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January 10, 2006 09:00 AM UTC

Madden Will Run If Hickenlooper Doesn't

  • by: Colorado Pols

We hear that state Rep. Alice Madden has made it clear to supporters that she will run for governor if Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper does not…though she is still optimistic that Hick will enter the race. Madden has apparently made some high-level inquiries in terms of fundraising support and is beyond the stage of merely considering a run.


48 thoughts on “Madden Will Run If Hickenlooper Doesn’t

  1. Hickenlooper or Madden…now we have some real choices!  Gary Lindstrom’s a good guy, too, but needs to start making some noise.

    This was Bill Ritter’s race to lose…and I think he has.

  2. Alice, who?

    Hickenlooper has great name recognition on the West Slope. Ritter’s been through the paces up here, too.

    After last year’s session, Alice should have planned on a very intensive West Slope tour for a few months if she wanted to be a credible statewide candidate. Unless she quits everything else immediately to run for gov, Alice won’t have enough time or money to build any name recognition outside the Front Range.

    At this moment, it’s almost too little, too late for her on the West Slope. Sorry.

  3. So here’s a question for all you insider politicos: What’s the drop-dead date for Hick choosing to run?  I would it assume it is well before the official caucus that would be the party’s deciding point.  But is there a date after which he can’t enter?  Is there a date after which everyone will be 99% sure he won’t enter?

  4. Denver Post, 12/17/2005:

    “A number of people from both sides of the political aisle continue to encourage the mayor to consider running,” said Lindy Eichenbaum Lent, Hickenlooper’s spokeswoman. “He has learned nothing so far to convince him to run, as he absolutely loves being mayor of Denver.”

    The pressure on Hickenlooper to get into the race is rising because candidates need a year to raise enough money to mount a statewide campaign. Hickenlooper was scheduled to meet with a prominent Democratic fundraiser Saturday, a source said Friday.

    In recent weeks, privately commissioned polls found Hickenlooper was popular with voters statewide.

    Some Democrats want Hickenlooper or another candidate to get into the race because they are unsatisfied with former Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter’s opposition to abortion rights.


    The question now becomes, ‘If Hick decides to run, what is the “compelling reason” behind his decision?

  5. “at this moment, it’s almost too little, too late for her on the west slope. sorry.”


    you are giving too much credit to the western slope with regard to their political relevance in this state.  the bottom line is the votes lie in denver metro area and in the burgeoning northeast region.

    i get really tired of hearing west slopers whining about statewide candidates not accommodating their particular needs.  sorry, but the fact is the western slope is a lot lower on the political priority list then you think.

    let’s start looking at the bigger picture shall we?  i’m more concerned about the needs of the entire state of colorado, not just the waning western slope.

  6. Really? Only the metro area and the northeast matter?

    How is that Webb never ran if that’s all it takes?

    I hope to see a dozen Democrats running before this is over. Go for it!

  7. Don’t forget where your fruit comes from. Also, bear in mind that most of the state’s ski areas fall on the western side of the continental divide. As the ski areas go, so goes the Colorado economy.

  8. Most likely anyone who doesn’t believe the West Slope matters in CO politics hasn’t been out of the Metro area for years. Ask Ken Salazar if he could have won without West Slope support.

    And just because we live in Silt or Olathe doesn’t mean we are without statewide TV or newspapers. (Geez! The ignorance of Front Rangers!)Plus, Hickenlooper isn’t exactly a name you forget.

    The West Slope contributes a lot to the prosperity of the whole state. When did you last go skiing on 17th Street? The potential of 28,000 natural gas wells in Garfield County is sure to add to state severance tax coffers for Metro legislators to spend. And hey, how about that water for your lawns? Let’s see you suburbanites grow without our West Slope reservoirs.

    We’re not the whiners. We’re growing and grabbing a couple of seats at the political table that you Metro guys don’t want to give up!

  9. WestSloper, points well taken.
    Perhaps my point about Hick’s name recognition would have been more appropriate if I had framed it from the perspective of his viability with West Slope voters (rather than just mere name recognition).

    I agree with you about the Metro “ignorance”, though I think it’s more about arrogance than ignorance.

  10. the last time I checked, ski areas or natural gas wells weren’t able to vote.  it’s a matter of mathematics and regardless of how wide an area you whiners cover, you don’t have the votes to matter any more than the majority of the colorado population in the denver metro area.

