Restarting The “Romanoff Clock?”

UPDATE: FOX 31’s Eli Stokols:

Romanoff tells FOX31 he didn’t intend to start the drumbeat of speculation with a story in a national publication. Burns had called Romanoff, who now moonlights as a political analyst, for a comment on another story about states considering gun control legislation.

Toward the end of the conversation, Burns reportedly asked Romanoff if he was interested in challenging Coffman. According to Burns’ piece on that subject – the gun laws story isn’t posted yet – Romanoff “elaborat[ed] at length on his thinking about the race”.

After being passed over for the U.S. Senate seat he openly coveted when then-Gov. Bill Ritter appointed Michael Bennet to replace Ken Salazar in 2009, Romanoff waited six months before announcing a primary challenge to Bennet that he eventually lost by eight points.

Many political observers believe that Romanoff could have won that race if he’d committed to it earlier, before establishment support coalesced around Bennet. [Pols emphasis]

Stokols mentions Sen. Morgan Carroll and state Rep. Rhonda Fields as potential 2014 CD-6 Democratic candidates. We can confirm there is at least one other as-yet unnamed strong candidate making inquiries about this race. All of which should serve to underscore that Romanoff cannot expect much patience while he contemplates his next move.

There is a deep bench waiting to jump if Romanoff doesn’t run, but few are in a better position to take the plunge. Romanoff doesn’t have family or employment concerns that complicate the decision for other potential candidates.


Politico reports today:

Former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, who helped lead a Democratic resurgence in the state before mounting an unsuccessful 2010 Senate campaign, is considering a run for Congress in 2014.

Romanoff told POLITICO that he may challenge GOP Rep. Mike Coffman in the upcoming midterm elections. Coffman’s district grew more competitive after the last round of redistricting and the Republican won reelection with less than 49 percent of the vote in 2012.

We’ve likewise heard that former House Speaker and 2010 U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff is looking seriously at running for Mike Coffman’s CD-6 seat. Romanoff might face Coffman, or it’s possible–though the chances have recently declined–that Coffman will run for Senate against Mark Udall in 2014, leaving this highly competitive seat open.

The fact is, Romanoff had an open shot at running for this seat last year, and chose not to–passing up what turned out to be a prime opportunity against an unexpectedly weak incumbent, and a race where in hindsight, Romanoff’s experience might have made the difference. There have been numerous instances over the years when we have been critical of Romanoff for remaining indecisive past the point of viability–including his star-crossed 2010 Senate bid.

We’re not going to jump on him the January after the election, but he’d better keep this in mind.

43 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. BlueCat says:

    Our very own to run or not to run Hamlet  needs to decide right now whether he’s in or not. The last thing CD6 Dems need is a bruising will he/won’t drama.

    Like most of the CD6 Dems who are still in CD6 after re-distrcting and who supported Bennett and were disgusted by centrist Romanoff’s late decision and phony attempted reincarnation as progressive super hero, I could certainly support him for the new CD6. After all, he only needs to be a stronger candidate than Miklosi and he’s certainly that.  

    I would suggest to Romanoff that all will be forgiven by the Dem primary voters who rejected him if he acts like a rational grown up this time which means, for starters, making a decision right away so he can start building name rec and a war chest ASAP.  

  2. JeffcoDemo says:

    Been waiting since November for your announcement.  Put together a team and git er done.

  3. vertigo700 says:

    I am not sure why people like Romanoff. He hasn’t really been doing anything for the last couple of years and he doesn’t even live in the district. Miklowski got some grief for “carpetbagging” into CD-6. I’d think Romanoff would as well (I assume he lives in Denver still, no?)

    Since Carroll and Fields both represent Aurora, I think they are much better choices as they already have a constituency in the district to build a campaign around. Fields especially has a compelling personal story that will make her hard to attack. And of course she much better represents the diversity of CD-6, which is almost half people of color including the state’s largest African-American population. We don’t need another pasty white guy representing our state’s most diverse district.

    Plus Romanoff is very divisive and a bruising primary is the last thing we need to beat Coffman.  

  4. Hayduke says:

    The idea that there aren’t enough Dems currently living in CD6 with enough stature or credibility to mount a strong challenge is flatly ridiculous. I believe the Democratic base in the district will reject all these carpetbagging campaigns as non-starters. Whether it’s Miklosi, or Romanoff, or whoever … just stop. District-shopping is bogus, and should be beneath you.  

