It's time to start thinking about these things. There will be five major races in our home state next fall: House districts 7, 5, 4, and 3, and of course the gubernatorial race.
CO-7: Adams county and parts of Jefferson including Westminster and Avrada. With Beauprez (R) retiring to run for governor, and this district only leaning slightly republican (went to Beauprez by 5 pts in '04), it's anybodys race right now. The main contender on the republican side looks to be Rick O'Donnell, currently director of the Colorado commission on Higher Education. In the D column, are Ed pearlmutter, the former lawyer (he went to CU Law, Al), and Peggy Lamm, former director of the state commission on higher education and chair of last years investigation of the CU athletic program.
CO-5: In the mountains south of denver, including Park, Lake, Chaffee, Fremont Teller, and El Paso counties. This is a pretty strongly republican district (Hefley won by 70% in '04), so probably not at all competitive. I am mostly interested because I want to see whether Hefley will retire. The only democratic contender at this point is Jay Fawcett, an Air Force veteran and graduate of/former instructor at the AFA. The republicans include the incumbent Joel Hefley who continues to deny rumors that he will retire. Waiting in the wings to replace him is an army of would-be freshmen including the apparent front-runner Doug Lamborn, a current state senator.
CO-4: All eastern counties and also Larimer and Weld. The republican incumbent Musgrave eked out a 51% win here in '04. Her main R opponent will be Bill Kauffman, a former state rep. The Dem challenger looks to be Angie Paccione, current state rep and Majority Caucus Chair. State Rep Wes McKinley's name is also being thrown around a lot.
CO-3: The western and southwestern parts of the state. John Salazar (D) barely won this heavily republican district. Word on the street is he's keeping his constituents happy. Nonetheless, he'll have some competition from republican Scott Tipton, the mysterious owner of a pottery company in Cortez.
Gov: Owens is of course done. Republican candidates will include Bob Beauprez, former rep Bob McInnis, and DU president Marc Holtzman (hasn't declared candidacy yet). On the blue team will be former Denver DA Bill Ritter. Other names that are being thrown around include former Lt Gov Gail Schoettler, and state senator Joanne Fitz-Gerald. Some names that have been thrown around but who have recently announced there's not a chance in hell are Ken Salazar, John Hickenlooper, and Rutt Bridges. Charlie Cook, Canpaigns & Elections and just about everybody else all predict that the '06 CO gubernatorial race is going to be close.
Let the games begin!
-Ben 22:20 EST |