  11. Okay, let’s vote on it.  Is WaningWesternSlope just a Republican agent provacateur trying his best to insult Western Slopers into voting Republican forever.  Or is he really the offensive, stupid, illiterate buffoon he appears to be?
    No fair voting “both,” Phoenix Rising.

  12. I’m going to come to the defense of WWS. If you want to argue the numbers, present your own numbers. But it’s not arrogance to say that 80 percent of voters now live along the front range. It’s a fact, and no opinion on either side changes the voter registration numbers.

    Ken Salazar won in 2004 because of Denver – not because of rural Colorado.

  13. It is indeed arrogance, and stupidity besides, to deliberately insult rural Colorado.  The Front Range is fairly evenly balanced between Democratic Denver, Boulder and Pueblo and Republican suburbans/El Paso County.  The balance of power can thus indeed lie on the Western Slope, the San Luis Valley and rural Eastern Colorado.  Salazar ran very well for a Democrat in those areas.  Also, Democratic House wins in rural Colorado…Bernie Buescher, Gary Linstrom, Kathleen Curry and Wes McKinley among them, plus Jim Isgar in the Senate, account for the entire Democratic majority in the House and Senate.  Stop being so stupid and going out of your way to offend Colorado West and eastern Colorado…or admit that you really are Republican provocateurs, WWS and WWSD.

  14. But it’s not arrogance to say that 80 percent of voters now live along the front range.


    Perhaps not, but it is pretty arrogant to claim that

    “the bottom line is the votes lie in denver metro area and in the burgeoning northeast region.”

    If a campaign sees a close race ahead for a state-wide office, it would be political suicide to ignore 20% of the voters, wouldn’t you agree?

  15. I had no idea we were so insignificant.  The candidates must come over here for the beauty, not the votes.  As for Hickenlooper, I’ve heard more than one moderate Republican say they’d vote for him, (yes, we do know who he is) but I guess it doesn’t matter since our votes don’t count out here in the sticks.

  16. I had no idea we were so insignificant.  The candidates must come over here for the beauty, not the votes.  As for Hickenlooper, I’ve heard more than one moderate Republican say they’d vote for him, (yes, we do know who he is) but I guess it doesn’t matter since our votes don’t count out here in the sticks.

  17. Westsloper – you’re on the right path but you’re probably a decade too early.

    Run the numbers (I have) and you’ll see that at this  point rural Colorado still matters in state wide races.

    Give it a decade and I think you’ll be able to win the state by winning the Front Range alone given the shifting demographics of the state.

    WWS Defense – your numbers are wrong. Based on the October 2005 (most recent) numbers on the SoS there are 1,722,996 voters in Denver, Jefferson, Boulder, Douglas, Weld, El Paso, Arapahoe, and Adams.

    Those counties comprise 60% of the voters in the state.

    You need 1,437,007 votes to win state wide office in Colorado – you can’t get those votes on the Front Range alone.

  18. oh and one more time – how does Alice Madden win state wide?

    A liberal woman lawyer from Boulder doesn’t appeal to many people outside Denver/Boulder. Sad but true.

    Lets not forget that she can’t fundraise once the session starts either – how do you raise enough money to run in the primary if you can’t fundraise until mid-May?

    If she runs, she’s a fool.

  19. Whew TBM, I can cast a vote that counts for another decade!

    As for Madden, I’m not sure Western Slopers would go for the nanny legislation she is purported to support.  Although there are a lot of liberals here, excessive government interference is not all that popular.

  20. You’re counting all registered voters, but you should be counting active voters, because that’s what counts. You also forgot Larimer and Broomfield. If you count active voters and include those counties, you get 77% of active voters along the front range, and that’s not even counting Pueblo. If you add Pueblo, you get 81% of all active voters in Colorado.

    If you got 55% of the votes along the front range, you would have more than 42% of the total vote, which means the only way you lose a statewide race is by losing 80-20 everywhere else (or something like that). And that ain’t happening.

    In other words, the Western Slope may not be completely irrelevant in a statewide election, but it would have to be a VERY close election to play a significant role.

  21. Coming into the conversation a little late. Sorry

    When we look at voter registration numbers, it is not necessarily where all the population is that counts as much as where are the pockets of votes you know are going to be with one party or the other regardless of the candidate. And then the all important question: where are the “swayable” voters.

