On Aug. 10, Centennial State voters will take to the polls to determine who will represent the Republican Party on the ballot in November.

GOP voters will choose between Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck and Lt. Governor Jane Norton, two candidates will relatively similar positions on key issues.

The most recent Rasmussen Reports survey indicates that Ken Buck gives the GOP a better pick-up opportunity in the general election than Jane Norton, regardless of Buck’s opponent. On the Dem side, Senate appointee Michael Bennet faces a primary challenge from former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff.

Of course the latest Rasmussen survey does not account for Buck’s recent missteps concerning high heels and Tea Party birthers.

While it is not our place to tell Colorado voters which candidate to pick in the upcoming primary, Republicans across the country are counting on them to make a wise choice not just for this year, but one that will be a conservative champion for the next six years.

In all likelihood, the GOP will not retake the Senate this fall. Like NRSC Chairman John Cornyn, we believe that it will take the GOP at least two cycles to retake the upper chamber of the U.S. Congress. Therefore, Republicans across the country need to select Senate candidates who will not succumb to the wiles of Beltway insiders, but respect the conservative principles that many in the Senate grow distant from after they have been elected to office.

We think that Ken Buck has what it takes to make a long-term difference in Washington. Even Buck openly admits that he isn’t going to Washington to attend to politics as usual. According to Buck:

“There is a conservative movement within the Republican Party that distinguishes a lot of us, and we recognize that Republicans are a big part of the problem. . . . I don’t have any deep friends in Washington now, and in six years I won’t have any friends.”

Like many Republican candidates seeking office this year, Buck has made illegal immigration a focal point of his campaign. Ironically, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, a champion of border enforcement, recently endorsed Norton over Buck. Still northern Colorado’s left-leaning Greeley Tribune, who backed Buck, made the point that Buck is the stronger candidate on the issue of illegal immigration:

“While we have often disagreed with Buck’s hard-line stance on illegal immigration, we do believe he is well-equipped to get the issue moving in Washington. His diligence in prosecuting illegal immigrants caught in criminal acts, coupled with his dedication to keeping the issue in the forefront of his campaign, gives us hope that he might actually be able to push federal, comprehensive immigration reform if elected, something no one else in Washington has accomplished successfully.”

Buck’s tenacity as a prosecutor leads us to believe that not only will he serve the interests of Colorado residents, but expand a team that could use more members in the U.S. Senate, conservatives who stand by their principles beyond Election Day.

Ford O’Connell and Steve Pearson are the co-founders of ProjectVirginia and CivicForumPAC