Ever since he won the Republican primary and became the official GOP nominee for an open seat in the Colorado state legislature, Gordon Klingenschmitt has proven himself to be a complete embarrassment to his party as party officials and fellow Republicans have repeatedly denounced him.
The state GOP has quickly learned that having a radical Religious Right activist and anti-gay exorcist as its candidate is creating nothing but headaches since Klingenschmitt seems to have no idea what he is doing, as he demonstrated once again when he recently told local residents who asked to meet with him to discuss his rabidly anti-gay views that he would not do so until after the election and even then, he’d only be willing to meet after screening them because he fears for this safety:
Gordon Klingenschmitt, a Colorado Springs state House candidate who has gotten attention from making controversial statements, told three members of the Colorado Springs lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community he would only meet with them after the election and only if his “security staff” screened the attendees first to determine whether it would be a “safe meeting.”
“Sadly, I’ve received threats from people who hate religious freedom, and I wonder if the following video is representative of the behavior of some people with whom you are inviting me to meet?” Klingenschmitt wrote in an email.
The video attached is of Anita Bryant – the singer who vocally opposed LGBT rights in the ’70s – getting a pie thrown in her face during a live television interview nearly four decades ago.
Steve Durham, a Republican activist and lobbyist, said the El Paso County Republican Executive Director Daniel Cole was included in the exchange and sent a response to Klingenschmitt rebuking him.
“The response from the party was that Mr. Klingenschmitt’s email was inappropriate and uncalled for and that he should chose his words more carefully,” Durham said. “There was a note of pretty strong disapproval.”
Yet despite his radical record, it looks like the state Republican party can expect to have him around for the foreseeable future.
As Klingenschmitt barrels along with a huge fundraising advantage, he is insisting that his opponent is the real extremist:
As of Sept. 29, Klingenschmitt has spent more than $42,079, compared with Fornander’s $827, according to the secretary of state.
Secretary of state voter registration statistics as of Oct. 1 show 18,296 registered Republicans, 7,791 registered Democrats and 14,061 unaffiliated voters in the district.
Klingenschmitt, an Air Force Academy graduate, believes his views represent the district, which includes eastern Colorado Springs and Peterson Air Force Base.
He believes local control in education, lower taxes and less regulation for businesses and a protection of constitutional rights are the biggest issues in the upcoming election.
“My opponent is far more extreme on the left than I am in the center right,” Klingenschmitt said.