New Big Line

The Big Line has been updated to reflect several recent moves. Quick rundown below.


The outcome of this race could very well hinge on what Tom Tancredo decides to do. If he runs, then at the very least he forces Scott McInnis much further to the right than he would want to go. All of which benefits Gov. Bill Ritter. If Tancredo is out, McInnis can stay to the middle, and Ritter is in trouble.


This race is starting to crystallize. Jane Norton is the clear frontrunner on the GOP side, with Tom Wiens the only wild card left. Ken Buck is definitely done, and it makes sense for him to start thinking about another option (say, CD-4?)

On the Democratic side, Sen. Michael Bennet is pulling away from Andrew Romanoff already, with the latter making us wonder if he can even run a viable statewide campaign.


At what point do Democrats just totally write off this race and concede to John Suthers? With no real challengers on the horizon, it may be sooner rather than later.


Republican Scott Tipton is back for more after getting brained in 2006. No reason to think it won’t happen again, despite Tipton’s optimism to the contrary.


We don’t have the change on the Line yet, but should Ken Buck start thinking about changing from Senate to this race? With Cory Gardner looking weak, it would make sense.

62 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. dmindgo says:

    it seems to me that Ritter needs to see an upturn in the economy.  If that happens, he’s golden.  If not, I think he still has a chance but it’s much more difficult.  McInnis was our US Rep, the though of him as governor drives me to distraction.

    • Colorado Pols says:

      If it gets better by next fall, Democrats are in good shape. If not, they’re not.

      • ClubTwitty says:

        on that, at least, DickW is right.

      • BlueCat says:

        Do you really think Ritter is no better than equal with McInnis at this point?  Didn’t think it was quite so bad as that! Yikes!  At a recent event, get this, Romanoff was talking about how important it is to support Ritter. Guess it’s really time to circle the wagons.

        • Colorado Pols says:

          McInnis and Ritter are pretty similar and come from fairly similar backgrounds. All things being equal, if McInnis can outraise Ritter (which he probably will), then this could really be a toss-up.

          But they are only even as of right now. If Tancredo runs, then Ritter gets a significant bump.

    • crazypoliticians says:

      Everyone is doing just what McInnis wants them to do. You’re underestimating him, look at what he’s done so far…done well in fundraising, ran off Penry, never had to debate and has kept his campaign afloat even though some people though it was killing his chances. He’s overcome all of that and yet people are still doubting him, which I guess is good for him because the Democrats will never see him coming if that’s the case.

      The economy will be a huge thing but the chances of people getting their jobs back by election aren’t looking good with the unemployment rate going up, again. I don’t see it improving a whole heck of a lot in less than a year.

      As for Tancredo, he doesn’t have a chance…and that’s only if he decides to run, which I’m willing to bet he doesn’t. It’s all about the attention he’s getting for just saying he’s thinking about it.  

  2. gertie97 says:

    You’re drinking the same Kool-Aid he is. You’ve got Scooter at 12-1, so for Tipton, something on order of 15-1, at least, is more realistic.

  3. The realist says:

    State Senator Dan Gibbs is making an announcement today at noon on the steps of the courthouse in Breckenridge.  Could see a change here.

  4. Aaron Silverstein says:

    So where is Kirk on the Big Line?

  5. redstateblues says:

    Why hasn’t anyone else step up to run for this? Are there really no qualified candidates who actually want to take the time to run? If so, that’s a little embarrassing.

    John Suthers is one of the strongest potential Republican candidates for higher office in the future. The Democrats should at least try give him a run for his money.

    • Colorado Pols says:

      A lot of people who are qualified to be AG don’t want the job, for various reasons. For one thing, if you are a district attorney in Colorado, you make about $50-60k more per year than you would make as AG. Most private attorneys also make considerably more money than the $80k per year that Colorado pays its AG. Money isn’t everything, but in this economy, it certainly matters.

      • redstateblues says:

        And he’s probably going to use his multiple terms as AG as a reason voters should send him to higher office. It worked for Ken Salazar. It might not pay well, but it’s a stepping off point politically.

        • Colorado Pols says:

          But he doesn’t have the juice to do so. Suthers doesn’t want to be AG – it’s just the only thing left. He was a Senate candidate for 5 minutes earlier this year, remember. AG is often a stepping stone, but it is the end of the line for Suthers.

          • redstateblues says:

            And a strong one. He’s the only Republican that holds statewide office right now, in a time when Democrats dominate everything. Of all the Republican political figures in this state, he’s probably the one with the least amount of negativity associated with one issue or another that usually plagues the GOP here.

            Or it might not be in him. I just think he’s probably all the Republicans have right now in terms of potential candidates who don’t have a great deal of baggage.

            • ajb says:

              he can keep his job if he loses.

              Kinda like Penry.

