Ernest Luning

Colorado Dems celebrate — and anticipate

The Colorado Statesman

A decade after launching a nearly unbroken string of success at the ballot box, Colorado Democrats have plenty to celebrate but are facing a demanding election year that could determine whether the blue-leaning state reverses course, party and elected officials told more than 1,000 supporters at the annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner fundraiser on Saturday in Denver.

“This is going to be the hardest campaign that most of us have ever seen,” Gov. John Hickenlooper told the crowd at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel. “It’s going to be a very difficult year for Democrats.”

Michael Reagan invokes Dad at Centennial Dinner

The Colorado Statesman

BROOMFIELD – Conservative commentator Michael Reagan told Colorado Republicans that the GOP must embrace the inclusive, welcoming approach taken by his iconic father, former President Ronald Reagan, in order to win elections.

Reagan spoke for an hour to about 400 donors at the state GOP’s annual Centennial Dinner on Friday at the Omni Interlocken Hotel in Broomfield on the eve of the Republican State Assembly.

Romanoff eagerly runs for Congress in CD 6

The Colorado Statesman

Even though Andrew Romanoff’s 6th Congressional District campaign staff is stocked with veterans of previous Romanoff runs — notable for massive volunteer participation and enthusiasm — staffers say the buzz about the Democrat’s campaign this year is already reaching the frenetic level not usually found until much closer to the election.

Four Republican candidates seek open seat in CD 4

The Colorado Statesman

Four Republicans are vying for the nomination to run for the 4th Congressional District seat left open by U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner’s decision in late February to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Udall.

Two of the candidates — Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer and Steve Laffey of Larimer County — turned in petitions last week and the other two — Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck and state Sen. Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley — are hoping to win the support of at least 30 percent of delegates at Friday’s CD 4 assembly in Broomfield.

Coffman pumped for tough challenge in CD 6

The Colorado Statesman

A year into what promises to be U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman’s toughest campaign, staffers say the biggest challenge is matching the energy of the candidate himself.

“Trying to keep up with Mike Coffman is an exhausting job,” says Coffman campaign manager Tyler Sandberg. “Our daily life is trying to keep up with Mike Coffman. We may be half his age, but we’re trying to keep up with him.”

Colorado Libertarians nominate 41 for 2014

The Colorado Statesman

Colorado Libertarians nominated a record 41 candidates for state, federal and county offices last weekend at the party’s state convention in Golden and party officials predicted that a recent rise in its ranks — the number of registered Libertarians in the state more than doubled over the last two years — could mean the perennial third party emerges as a bona fide major party by the end of the decade.

Arapahoe GOP meets on Super Saturday

The Colorado Statesman

“We are in it to win it,” Arapahoe County Republican Party chair Joy Hoffman told delegates at the county GOP assembly on Saturday in Centennial to their enthusiastic approval.

GOP primaries heat up legislative races in Jeffco

The Colorado Statesman

Jefferson County Republicans had expected to set the stage for two hotly contested legislative primaries at the party’s county assembly on Saturday in Lakewood but also teed up a third at the last minute, pitting an incumbent House member in a rematch against the primary challenger he defeated two years ago.

To no one’s surprise, a pair of self-described grassroots candidates — both with the backing of a hard-line gun-rights group — will be facing off in primaries against more establishment-style candidates in two state Senate races following votes by assembly delegates.

Controversial Republican nominee asked to withdraw from HD 23 race

The Colorado Statesman

The Jefferson County Republican Party on Thursday demanded that the House District 23 candidate nominated by delegates at last Saturday’s county assembly quit the race after learning he had been charged in an online scam and espoused white supremacist positions. And later that day, that’s exactly what happened.

Coffman enjoys birthday, but hopes for real celebration on Election Day

The Colorado Statesman

More than 100 supporters gathered to wish U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman a happy 59th birthday on March 22 at the Aurora Summit steakhouse and to chip in $59 each in what has become an annual fundraiser for the Aurora Republican. This year, he’ll be able to use every penny in what national observers have pegged one of the toughest reelection bids by any incumbent member of Congress, as Coffman faces former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff in the evenly divided 6th Congressional District.