia mold than what we are seeing.”

On Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet: “He’s too extreme. His voting record is indefensible.”

On primary opponents: “Most of them are either career politicians, or people looking for a job.”

Biggest issue: “TBD – taxes, borders, debt and deficit – TBD. Everybody has a to-be-done list. I’ve got a to-be-done list for America.”

On rural Colorado: “If you’re going to represent Colorado, you’ve got to get out and listen to people.”

On marijuana: Would defend legalization in Colorado, adding, “I’m a 10th Amendment guy. Right, wrong or indifferent, agree or disagree, you’re either a 10th Amendment supporter of you’re not.”

The 10th Amendment gives powers to the states.

On gun control: “I’m a strong Second Amendment advocate, we have a shooting range at our house.”

On abortion: Pro-life; did not support personhood initiatives, which would assign constitutional rights to the unborn, thereby banning abortion in all situations.

Immigration: “We need to first and foremost follow our existing laws. As far as securing the border ... you either have borders or you don’t.”

On health care reform: In addition to repealing the Affordable Care Act, “I would allow the 50 states ... to compete, and I would allow you and I to take our plan from wherever it is to wherever we go.”

On raising the federal minimum wage: Opposes raising the wage, saying, “I would like to see us go forward to a model that enables people to get the basic skills necessary to get that next best job.”

How to vote

Ballots were mailed last week to those affiliated with a party. Unaffiliated voters can affiliate with a party anytime through primary election day on June 28. However, if they wish to receive a mailed ballot, they must affiliate by June 20.

Completed ballots must be received by 7 p.m. June 28, and they can be returned by mail or dropped off at 24-hour drop boxes at:

La Plata County Clerk & Recorder, 98 Everett St., Suite C, Durango.

Bayfield Town Hall, 1199 Bayfield Parkway, Bayfield.

La Plata County Administration Building, 1101 East Second Ave., Durango.

For additional information about the ballot, places to vote in person or drop off ballots during limited hours, visit



The Herald’s election coverage will continue this week with stories on all GOP U.S. Senate candidates, and the Republican races in the 3rd Congressional District and State Board of Education. Coverage of

last week’s debate

between the Democratic candidates in the District Attorney contest can be found at durangoherald.com.