Colorado GOP Rivals Debate Over 'Real Insider' Former Colorado Lt. Gov. Jane Norton was the GOP's anointed candidate for U.S. Senate, but now she's struggling against Tea Party-backed Ken Buck. While the two are nearly identical on policy issues, Norton is fighting against the view of Buck as a political outsider.
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Colorado GOP Rivals Debate Over 'Real Insider'

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Colorado GOP Rivals Debate Over 'Real Insider'

Colorado GOP Rivals Debate Over 'Real Insider'

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D: NPR's Jeff Brady reports from Denver on what has become a GOP slugfest.

JEFF BRADY: In recent months, another candidate without Norton's advantages is making a strong showing. Local District Attorney Ken Buck is appealing to the GOP faithful, often at Tea Party events like this one recently in a school gymnasium, southeast of Denver.

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BRADY: Outside the meeting, he points to President Obama's health care overhaul.

KEN BUCK: People distrust 2,900-page bills. They think there are things being hidden and they're right. There are things being hidden in 2,900-page bills.

BRADY: Buck knows how to talk to Tea Party activists. Home-school mom Debbie Chaves says she's voting for Buck because he seems honest.

DEBBIE CHAVES: That's what people want. They want somebody that's one of us, not somebody that is chosen by an establishment that is trained to behave a certain way.

BRADY: Here's Norton recently on Colorado Public Radio.

JANE NORTON: He has been a government attorney since 1988. He's been in the system. His wife was the vice chairman of the Republican Party for eight years.

BRADY: Unidentified Woman: Yet Jane Norton supported the largest tax hike in Colorado history, costing us billions.

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BRADY: Whether or not it's true, it remains a hot-button topic for conservative Republicans. Norton responded with ads that demonstrates just how nasty this race has become. The latest includes a comment Buck recently made.

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BUCK: Why should you vote for me? Because I do not wear high heels.

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NORTON: Play that again.

BUCK: Why should you vote for me? Because I do not wear high heels.

BRADY: Polls show the race between Norton and Buck is close. But pollster Floyd Ciruli warns it could be difficult to get an accurate picture of the electorate before the August 10 primary.

FLOYD CIRULI: August 10th, most people are on vacation, they're distracted, including partisans, so that a few hundred thousand Republicans out of more than a million registered Republicans will turn out and decide this issue.

BRADY: Jeff Brady, NPR News, Denver.

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