    In the scenario of a statewide general election, unless there is a particularly strong 3rd part candidate (like Ralph Nader in 2000), it is pretty predictable that the Dems will carry Denver, Boulder, and Pueblo by large margins, Adams by a smaller margin, and be within 3% of 50-50 in Arapahoe. The GOP will take El Paso, Weld, Larimer and Douglas by large margins, Jeffco and Mesa by a lesser one, and be battling for Arapahoe with the Dems.

    When all of that math is done you are looking at a pretty close race when one considers only the largest populace counties. (It is a common strategical error made by Dem candidates in the past to only focus on the population centers).

    This is where the rest of the state becomes important. The eastern plains will usually go strongly GOP, the I-70 corridor thru ski country will go Dem in about the same number. Leaving us again at a too-close-to-call final vote count.

    This leaves the Western Slope. Looking at the election results of the past 10 years, there seems to be much fewer die-hard partisans there than in the rest of the state. This makes them that all-important “swayable” voting population.

    So to say the Western Slope is unimportant is the farthest thing from the truth. I consider them the MOST important part of any state-wide strategy.

  22. Dan nailed it on the head.  Western Slope voters lean conservative and Republican, but they are very concerned with their own issues and quite willing to cross party lines when needed.  Bjorkland infuriated them by saying that being a right-winger was more important to her than Western Slope issues — and they elected Bernie Buescher.  Salazar’s strength on the Western Slope AND eastern Colorado plains was a key in his victory over Coors, which was by just 4 percent.  Any politician who writes off a significant share of the vote, especially a persuadable swing vote like the Western Slope, isn’t just a fool, he’s a defeated fool. Alva’s theory of kissing them off if you can get 55 percent of the Front Range vote has one ritter problem…which is that practically nobody can get 55 percent of the Front Range vote in a tough election.

  23. I also have to note how Alva’s rather strange post is contradicted by Cpols periodic beating up on Bill Ritter because his campaign has so far focused on endorsements from  the the Metro area.  Which is it, Both Ways Alva?  Is the front range, dominated by Metro Denver, all that matters?  Or is it important to run a statewide campaign.  (hint, it’s important to run a statewide campaign.)

  24. We’ve criticized Ritter having only support from DENVER, not the Metro Area.

    And to your other point, Ken Salazar got 53% of the vote along the Front Range in 2004, and 54% if you include Pueblo. If you include Pueblo, Salazar was ahead of Coors by 126,000 votes before you even started counting other parts of the state. That means that Coors would have needed 68% of the vote in the rest of the state to beat Salazar.

  25. i’m glad I was able to stir up some debate on this topic.  the fact remains that the significant population increases, statewide, will occur in the denver metro area and in the northeast region along the i-25 corridor within the next 5 to 10 years.  the census figures and the economic development trends don’t lie. 

    an oil boom may be good for the western slope economy temporarily but let’s face it – these jobs are not long term and for the most part, oil companies are shipping in (and shipping out)their own people from other states.

    with this in mind, the western slope needs to bring something else to the political table aside from the “our votes will sway a close election” argument. 

    the fact is, there is obvious rift amongst the party ideologues regarding the strategic significance of western slope votes.  while i don’t believe that it’s a good idea for any statewide candidate to completely ignore the western slope, I feel that within the next 5 to 10 years, candidates will be spending a significant amount of time in the denver metro area locking-up their elections and may just be casually passing through the western slope to keep some of the base votes intact and get a press hit. 

    sorry western slopers, the truth hurts sometimes…

  26. Sorry, Alva, if you said Ritter had support from only DENVER not metro area, then you screwed up then, too!  A number, including Polly Baca, Noel Busck and John Adams were from Adams County and Aurora.  Like that idiot Waning Western Slope, you’d be smart to just admit you wrote a dumb post, rather than keep digging yourself in deeper.

  27. All we have to do to judge your contributions, Waning Intelligence, is to read your current rants.  You’d have to get a lot better to be pathetic.

  28. I don’t know what you are talking about WWS. Yoyageur has some of the most intellectual and articulate posts of anyone here. I don’t agree with everything he says but you have to respect his way of saying it.
    I’m just a blue collar dumbass so I only wish I could put words down like he does.

