Colorado’s State Senate 21-14 Dem Majority could switch with four probable GOP pickups –writes Ben Degrow at Mt Virtus. Ben’s order of likelihood: Senate District 6, 16, 20, and 11. Much of the following analysis is mine and not necessarily written by Ben.
1. SD 6- Durango, Montrose. Rep. Ellen Roberts or conservative upstart Dean Boehler will oust appointed “Sen. One-year,” Bruce Whitehead. 2. SD 16 – Tim Leonard of Evergreen topped all GOP state Senate candidates in fundraising, faces MIA primary opposition from career DA Mark Hurlbert of Breckenridge, and will confront a relatively unknown lib Dem County Commissioner from tiny Gilpin County, Jeanne Nicholson, in the general.
3. SD 20 in Jefferson County showcases John Odom sitting on $50k with no primary and two Dems without much dinero facing off. 4. SD 11 in Colorado Springs is fortunate to have gained Owen Hill as a bright young talent, with a jaw dropping resume, and a campaign that just keeps gaining momentum. Owen was second in fundraising, and has close to $30k in the bank. Hill’s donations came from over 200 contributors. He’s poised to oust Dem disaster, Maj. Leader John Morse. Hill’s Airforce and strategic planning background will be put to the test once Dem war chest deployed.
Ben Degrow has lots of links and more analysis of these and all the other state Senate races. Visualize 18-17 GOP majority after November. A must read.
Colo. House Analysis – Ben Degrow predicts “tiny edge” for GOP House Majority. Ben analyzes every race and notes the GOP is going for the gusto in 64 out of 65 house districts. I’m a tiny bit more bullish than my seasoned and savvy colleague. Two of my personal newcomer favorites, who face tough Dem incumbents, have been using their private sector backgrounds to work hard and connect with all sorts of voters that in the past might have gone knee-jerk Dem. So I will give an edge, with no modifier about how big the edge is, to Robert Ramirez in north Jeffco’s HD 29 and Danny Stroud in Denver’s HD Number 1. I interviewed Ramirez in April and look forward to publishing an interview with smart, creative and articulate Danny Stroud soon. Both are limited government, pro-Constitution conservatives who’ve signed the CUT pledge.
Frazier-Sias Cong. Dist. 7 Campaign Gets Testy – Businessword’s Don Johnson and Ben Degrow have been all over this one. First it was Lang Sias supporters whining about Ryan Frazier missing a chunk of Aurora City Council meetings. Yawn.
If Frazier had an obsessive attendance record we should be concerned both about his intelligence and his sanity. Don Johnson notes that Frazier supporters could point to Sias’ day job as a FedEx pilot that keeps him out of town a couple of weeks a month. That could certainly impede a full-time Congressional campaign against Dem incumbent Ed Perlmutter.
Then there’s Bob Beauprez’s enigmatic endorsement of Sias. Ben Degrow is all over this one (are these guys playing tag team?). Don Johnson notes that Sias may be milking the defamatory smear email he received for a heck of a lot more than it’s worth. Maybe even milking it so much as to imply a linkage to the Frazier campaign. Finally, Ben Degrow has some great coverage of Lang Sias’ upcoming DC fundraiser with guest of honor, John McCain.
Norton Gets Palin “Pink Elephant” Endorsement (sort of); Buck’s Budgets Praised by Weld Commissioners – Curtis Hubbard at The Spot cited a WSJ Washington Wire piece where Palin “tiptoes” into the Colorado U.S. Senate race by including Jane Norton among her herd of pink elephants. “Look out, Washington,” Palin said. “There’s a whole stampede of pink elephants” coming this November. Other GOP women Palin mentioned include California’s Carly Fiorini who will be taking on a vulnerable Barbara Boxer should Fiorini win the primary. Sarah Palin will be speaking in Denver on May 22. Norton will be free to attend Palin’s speech, as she is skipping the state assembly taking place the same day, and will instead petition her way onto the primary ballot.
[Breaking News: Allison Sherry at The Spot reports late 5-17 Ken Buck said Sarah Palin speaking during the Assembly would be “rude.” Updated: 5-18 – The DP’s Chuck Plunkett reports Palin speech in the works since last November, long before Norton’s bid to skip the assembly, and not in the least bit “rude.” Allison Sherry also has a new and expanded piece on the topic. Finally, Allison Sherry reports new poll numbers showing narrowing gap between Buck and Norton. One thing beyond debate, Allison Sherry is one busy reporter.
Was it an endorsement? Don Johnson thinks it’s “pretty close,” and so do I given the timing of Palin’s stopover in Colorado.
Norton’s GOP Senate rival, Weld County DA Ken Buck, got an endorsement of sorts of his own this past week – from Weld County’s Commissioners. A little background. In March, I did some work collecting the DA budgets of Ken Buck and Mark Hurlbert, and observed that Hurlbert’s had gone up every year, including during the recession, yet case filings had gone down as a result of reduced population and visitor numbers in the mountain resort counties in Hurlbert’s district.
Don Johnson noted, based on my article and the links to the budgets, that Buck’s budgets had increased too and wondered why. I had Hurlbert’s case filing data, but not Buck’s. Shortly thereafter, Don interviewed Ken Buck and also did his own analysis of Buck’s budgets. Johnson concluded they seemed reasonable given the population increases. He also concluded Buck seemed to spend the funds wisely in succesful efforts to reduce crime.
Nevertheless, the Norton campaign still tried to use the raw budget data as some evidence that Buck was not a fiscal conservative. Now, according to The Spot, the Weld County Commissioners have publicly pointed out the same thing Don Johnson had already concluded.
DA Hurlbert’s Latest Big Government Legal Folly Garner’s National Audience for Ex-Pat Ex-Lawyer – Reason Magazine’s Radley Balko posted our story on Hurlbert’s novel felony criminal law incursion on cheating in middle-aged, female, amateur mountain bike racing, at his popular blog, The Agitator. Radley’s link, as well as links from many other blogs, including Paterrico and Colorado mountain biking blogs, provided around 6,000 reads for this story. Even the normally Hurlbert-compliant Denver Post published an editorial this past weekend criticising Hurlbert.
Hurlbert’s gratuitous and politically tone-deaf legal misadventure followed his taking two straight weeks off out-of-state in April, right before the fundraising deadline. Now, even the really compliant hometown Summit Daily has reported on Hurlbert’s weak campaign fundraising (which was reported here first, in more detail). Read Hurlbert’s own quotes and see how much they sound like something Bill Ritter would say.