Some of us are excited about the Denver Mayoral Candidates, and some of us just love to watch the campaigns themselves. For us, this is the real March Madness. We want to look at each team’s rosters, remember how they each performed on other teams, and compare what we know about each staffer with what we’ve seen them accomplish before. Is Romer putting all his eggs in the field basket or in outreach? Is Hancock sticking mostly with his base and their friends, or is he maximizing the education angle as much as possible?
We want to know which company is marketing each candidate, what is their message, who they are going after, and what they are doing with their money. Don’t believe me? Look at the numbers to the left side of Denver Pols. We even compare odds on this stuff.
Regardless of the qualities of a candidate, the managers and staff can make or break their chances of winning any office. If you want to know who is going to run the city of Denver next year, watch the candidates. If you want to know who will run the state in ten to twenty years, get to know their campaign staffs.
I just received a new ad from the Romer campaign by email. Kudos to Manager Adam Dunstone (former Field Director to Michael Bennet in 2010) for a great ad. Focusing on jobs was the right thing to do. (I’d bet my house keys Dunstone’s next gig will be the Obama re-election. His ground game was historic in Romanoff vs. Buck.)
Romanoff’s former Deputy campaign manager is heading up the Mejia campaign and doing a pretty great job, as well. Loyal Pols readers will note I (and others) raked the Romanoff Senate campaign over the coals for all kinds of blunders (hiring Pat Caddell, going too negative too early, hiring someone with a potential conflict of interest, etc.). Berrick Abramson seems to have learned a lesson or two from the earlier campaign, and has hired lots of top-notch staff including Bennet’s Arapahoe County point-man Peter Schottenfels, Ryann Dubiel, Brittany Petterson and others. He’s also stayed focused on the positive and once again reached out to free media like AM760 radio. Because of a series of good campaign decisions, Mejia has come up from behind and is now a serious contender for the seat.
On the Boigon race, rising star and campaign manager to State Reps Rhonda Fields and Angela Williams, Jovan Melton (one of the people I aggressively recruited for Center for Progressive Leadership, by the way!) helped Boigon capture the airwaves, and put herself out there as Hickenlooper’s successor first. Young talent Elliot Goldbaum is also a big boon to her campaign.
Hancock snagged Joe Rice’s manager John B. Scott and experienced strategist Matt Carberry. Despite a national Republican sweep resulting in a loss for the Dems in a seat we probably never should have had anyway, Scott has earned his stripes and then some.
I would love to see more aggressive campaigning from Team Linkhart and Team Spahn. Linkhart is the candidate who seems to be the most warmly embraced by the farthest left end of the Democratic spectrum, and his followers see him as a “true progressive”. I hope his staff will jump in the comments and update us on what’s going on there.
Several notable young talents who are missing from the lists I see, and I am not sure why they have not been snatched up by any of these campaigns, are Bennet’s Chris Rork, Colorado Young Dems Chair Gena Ozols, Change That Works Leader Nate McNeil, and ProgressNow’s Mike Ditto. These people are great at what they do — I’ve worked with them all in one way or another.
Because of space limitations, my apologies to all of the other young (and older) people working on these campaigns who deserve credit, whom I did not mention. I hope someone will add your name to the list in the comments.
Who’s winning this Mayoral race? I’d say a top-notch list of talented campaign workers.