BACK TO THE SENATE
Teller was never far removed from Colorado politics while he served in Arthur's cabinet. His split with Hill worsened as time passed, and it became even more paramount that Henry retain and buttress his state political foundation.
To complicate matters, Colorado politics boiled throughout these years as Leadville money and millionaires raced onto the scene, joining the mining men who already thirsted for political office. Teller's appointment as secretary of the interior set off the first scramble for his replacement as senator that throughout 1882 alternately fascinated and appalled Coloradans, as discussed earlier. Pueblo's George Chilcott, a longtime Republican from politically weak southern Colorado, gained the initial advantage when Governor Frederick Pitkin appointed him to fill the Senate vacancy until the legislature met in January 1883. Chilcott had too slight a base and too little money, so the advantage soon vanished. Almost everybody who was anybody decided he would make a fine U.S. senator—Thomas Bowen, Horace Tabor, John Routt, Frederick Pitkin, Henry Wolcott, William Hamill, and Jerome Chaffee. Republicans all, Democrats did not have a chance. The Rocky Mountain News guessed that there were over 150 candidates!
Denver's Inter-Ocean warned its readers that the Senate seat might become a plaything of the “Bonanza Kings”: “Is Colorado to make these qualifications [ability and brains] a secondary consideration, and to make bonanzas the standard of fitness?” Later in the campaign the editor wondered