FOX 31’s Eli Stokols:
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, ranks as one of the safest governors facing reelection in 2014, according to an early survey by Public Policy Polling released Monday.
Hickenlooper, whose political skills may be tested over the next two years now that Democrats control both the state House and Senate and will be free to send more partisan legislation to his desk, leads a generic Republican by a 54-33 margin…
Two Colorado Republicans whose names are being tossed around as potential 2014 gubernatorial candidates are state Sen. Greg Brophy of Wray and Bob Schaffer, who lost four years ago to Sen. Mark Udall in a fight for a vacant U.S. Senate seat.
To be honest, given Gov. John Hickenlooper’s famously stellar approval ratings, we would expect his re-elect number to be higher than 54%. That said, 54% isn’t a horrible place to start from, and candidates like shellacked 2008 Senate candidate Bob Schaffer don’t exactly inspire confidence that the GOP can make a fight of it. And seriously, Greg Brophy? If he gets the nod, you can be sure the GOP has written the race off Rollie Heath style.
One top Colorado Republican admitted to FOX31 Denver last week that the GOP’s best, and perhaps only, shot of winning the governor’s race would be if Hickenlooper set his sights higher and opted against a run at reelection.
“If Hickenlooper runs again, we’ll end up with a gadfly candidate, someone who might be smart enough to know they’re going to get trounced, but willing to do it for the experience and the fun of it,” said that Republican, who asked not to be identified.
A “gadfly” candidate? If not Schaffer, or Brophy, then who might that be? And in the event Gov. Hickenlooper pulls a Bill Ritter and opts not to run again, or for whatever reason were to become politically vulnerable by 2014…who might a serious candidate be?