Democratic State Party Chairman Chris Gates isn't satisfied with U.S. Senate race front runner Mike Miles. This story
indicates that he is talking to former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, State Senator Dan Grossman from Denver (who has also recently become active in the controversy over a football recruiting gang rape at CU), and CU Regent Jim Martin (a Republican who switched parties) who is stepping down from his elective post when his term ends after this year. Webb, at least, has agreed to talk with Gates about running according to this story.
Fourth quarter Congressional fundraising reports are in.
Ben Nighthorse-Campbell raised $565,000 in the 4th quarter bringing his fund raising to date for the November contest to $1.8 million. Mike Miles has raised a tenth that, $140,000. Brian Freedburg has raised $15,500 in addition to his recent $40,000 contribution to himself. Brian Freedburg has used some of his money to distribute a money raising pitch that I recently received, that says nothing about who he is or what he stands for.
Dave Thomas, the former Jefferson County DA, is the undisputed Democratic nominee to run against Bob Beauprez in the Seventh Congressional District (Northern and Western Denver Suburbs), as all other candidates have quit the race.
The race in this newly created district was won by Bob Beauprez by fewer than 200 votes in 2002 and promises to be one of the closest in the nation this year. Bob Beauprez's voting record is the most loyal to the Bush Administration in the State, indicating that is plan is to play to the base rather than to swing moderate voters in this tightly divided district.
The Third Congressional District (Western Slope and greater Pueblo) race is largely wide open. Chris Gates, the Democratic State Party Chairman has said it is a two man race between Jon Salazar, a state representative and brother of state attorney general Ken Salazar from the Pueblo area, and Grand Junction Mayor Jim Spehar, who is currently marred by controversy over a new city logo. Three other candidates are in the race, none of whom has any real shot at the nomination (among them a perennial candidate for Secretary of State and a homeless man).
On the Republican side, State Rep. Matt Smith of Grand Junction, the incumbent's brother in law; State Rep. Gregg Rippy of Glenwood Springs, a road builder; Sen. Ken Chlouber of Leadville, who might relocate to run (as he did for a run against Diana DeGette in 2002 in Denver) and who is a political maverick friendly to labor; Greg Walcher, a politically connected Republican active on natural resource issues and recently departed from Bill Owen's administration; and the four-term sheriff of Pueblo County, Dan Corsentino, who raised $69,000 in the fourth quarter, but is under suspicion for abuse of his office on behalf of a woman whom he is suspected of having an affair with (he denies this). Doug Sitter, a lawyer and tax reform activist, and Delina DiSanto, a former staffer of Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, are all in the running for the Republican open seat in the 3rd CD, which leans Republican, but is not unwinnable.
According to State Senator Ken Gordon, it is unlikely that the U.S. Supreme Court will be able to hear arguments in the Colorado Redistricting case (a Texas like gerrymander attempt that was struck down by the Colorado Supreme Court, a decision in which the special three person federal court in Colorado deferred to) until October, since the U.S. Supreme Court denied an emergency stay.
Last week I reported that the Federal District Court had refused to overturn the Colorado Supreme Court's redistricting decision. I predicted that there would be one more headline in the case--when the US Supreme Court denied certiorari. Well I was proven wrong exceedingly quickly. I underestimated the media's interest in the matter. There were headlines twice this week. First when the Republicans asked for a stay from the Supreme Court pending the outcome of their Petition for a Writ of Cert. and second, two days later when Justice Breyer denied the stay. This was significant because the denial of the stay means that the 2004 election will be conducted with the same districts as the 2002 election. It is conceivable that the Supreme Court will grant the Petition for Cert., but even if they do all that means is that they will look at the case. The Petition for Cert was filed on Wednesday, our Attorney General has 30 days to respond to the petition. The Republicans can Reply to the Response if they choose and if the petition is granted then the whole thing needs to be briefed on the merits. The Supreme Court won't hear argument until October at the earliest and our Secretary of State has said that she needs to let the county clerks know what the lines are by February 1.
Stay tuned. It's not over yet.