Mere weeks after filing to challenge a formidable Democratic incumbent in SD 19, State Representative Robert Ramirez [R-eversing] has executed a U-turn right back into his own race, attempting to defend his seat in HD 29. According to multiple sources, Ramirez made this announcement himself at a recent town hall meeting. Democratic challenger Tracy Kraft-Tharp is attempting to take that post from him, and this flip-flop could certainly make it easier for her to paint Ramirez as indecisive, weak, or simply not committed to HD 29.
Rumors and predictions after the jump:
In his single term as a state legislator, Representative Ramirez has developed something of a reputation for “crocodile tears.” That is to say, he’ll appear conflicted before a vote, but when it comes time to cast his lot, he faithfully votes the GOP party line. One example was previously chronicled here on Pols. But, can you really blame the guy? If he has this much trouble deciding what to run for, it’s no wonder he has trouble voting!
Rumor has it that more went into this decision than a case of cold feet. A primary threat, to be specific: Word is, Lang Sias will run in SD 19, and Ramirez couldn’t talk Sias (last seen getting clobbered by Ryan Frazier in a CD7 primary) into taking on HD 29 instead. So, to avoid a Republican primary, Ramirez left the Senate race and headed back to his own.
Not necessarily a surprising decision; what’s surprising is that he ventured into the Senate race to begin with, particularly if Sias had already made his interest clear. Of course a new candidate with a fair amount of Republican goodwill backing him wouldn’t want to run for a House seat that its incumbent occupant didn’t even care to defend, when there’s a Senate race on the table with plenty of special interest money lined up to attack the Democratic incumbent.
Of course, whether Ramirez ultimately sticks with the House or flip-flops back to the Senate, both he and Sias have a tough climb ahead of them. Ramirez is facing one hell of a determined campaigner in Tracy Kraft-Tharp, and Sias looks to be taking on a popular incumbent with more Jeffco campaign experience than Ramirez and Sias put together. If I had any hand in making the JeffcoPols big line (whenever that’s due to happen), I’d give Ramirez no better than even odds, and call Sias a serious long shot.