UPDATE #2 (6:00 pm):
EXCLUSIVE: Former Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran tells @AnneTrujillo7 she is challenging Rep. Diana DeGette in the 2020 Democratic primary for Colorado’s 1st congressional district seat. https://t.co/9JyrfANonZ #copolitics
— Denver7 News (@DenverChannel) February 25, 2019
UPDATE (5:34 pm): Word is out that Crisanta Duran will in fact challenge Diana DeGette in CO-1. Duran may announce her campaign as soon as tonight.
News worth noting, as Tweeted from the 2020 presidential campaign trail by Axios’ Alexi McCammond:
Hickenlooper tells me & @NolanDMcCaskill he’s been approached by Schumer and Cortez-Masto to run for Senate. Says Schumer is “one of the more persuasive people in my acquaintance” but says “I’m not cut out to be a senator”
— Alexi McCammond (@alexi) February 23, 2019
Although it’s of course not a legally binding contract, former Gov. John Hickenlooper’s apparent ruling out of a run for the U.S. Senate to take on vulnerable incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner is a significant development. A not-insubstantial contingent of local Democrats had at least quietly hoped for Hickenlooper to reconsider his bid for the presidency in favor of what would have been a very strong challenge to Sen. Gardner. At the same time, the difference between legislative power, even in the august body of the U.S. Senate, and the kind of executive authority that one has as governor and certainly as President of the United States may not be something Hickenlooper wants to “step down” from–and we understand that.
The wisdom of this decision will be self-evident.
In other significant 2020 U.S. Senate news, another on-paper strong challenger in the upcoming Democratic Senate primary is ruling herself out as well–former House Speaker Crisanta Duran, as the Colorado Independent reports:
Former Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran, long seen as a favorite to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner in 2020, is rethinking that path and is engaged in serious talks about a Democratic primary run against longtime U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette in Colorado’s 1st Congressional District, according to more than a half a dozen sources with knowledge of those talks…
Sources say she has been wrestling with her decision for weeks. While Gardner is considered vulnerable, the Democratic field taking shape against him promises a tough and expensive primary — and Duran appears to have soured on the prospect of jumping in.
A primary battle against DeGette may be no less bruising, however…
Now, we can’t speak confidently one way or the other to the viability of a primary challenge against Rep. Diana DeGette, who has done much in recent years to shore up her support after acquiring something of an aloof reputation. But it’s reasonable to assume that Former House Speaker Duran would have been a contender in the 2020 Democratic Senate primary, especially in the absence of any field-clearing candidates–and by that we mean officials who have served in Congress or a statewide elected office.
Assuming neither of these candidates reconsider their decision, this is obviously good news for the existing slate, in particular former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff whose elected experience is similar to Duran’s. There remains a real possibility of a decisive new Democratic contender entering the U.S. Senate race over the spring and summer of this year, but a window exists now for Romanoff to make his case against a field of less-competitive primary opponents.
As for aspirants as of now aspiring elsewhere, good luck to them.