              • Ellie says:

                 He was elected in 2006. CO Statesman got it wrong today.  Of course if Penry runs in 2010 & wins he would have a free ride in 2012 for something.  Not sure what that would be if he doesn’t want to run in 3rd CD.

                • ajb says:

                  If Penry runs in 2010 for a new seat and loses, he’s out of work. If he gets re-elected in 2010, then he can run in 2012 without risking his day job. (This assumes that re-election is a slam-dunk).

                  Suthers is in the same boat.  

                  • RedGreen says:

                    The only seats open in 2012 will be congressional seats. If John Salazar still wants the job, especially after three years on Appropriations, it’s his for the asking. Lamborn probably isn’t going anywhere either (if Suthers would consider that seat a step up from a statewide office). There aren’t any statewide or U.S. Senate elections until 2014.

                  • One Queer Dude says:

                    There’s gotta be a job at Mesa State waiting for him.

                    • Ralphie says:

                      If he’s not important, then President Foster will have little use for him.  He’ll be just another aging ex-quarterback.

                      That’s how it works up on North Avenue.

      • Genius says:

        What about Romanoff for AG?  He’s a lawyer, right? He has built a small dollar network that would be better suited for down ticket statewide race with lower contribution limits than Senate, and it sets him up to run for another office later.

      • ohwilleke says:

        The Colorado AG makes about half what a first year associate (free out of law school or judicial clerkship) at a top paying NYC law firm does.  So, yes, the pay sucks.

        But, the AG has far more power than the SOS, or the State Treasurer, or any member of the State Board of Education or CU Regents, and also realistically has more power than most committee chairpersons in the legislature.  

        Indeed, the only people who can compete with the AG in terms of state level power are the Governor himself, maybe the Governor’s chief of staff, the Speaker of the State House and the State Senate President.  

        The AG also realistically has more power than the U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado (the highest ranking federal prosecutor assigned to the state), or any DA in the state.

        Few private law firms in Colorado have as many Colorado attorneys as the AG’s office in which the AG is equivalent to a managing partner, and no private law firm has the broad powers afforded to the AG’s office that private attorneys don’t share.

        The AG plays a central role of all regulatory drafting, can write opinions that bind the executive branch on unresolved legal issues, has broad powers to take positions for the state on hot button constitutional and state constitutional issues (including every death penalty appeal), and gets to decide who is worth prosecuting (civilly or criminally) and who is not.  The AG can effectively make law through consent decrees with parties that have faced suit from the AG.

  6. Outrider says:

    Thought Dan Slater had announced for AG on the Dems side.

  7. paulrosenthal says:

    I know a lot of you so-called policy wonk experts are going to jump down my throat and call me naive.  Yes, I recognize Ritter has angered some in the Democratic Party and Unaffiliateds, but he most certainly is not on par with McInnis, who is a wishy washy lawyer-lobbyist that his own party doesn’t even like.  Regardless of what Tancredo does, Ritter is still ahead of McInnis at this point.

  8. Half Glass Full says:

    Seems that’s overestimating Tancredo’s odds more than a bit.

    Maybe you’re just trying your darndest to encourage him to run?

    Tom the Bomb will definitely make things lively, but he’s more like a Ken Buck-ish 30-1 to actually get the GOP Gubernatorial nomination, I’d think.

  9. Ray Springfield says:

    will continue to be in the news on a regular basis as the President’s agenda goes forth. the Speaker has his work cut out for him.

  10. Ray Springfield says:

    I belive will be in better shape than expected. The UFCW situation has turned out not to be a strike as yet.  

  11. ohwilleke says:

    How about Beth McCann? Her experience includes:

    * State Representative on Judiciary Committee.

    * Deputy Attorney General in charge of the Civil Litigation and Employment Law Section of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, supervising 33 attorneys, 11 paralegals, and 7 administrative assistants.

    * Law clerk for now-deceased U.S. District Court Judge Sherman G. Finesilver.

    * [A]lmost eight years as Deputy and then Chief Deputy District Attorney in Denver, prosecuting hundreds of cases, including child abuse and murder.

    * [P]rivate practice for seven years with the Denver law firm of Cooper & Kelley, P.C., earning a partnership in that firm in 1985.

    * In 1991, Mayor Wellington Webb asked McCann to be his first Denver Manager of Safety. She managed one of the largest agencies in Denver city government, including the Denver Police, Fire, Sheriff’s Departments with a budget of $170 million and a staff of almost 3,000 employees.

    If she loses, Ritter could put her in charge of the Department of Corrections.

    What about Franklin D. Azar (TV ad buying plaintiff’s attorney)?

    What about Mitch Morrisey, who also has the virtue of being a moderate by Denver standards?

    Has Terrance Carroll been an attorney long enough to be eligible?  He’s been speaker of the House, isn’t running for anything else, he’s termed, and even if he doesn’t win, he’s spent a good chunk of time building name recognition.

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