Rutt Bridges will announce whether he will run for the Democratic nomination to the U.S. Senate (facing incumbent Republican Ben Nighthorse Campbell who is not expected to have any serious primary season opposition) on Sunday.
This software millionaire and Big Horn Center for Public Policy founder and patron would bring big money to the race. But, as I understand the rules, he will have to petition onto the ballot, since he missed the February 22 deadline for running via the caucus system (I don't have a citation for this but have been told by those familiar with the rules that this is the case). To petition onto the ballot, he needs to get 1,500 signatures in each Congressional District in Colorado. This is easy with a little money and support in the 1st and 2nd CDS (Denver and Boulder). It is not so easy in the overwhelmingly Republican 4th and 5th Congressional Districts "the Front Range" and Colorado Springs, respectively, even with ample funds (no Democrats have yet stepped up to the bat to challenge incumbents Marilyn Musgrave and Joel Hefley in these safely Republican districts). A signature drive also would seem a very unnecessary way to squander campaign cash when an earlier effort probably would have gotten him onto the ballot through the less expensive caucus process. Chris Gates, the state Democratic Party chairman, thinks he knows that Bridges will run, but I'm not sure sure. Gates was also wrong about Dan Grossman, a State Senator he tried to recruit to run in this race.
Liz Baker of Boulder, has also joined Mike Miles, Larry Johnson and Brad Freedberg , in the race to be the Democratic nominee in Colorado's U.S. Senate race. She is a political unknown and late entrant in the race who hasn't held any significant prior office. She doesn't have a web page yet, but you can contact her via e-mail at email@example.com
In other news, Joanna Conti will be the Democrat challenger to incumbent Republican Tom Tancredo in this Southern Suburban District. This district leans heavily Republican, but he is not as secure as Musgrave and Hefley, and his anti-immigration stances in open defiance of President George W. Bush have left him with less than enthusiastic support within the Republican party. This is not to say that Republicans themselves are going to vote Democratic against him, but it could hurt his fund raising efforts. Conti is something of a sacrificial lamb, but if Tancredo stumbles for some reason, the Democrats will have a credible candidate in line. South Suburuban Democrats don't want to miss the opportunties they lost by not running a Democrat against Tracy Baker, either in 2002 or in the recall replacement election. The Colorado Supreme Court's decision to strike down the efforts of the 2003 Republican controlled legislature to redraw the state's Congressional Districts (much as Texas did), have made the 6th CD much more vunerable than it otherwise would have been.
(This is a cross post from Political State Report where the report also contains links).