Denver Young Dems president's take on the Gov's race
The Denver Young Dems just recieved this email from DYD President Andrew Luxen.
Yesterday afternoon, with the Rutt Bridges bombshell announcement that he
was withdrawing from the race for governor, everything changed. This, the
biggest political news of the cycle thus far, means that there is only one
declared Democrat for governor and the otherwise narrow field has suddenly
Why should you care?
You should care because the people who climb into the race now are likely to
be in for the long haul. That means that if state Senate President Joan
Fitz-Gerald, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper or U.S. Senator Ken Salazar
decide to jump in, they most likely will defer to one another and one will
become the instant favorite to win the August 2006 Democratic primary.
Currently, former Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter is the other
announced Democratic candidate.
So who's it going to be?
The blogs and political gossip is a flurry with who should run, who
shouldn't and why. Here's my take:
SEN. FITZ-GERALD: (http://www.thismatters.org/FitzGeraldInfo.html)
YES RUN: A fiery and devoted liberal, she has the tenacity to lead across
the aisle and thoroughly understands Colorado. Plus, she helped engineer
the Dems takeover of the state House and Senate in 2004.
NO RUN: Some people dislike her aggressive approach and think she should
run for U.S. Rep. Mark Udall's CD2 seat in 2008 when Mr. Udall runs for U.S.
Senate. Plus, Ms. Fitz-Gerald would likely have to resign her Senate
presidency to run, if not her seat itself. Her current term is up in 2006
and she is eligible to run for one additional state Senate term.
MAYOR HICKENLOOPER: (http://www.drafthick.com)
YES RUN: With over 90% approval ratings, two separate, major ballot measure
victories (1A and FastTracks) and the sort of populist appeal that William
Jennings Bryan only dreamed of, Mr. Hickenlooper is the rockstar of Colorado
Democratic politics. Plus, he wins crossover votes because of his extensive
NO RUN: He has only been the Denver mayor for two years and held no previous
political office. Mr. Hickenlooper has stated that he is content with his
current job and couldn't imagine a better one. Also, it seems that his
wife isn't too keen on the idea of a statewide race.
U.S. SENATOR SALAZAR: (http://salazar.senate.gov)
YES RUN: Mr. Salazar is a proven winner statewide. He won handily in a
state that went to Mr. Bush in 2004, won two terms as Colorado attorney
general statewide and is beloved on the West Slope. If he won, he would get
to appoint his successor to the Senate seat for two years, until a special
election could be held in 2008 (two state-wide U.S. Senate races at once?!).
That keeps the seat in Dem hands.
NO RUN: He just got a new job as senator. Why would he want to come back
and do another statewide race so soon, when he hasn't had a real opportunity
to effect change for Colorado in DC?
MR. RITTER: (http://www.hhlaw.com/site/showbio.aspx?Show=7192)
YES RUN: His long experience as a Denver prosecutor and early campaigning
both work in Mr. Ritter’s favor. He has been riding the summer county fair
circuit and meeting people across the state.
NO RUN: Personally, he is anti-choice, which he says won’t impact any
decisions he would make as governor. The left in Colorado would likely run
a candidate further to the left than Mr. Ritter, making it tough for him to
emerge victorious from a Democratic primary. Plus, he may have little name
recognition outside of Denver.
Thanks for reading,
Denver Young Democrats