  29. That’s an interesting take, O&BDem.

    But I cannot fathom why you feel that Mr. Ritter should slink away from running for Gov. Especially when he’s been campaigning for what – 4 months (or more?) already, just because Mr. Hickenlooper decides 9.5 months from election day that the nomination should be his.

    If that’s the case, what’s the point of having a primary? 

    I’m reminded of when HRC (Her Royal Clinton) decided she’d run for the soon-to-be-vacant NY Senate seat.  Democrats in NY forced out Nita Lowey, a long-time NYer and Congresswoman so that HRC wouldn’t have to face a primary.

    Interesting, to say the least.

  30. Thanks for the kind words, Gecko.  I may have more formal education than you do, but you have a Titan!  I guess it all evens out.  One of my few unrealized ambitions is to own a classic Indian motorcycle.  I can’t really explain why, I just imprinted on them in my youth.  Some day…

  31. O&BDem
    To answer your question, yes he could to a point. The funds would count under state law as a contribution from the party so he could transfer over funds up to the limit that a party can give a candidate. Presumedly he would have more money in the bank than the limit, so he would have to find other ways to distribute those remaining funds.

    There is actually some political merit to Ritter changing to the AG’s race. There is an assumption (which I think is correct) that he would not stand a chance against Hickenlooper in a primary. And the Dems are not even whispering a name for AG yet. The name recognition he has built so far would follow him to the AG’s race and add a boost for his chances in Nov.

    I have said since the beginning I had wished he ran for AG instead of Gov because the dynamics of that office are diffrerent enough to overcome most of my objections with Ritter to begin with (or at least make them moot points).

  32. The problem, Dan, is that the objections that liberals like you (sorry to use the l word, but it fits here) have about Ritter are the exact reasons why middle-road voters like myself just might cross over to vote for him.  I’d certainly vote for Ritter over (shudder) Holtzman and against Beauprez, I’d have to think long and hard. As a historical yardstick, in the last gubernatorial race, Owens vs. Heath, I voted Libertarian, mostly as a protest against the war on drugs.

  33. Sorry guys, but the real swing area of the State is Jeffco.  Who ever said it is Republican territory hasn’t looked recently.  If a Republican loses Jeffco or wins only narrowly, he/she loses statewide.  Republican wins big in Jeffco wins statewide.  As for the legislature, sorry rural guy, but our four democratic Senators from a “Republican” county trumps Jim Isgar any day.  If you do a swing vote analysis, you will find that with the exception of a few small counties, the swing votes are in Jeffco, and there’s lots of them. Doesn’t mean that anyone can ignore any part of this state.  The argument is inane.  In a state as close as Colorado is today, everyone can claim to be the difference and no one can be ignored.  Remember the 7th congressional in 2002.  Both ways Bob won by 121 votes.  All of us in the metro area laughed when he put on his ads about being a dairy farmer.  Its a suburban district.  Well, remember, there are four percincts in rural Adams County.  Guess what, the dairy farmer ads made the difference.  My point is, you can’t ignore anyone.

  34. Jeffco is mighty indeed, one county with almost as many people as the whole Western Slope.  But your four D senators would still be in the minority without Isgar.  As you correctly note, Chris, you can’t hope to compete statewide , or for control of the lege, by writing off anybody. 
    Jeffco’s recent willingness to elect Ds has at least as much to do with Republican self-destruction as anything, as Deanna Hanna and Gwen Green can attest.  But give credit to Sue Windels, Moe Keller and Joan Fitz-Gerald as tireless campaigners as well.
    Now, if only you’d do something about your county commission…

  35. “There is actually some political merit to Ritter changing to the AG’s race. There is an assumption (which I think is correct) that he would not stand a chance against Hickenlooper in a primary. And the Dems are not even whispering a name for AG yet. The name recognition he has built so far would follow him to the AG’s race and add a boost for his chances in Nov.”


    This is called “let’s throw him a bone”. 

    How sanctimonious can you get?  When’s the coronation for “King John of Hickenlooper”?  I’m sure rest of we serfs would like the honor of attending.


  36. This is just a ploy to force Hick in the race. He knows that Madden wouldn’t have a chance even against Ritter, who has better backing in Denver, an area Madden would have to win to have a chance statewide. I wouldn’t give her more than 75-1 odds.

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