Denver's excellent mayor, John Hickenlooper, only just entered the race for governor of the great state of Colorado. Current Governor Bill Ritter chose not to run for re-election just a couple of months ago.
John's facing his very first fundraising deadline this Sunday night at midnight (MDT).
Boulder County DA Stan Garnett announced only a couple of weeks ago against current Republican Attorney General John Suthers after Suthers filed suit against the federal government to block health care reform. Suthers has a huge war chest, but it's taken him years to accumulate it. He's frankly a terrible fundraiser, and if we can get Stan off the ground quickly, Suthers will have a serious contender.
Current Democratic State Treasurer Cary Kennedy is running for re-election against, among others, George W. Bush's cousin. Really. Walker Stapleton and right-wing frat boy Ali Hasan are both independently wealthy, and they don't have to raise any money to run. They can buy the seat for themselves. Cary really needs your help.
And Colorado's excellent Democratic Secretary of State Bernie Buescher is running against the Republicans go-to lawyer for campaign finance violations and voter suppression. Bernie was targeted, cynically, on election day in 2008 and lost his red-district state Senate seat, despite being quite popular there, because John McCain decided to make a last-minute campaign stop in his district to drive turnout. McCain knew he was going to lose, but figured he could take a couple of Democrats with him. Bernie was appointed to the Secretary of State's office by Governor Ritter to replace Mike Coffman, who resigned to replace Tom Tancredo as one of Colorado's two token wingnuts in the in the US House.
Colorado's campaign finance schedule is odd. In an election year, the first deadline is April 25th. After that, it'll be monthly deadlines through the election. So this is an important one-- we don't know how Scott "McLobbyist" McInnis has been doing on his fundraising, but whatever the number, his cash on hand will be compared directly to Hickenlooper, who has only been raising for a couple of months.
Colorado was ground zero in the nationwide red-to-blue transformation. We took both houses of the legislature in 2004, and also elected a US Congressman and a US Senator, chipping away at the Republican majority even as Bush won the state and the nation. We expanded our majorities in 2006 and 2008, such that Democrats now control the state house, senate, governor's office, 2 US Senate seats, and 5 of 7 US House seats. And Barack Obama won here by 10 points.
But the Republicans are sick of being kicked around, and they have an energized base. They have national money coming in--independent ads in support of Scott McInnis are already running here, already lying about his record. And they're spinning their lies to a populous that doesn't know much about him and are inclined to believe it. It's going to be an interesting year, and given the late start of Hickenlooper and Garnett, we're going to need all the help we can get from around the nation. If you have a few bucks, please chip in before Sunday night!