Earlier this week, Rep. Mark Udall (CO-02) filed paperwork to form a new Senate election committee, the first step in his run for the Senate in 2008.
From the hardworking ColoradoConfidential:
Udall raised $334,882 for his congressional campaign in the first quarter of 2007, all of which is transferrable into a campaign for Senate. More importantly, Udall surpassed $1.5 million ($1,537,686) in cash on hand. In the 2004 Senate race, Democrat Ken Salazar spent roughly $10 million in order to defeat Republican Pete Coors, and Udall says that while his campaign team is still looking at an exact projection, that number will be the minimum needed to win in 2008.
So good news from Colorado. More on the flip.
Colorado's Senate seat has been described by many as one of the top potential Democratic pickups available in 2008. This is especially the case since the current seat-holder, Senator Wayne Do-Nothing Allard, has decided to not run in 2008. This is no doubt due to the fact that Sen. Allard has read the writing on the wall: Republicans lost big-time in 2006 nationwide, and Colorado Democrats reclaimed the state House and Senate in 2004 and then the Governor's mansion in 2006. The Republican brand has taken a wallop out in the West recently, as they've strayed from more Libertarian-style messages while they've adopted theocon and neocon attitudes.
Colorado Republicans have continued their chest-puffing while losing races up and down the ticket, but the truer state of their party is evident in that no Republican successor for CO-Sen has yet announced, despite the large sums of money and machinery they would likely receive from the NRSC and RNC. While the fight for the Senate seat will likely be expensive and bitter, I just don't see a Republican winning this time around. There are too many negatives following them around as they continue to back Bush's insane policies. Who might be in? Former 4th CD Rep. Bob Schaffer, current CO AG John Suthers, and Bentley Rayburn (ran for CO-05 in 2006; Doug Lamborn won the race) might be interested.
Having had Sen. Allard "represent" me since 1996, I wanted him to run for re-election against Rep. Udall. Again, I recognize the race would have been long and nasty, but I would have loved seeing Allard's ideology get flung back in his face come election day. Alas, that scenario looks mighty unlikely to come to pass.
So more about Rep. Udall. I consider him to be more progressive than moderate: he's been effective and consistent fighting for environmental and science issues. He voted to allow embryonic stem cell research. He voted against the awful bankruptcy bill, and against the so-called "partial-birth" abortion bill of 2003 that the Supreme Court ruled on yesterday. Rep. Udall voted against implementing the Bush-Cheney national energy policy, and voted to raise CAFE standards and incentives for alternative fuels. He voted against CAFTA and against restricting "frivolous lawsuits". (These and other votes' information.)
The only small downside to this is the expected cost of the race. Again, Colorado Confidential has the relevant information:
"I’ve heard numbers anywhere from $10-15 million," said Udall, who expressed confidence that he was on a good fundraising pace. "But I’m in the process of putting this campaign together. It’s really like starting a business – you put your budget together and your team together, and then we’ll have a firmer idea of what we think it’s going to cost."
That's a whole lotta' money. But Rep. Udall is worth it. He's definitely worth it when you consider who he's replacing (a Bush lackey), and making sure Democrats have one more vote in the 111th Congress. Given Republicans continued attachment to their failed ideologies, we need all the votes we can get.
I haven't seen any online infrastructure for his race yet. I'll share that when I see it. There is also news today about the 2008 CO-02 race; I'll post about that tomorrow.