Pizza baron and former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain endorsed political outsider Steve Laffey to replace Rep. Cory Gardner in Colorado’s 4th Congressional District.
Gardner is not seeking re-election in order to challenge Democrat Mark Udall for his U.S. Senate seat.
Laffey, the former mayor of Cranston, R.I., is facing a slate of far-better-known fellow Republicans for the GOP nomination. Also running are Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer and state Sen. Scott Renfroe.
But Laffey is using his outsider status — and Cain’s — as positives for his campaign.
“[Laffey and Cain] do not seek the Republican insiders’ stamps of approval, and that makes them both outsiders to the Washington elite,” read a press release announcing Cain’s endorsement.
“Like Steve, Herman Cain hasn’t been approved by the Washington establishment — he’s his own guy,” said Laffey campaign spokeswoman Amy Efaw in comments to the Denver Post. “Neither one of them are here to make friends with either the Democrats or the Republicans — they’re here to fix problems.”
Cain has already recorded a robo-call for Laffey for residents in the district and on Monday, the men will hold a “telephone town hall” to discuss Laffey’s platform. That platform is largely about how to reform Washington, D.C.’s financial problems, a concern he has in common with Cain.
Cain became famous during Republican presidential debates for his “9-9-9” economic plan, which would institute a nine percent corporate income tax, a nine percent national sales tax and a nine percent personal income tax. Cain — the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza — was a popular candidate until he suspended his campaign amid allegations of sexual harassment and having a long-term affair.
Cain joins former presidential candidate Mitt Romney in endorsing Colorado candidates. Romney has thrown his support behind Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez and 6th Congressional District candidate Rep. Mike Coffman.
The 4th Congressional District roughly covers Colorado’s eastern third from Wyoming to New Mexico and is considered to be a conservative stronghold. Gardner won the district by nearly 60 percent in the 2012 election.
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