If you were the betting type, you wouldn’t likely put a lot of money on the likelihood that State Senator Angela Williams (D-Denver) will be the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in June 2020. Williams entered the race for U.S. Senate in July with a sketchy announcement video and little fanfare; after four months as a candidate, she has less than $50,000 in the bank and no conceivable path toward the Democratic nomination.
When Williams entered the U.S. Senate race, she left the door open for a potential return to the state legislature (she actually filed paperwork for her 2020 re-election campaign to the State Senate shortly after winning election in 2016). But as political reporter Ernest Luning explained in a Tweet today, that door “appears to be swinging shut.”
Last week, state Rep. James Coleman (D-Denver) made it clear that he wasn’t waiting for Williams to re-focus her attention on her state senate district in announcing that he would be running for SD-33. Coleman quickly amassed a number of significant endorsements from Democratic lawmakers, including House Speaker K.C. Becker, Rep. Janet Buckner, and state Senators Jeff Bridges, Jessie Danielson, and Kerry Donovan.
Had Williams been focusing on running for re-election in 2020, it would have been difficult for Coleman to have gained much traction in a Democratic Primary challenge. In fact, Coleman probably wouldn’t have even made a State Senate bid in 2020. Coleman won a Democratic primary to succeed Williams in HD-7 in 2016, which means he could have sought re-election in the State House until Williams was term-limited in 2024.
Williams said last week that she thought she could wait until March 2020 to make a decision on staying in the U.S. Senate race or running for re-election in SD-33, but that seems like wishful thinking with Coleman gathering so much early support. If Williams is serious about winning a second term in the State Senate, she can’t spend the next 3-4 months flailing away at a U.S. Senate bid.