‘Top Line’: Colorado Senate Candidate — New Face for GOP?

By Caitlin Taylor

May 13, 2009 3:37pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: Ryan Frazier is not a well-known entity in Washington political circles. But that may change soon — and if it does, the Republican Party may have a new face to showcase in 2010 and beyond. Frazier, a 31-year-old African-American city council member from Aurora, Colo., is running for the US Senate next year. He offers youth and diversity to a party that’s lacking in both these days. He’s pitching himself as part of a new generation of Republican leaders — well-suited for the Obama era, even if he’s from the opposing party. "We have something to offer. We have ideas and solutions that can help move this country in a better direction, and so that’s what we’re doing and that’s what my campaign and candidacy represents," Frazier said on ABCNews.com’s "Top Line" Wednesday. "These are amazing, historic times, and that’s why someone like me can actually put myself up for consideration by the voters for Colorado. I like to joke and say, you know, not only did we see the historic election of President Barack Obama, but UTEP went undefeated and the Arizona Cardinals went to the Super Bowl." At this stage, he may be as much of a long shot as the Cardinals were against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Other Republicans with more established bases are likely to get in the primary race — Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck has jumped in, and former Rep. Bob Beauprez is considering one. The National Republican Senatorial Committee isn’t endorsing a candidate, at least not yet. And Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., is running for a full term of his own, after being appointed to fill the last two years of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s term. But Frazier represents an intriguing possibility, as the Republican Party seeks a way forward. "Principles mean something, principles help guide decisions. At the same time, you know, we need to apply, I think, Reagan’s 80-20 Rule," he said. Ronald Reagan’s maxim: Someone who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is your friend, not your enemy. Frazier said: "We’re not going to always agree on everything and we need to understand that, and the bottom line is, we have to help move this country, and in my particular case, Colorado, forward. And that means finding solutions that people care about, whether it’s education, energy, government reform, defense. We need to offer up real ideas." On immigration: "The reality is that what we need is a tactical reform that allows those folks who are currently an opportunity to work here while allowing them first to return home and come back legally. I think that we have to look at reform that would allow us to respect the laws of this country while still understanding and embracing the fact that these folks, most of these folks, are here to do the right thing. They’re here to work." On gay rights: "I do support traditional marriage between a man and a woman. I’m very clear on that. However, I think there are areas where there’s room for reasonableness. You know, that is, when it comes to domestic partnerships, and that’s why I support it, extending employment benefits to domestic partners. It’s about doing what’s right for the employee, and I think these are issues where Republicans can find some common ground to say, you can still preserve the institution of marriage and what that means to the family while also embracing the ability to be tolerant to those who seek another lifestyle in our country, by allowing simple things like access to employment benefits." Watch our interview with Ryan Frazier HERE. Also today, we chatted with Ana Marie Cox of Air America and The Daily Beast about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the debate over torture, the healthcare debate, Watch our interview with Ana Marie Cox HERE.

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