It seems like Andy Kerr isn’t the only incumbent state representative with eyes on the next chamber up.
From Eli Stokols:
DENVER — State Rep. Robert Ramirez filed papers Thursday to run for the re-drawn Senate District 19, now held by Democratic Sen. Evie Hudak, FOX31 Denver was first to report.
Ramirez, who’s in his first term as a state representative, decided to run for the senate because the new map of legislative districts took a big chunk of GOP voters out of his House district.
Also, changes to Hudak’s Senate district have made it more favorable to a Republican challenger.
se I want to continue to represent my neighbors, the people who were in my House district,” Ramirez told FOX31 Denver at the Capitol on Thursday.
“It’s not going to be easy, but here we go.”
Ramirez narrowly defeated Democratic Rep. Debbie Benefield to win House District 29 in 2010 and helped secure the GOP’s one-seat House Majority.
Although Senate Republicans have recently targeted Senator Evie Hudak on television and in mailers, Rep. Ramirez’s challenge to the incumbent Democrat still comes as a slight surprise. Of course, Ramirez never formally filed papers for re-election to the House, so it’s likely he was waiting to hear how reapportionment would change both his House and Senate districts before jumping into the race that he could win more easily.
Ramirez was being challenged for his House seat by Democrat Tracy Kraft-Tharpe. His entrance into the Senate race certainly gives Kraft-Tharpe an advantage: she’s been campaigning for months for what is now an open seat that’s favorable for Democrats.
As for Hudak? Former State Treasurer Cary Kennedy won what is now Senate District 19 by a grand total of 5 votes in her 2010 re-election bid. Republicans also hold a slight registration advantage in the district. SD-19 would’ve seen a competitive race between Hudak and any Republican challenger, really, but Ramirez’s entrance as a sitting state representative makes it all the more likely to be a messy fight.
Ramirez’s win over Debbie Benefield in 2010 was instrumental in giving Frank McNulty the gavel. With Ramirez switching instead to a Senate race, Speaker McNulty might be coming to terms with the fact that he probably won’t keep the big office next year.
(Cross-posted from Jeffco Pols)