    • BlueCat says:

      Most people have no idea who their local politicos are. Couldn’t name their HD Reps or State Senators or local activists to save their lives. Romanoff has a head start on name rec because of the primary. He also has great fund raising potential and important national allies.  He’d be a strong candidate and Miklosi didn’t lose because people thought he was a carpetbagger.

      His losing was pretty much a foregone conclusion.  It was a question of by how much. That he did as incredibly well as he did starting from zero with name rec against an incumbent goes to show how popular he managed to become, all things considered.

      I can understand politically tuned in CD6 folks (not me) finding an outsider aggravating but your average voter, if you asked them today, wouldn’t know who any of the people you mention are and won’t know or much care who lived where when they go to cast their vote either.

      The tuned in are a tiny minority. And it’s a new district. Does it have to be an Auroran or would a Littletonian do? How many care? How many even know the boundaries of their CD?

      Romanoff would be a very solid choice if he can manage to tune out his inner flake ASAP. Didn’t like him at all as a challenger we needed like a hole in the head to Bennett in 2010. Like him just fine for CD6 , my CD, in 2014.  

      • Littletonian says:

        I’d add that carpetbagging is a political liability when district into which one is moving has a vastly different character and constituency from the candidate’s origin. Moving from CD-1 to CD-3 might be a problem. Moving from CD-1 to CD-6 or CD-7? Meh, not so much.

  5. BlueCat says:

    Romanoff has the capacity to be about 10 times as charming as Carroll or Field’s on their best days. When Romanoff is being his best self, he’s pretty awesome. Also has extensive record as speaker working across the aisle.  That goes over well in a mixed district.

    I’d underplay being a champion of what was then exceptionally draconian immigration legislation but Dems aren’t going to vote for Coffman or any other R because of it while moderate indies might be reassured that, in voting for him, they wouldn’t be voting for a bleeding heart liberal.

    Since a centrist is all he ever was until he primaried fellow centrist Bennett, it shouldn’t be too hard for him to go back in that direction (not all the way back. CD6 isn’t what it used to be) from the more recent leftier position, especially since he lost and never actually had to vote for anything as the purist lefty champion they tried to make out of him.

    Yep, I hope he says yes, moves in and gets a huge war chest together.

  6. MADCO says:


    Only if Coffman wins – otherwise, he runs, and then returns to his desk in CD6.

    Unless….do Colorado rules require that running for one office, you have to resign the current office?

    • JeffcoBlue says:

      I seriously doubt Coffman would be allowed by the GOP to run for both seats. What is he, Paul Ryan?

      • Gray in Mountains says:

        is he were to win the Senate seat, doubtful, then he could resign the House seat and the GOP committee would get to handpick his replacement. But, as I’ve said before, I think Coffman knows he has wounded himself far too badly to run for either Senate or Gov. He is going to stick where he is. That is his paycheck, his security, and that, not the national interest is his only concern

        • BlueCat says:

          Coffman won the House seat by way too small a margin last time to relegate another CD run to second priority status unless he’s super confident of winning the Senate seat and he should be anything but. In the old CD he could count on the CD seat as an automatic but not in the new one.

    • ajb says:

      the campaign ads write themselves.  

    • RedGreen says:

      If he ran for the Senate, he wouldn’t be running for the House seat, leaving it open. There are no two ways about it.

      • Littletonian says:

        Colorado Constitution, Article 5, Section 8 prohibits an individual from seeking multiple mutually incompatible offices. At least, I think that’s what it does. To my knowledge, there’s no real case law on it, so the Supreme Court might have to get involved.

        At any rate, the GOP doesn’t want any part of all that. They’ll run Coffman for one office or the other, not both.

  7. caroman says:

    The time to declare intentions for this race is fast approaching.  Romanoff is not the presumptive nominee should he choose to run.  I’ll be looking at all the candidates and will support the Dem with the best chance of winning.

  8. DaftPunk says:

    Would Fields or Carroll run?

    A pre-emptive announcement might clear the field.  Carroll is supposedly AG fodder, and Fields has years left of statehouse eligibility left.

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