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Please begin with an informative title:

So Senator Mark Udall had an impressive fundraising quarter:


Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., raised $1.5 million in the first quarter of 2013 and has $2.5 million in the bank to kick off his re-election campaign in 2014.

On paper, the re-election race should worry Senate Democrats: Colorado is a competitive state, and in recent cycles national parties have dumped millions into races there.

But Udall’s supporters list his strong fundraising as one of the reasons the first-term senator does not top this cycle’s list of the most competitive races. More importantly, Udall has yet to field a serious GOP challenger. - Roll Call, 4/1/13

But Colorado GOP Chairman Ryan Call isn't impressed and even thinks Udall's great quarter is a sign of weakness:


“It’s pretty typical for an incumbent senator, especially for one with such close ties to labor and radical environmental causes,” Call told The Colorado Statesman this week. “It also speaks to how much time and effort he is putting into fundraising, because he is worried. We certainly believe Mark Udall is vulnerable. Mark Udall believes Mark Udall is vulnerable — that’s why he’s raising so much money, because he can’t stand on his own record.”

While the 2014 race hasn’t made the prognosticators’ rankings of the most competitive Senate contests, Udall backers like to point out that Colorado is the only swing state without an announced challenger. But Call countered that’s because potential candidates are “weighing the challenges associated with (a run) as well as the opportunities” and said that a candidate or candidate should emerge by summer.

“The Republican Party of Colorado does have a number of top-level candidates presently kicking the tires, determining whether they have the ability to build the statewide organization and fundraising that will be required,” Call said. “I am very confident one or more Republican candidates will make an announcement in the next two to three months. I’m very confident the Republican Party of Colorado will field a top-notch, national-caliber candidate.” - The Statesman, 4/5/13

So pulling in a little over one million in the first fundraising quarter a year before re-election is a sign of weakness?  Really?  Pretty weak comeback there, Colorado GOP.  You know what else sounds weak?  The Colorado GOP bench for the 2014 Senate race:
UNITED STATES ? DECEMBER 19: Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., speaks during a press conference on Monday, Dec. 19, 2011, of Republican freshmen members of Congress to oppose the two-month payroll tax extension bill passed by the Senate over the weekend.(Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Republicans said to be considering a Senate run include former U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez, state Republican Party vice chairman Don Ytterberg and state Sens. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango, and Ted Harvey, R-Highlands Ranch. Former U.S. Rep. Bob Schaffer — who lost his last Senate run to Udall in 2008 — has also been touted as a possible top-of-the-ticket candidate by prominent Republicans. Others point to U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, serving his second term in the heavily Republican 4th Congressional District, though he has given no indication he plans on handing off his safe House seat anytime soon. - The Colorado Statesman, 4/5/13
Plus Udall's been ready for the Colorado GOP ever since he was first elected back in 2008.  Acting Campaign Manager, Michael Sozan, sheds some light:


DENVER,COLORADO-March 5, 2004-U.S. Representative Mark Udall (D-Colorado) &nbsp;addresses The Denver Forum at a luncheon held at the Oxford Hotel in downtown Denver on Friday. Rep. Udall is considerating being a candidate for U. S. Senate this fall. (DENVER POST PHOTO BY LYN ALWEIS)
The Colorado Democrat’s first quarter adds to his previous four years of fundraising for more than $2.5 million in cash on hand, Sozan said in a telephone interview Monday. The final number will be available next week.

“The first quarter is one of the most important during a campaign cycle,” said Sozan, who is also Udall’s chief of staff. Sozan will double as campaign manager in his off time until one has been selected.

Udall has been fundraising for a second term since he was elected to the Senate in 2008, Sozan said, but “kicked into hyper-drive” after the November elections.

“He’s always been fundraising to some extent,” Sozan said.

Donors have been a mix of large and small, he said, including “a number of prominent businesspeople in Colorado” who are Republicans or politically unaffiliated.

“He’s really kind of reaching out across the full spectrum,” Sozan said.

The campaign expects to raise at least another million in the second quarter of 2013, he said. - Durango Herald, 4/2/13

Udall's proven to be an effective Senator and has been praised for his work in the Senate, especially in terms of environmental and conservation issues:


The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) will recognize leaders in conservation during their fourth-annual Awards Gala in Washington, DC on May 15, 2013. This year's honorees include Senator Susan Collins of Maine, Senator Mark Udall of Colorado, and Pamela Underhill , retired Superintendent of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Awards will be presented by Jim Cantore , the Weather Channel's Meteorologist and Storm Tracker. All proceeds will benefit the ATC.

Senator Collins and Senator Udall have been nominated to receive the ATC's Congressional Leadership Award. Senator Collins is being honored for her long history of supporting efforts to protect and preserve America's parks, greenways, and forests, through her support of the Forest Legacy Program and the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

Senator Udall is being honored for spearheading numerous programs and legislative initiatives designed to protect our precious landscapes across the U.S. He is a strong supporter of the LWCF, National Park Service (NPS), and the U.S. Forest Service.

Underhill is being honored with the Vanguard Award for acquiring hundreds of land tracts to protect the A.T., creating a lasting legacy of land conservation and a cooperative management system that will steward the lands acquired for generations to come. - PR Newswire, 4/5/13

Plus having Udall's colleague, Senator Michael Bennet (D. CO) as Chairman of the DSCC might be a factor in making some Republicans a little hesitant about wanting to challenge Udall.  Either way, big oil and right-wing groups from Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers will certainly spend big to get rid of Udall because of his environmental record.  If you'd like to donate Udall's re-election campaign, you can do so here:

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Originally posted to pdc on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 07:38 PM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Hawks, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, and Colorado COmmunity.

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