Ernest Luning

Gessler gets earful on listening tour

Arapahoe County GOP chair cites blackjack-wielding volunteer and ‘hideous’ scene in Mission Viejo
The Colorado Statesman

Secretary of State Scott Gessler got an earful this week at the first stops on his self-described “listening tour” designed to solicit comments from the public about the conduct of the 2012 election.

Poll watchers, canvass board members, party officials and regular citizens lined up to air their grievances on Wednesday in Boulder and Centennial, complaining about everything from faulty polling lists and ham-handed county clerks to Gessler’s own actions chasing suspected non-citizens on the voter rolls while, some claimed, creating unnecessary hurdles for residents to register and vote.

Why did we lose?

Wadhams: Blame Romney
The Colorado Statesman

After enduring a shellacking at the polls in Colorado earlier this month, state Republicans are poised to come back in a big way in the next election, former state GOP chairman Dick Wadhams told a group of Aurora Republicans on Saturday.

But in order to win the favor of the state’s notoriously fickle electorate, he said, Republicans have to figure out how to reach increasing numbers of Hispanic voters, reject once and for all any association with the “lethal” personhood amendment, and do a better job picking candidates of “substance and discipline.”

GOP already chomping at the bit to take back state senate in 2014

The Colorado Statesman

Even as early returns were showing unexpectedly strong Democratic numbers on election night, at least a few Republicans at the state GOP’s watch party in Denver cast optimistic eyes toward the future.

“Don’t worry. We’re taking the Senate next time,” said one GOP operative. “No question.”

Ferrandino soon to be known as “Mr. Speaker”

The Colorado Statesman

Six months to the day after House Republican leaders killed a bill to establish same-sex civil unions in a bitter procedural standoff, a newly elected, triumphant Democratic majority on Thursday nominated Mark Ferrandino as speaker of the House, marking the first time an openly gay legislator will preside over the chamber.

The Denver Democrat fought to hold back tears as he told a packed committee room at the Capitol that he was humbled by the honor and considered it a win for kids who’ve been bullied or who grew up feeling like they didn’t fit in.

Colorado Democrats giddy over Obama, Statehouse wins

The Colorado Statesman

When the Associated Press called Colorado’s nine electoral votes for President Barack Obama on Tuesday night — swinging the election to the Democrat and cementing the state’s decisive role in national politics — an already ecstatic crowd in downtown Denver erupted in even more deafening cheers.

Riding a wave of strong support from the state’s Latinos, women and younger voters, Obama won Colorado with 1,252,679 votes, or 51.23 percent, over Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s 1,135,403 votes, or 46.44 percent. In 2008 Obama carried the state by a wider margin, roughly 9 points, only the second time in the last four decades that a Democrat has won the state.

Perlmutter head over heels after election victory

Republican Coors left in dregs after fizzling campaign
The Colorado Statesman

U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter was turning cartwheels after roundly defeating Republican challenger Joe Coors to win a fourth term representing Colorado’s 7th Congressional District on Tuesday.

Performing what has become a Perlmutter trademark — he embraced the move during his last campaign after an attack ad accused him of cartwheeling around Washington, D.C. — the Democrat went head over heels on election night in front of a room full of supporters at the Lakewood Sheraton and then again two days later at the State Capitol at Democratic caucus meetings.

Dems increase ranks, take control at State House

The Colorado Statesman

Democrats retook control of the Colorado House by a wide margin and kept their majority in the Senate on Tuesday, smoothing the path for legislation stalled by Republicans in the last session when the GOP ruled the House by one seat.

Democrats increased their share of House seats from 32 to 37 seats, leaving Republicans with 28. In the Senate, Democrats will continue to hold a 20-15 edge. On their way to majorities in both chambers, Democrats evicted four House Republicans: Reps. Cindy Acree, R-Aurora; Mark Barker, R-Colorado Springs; J. Paul Brown, R-Ignacio; and Robert Ramirez, R-Arvada.

Former President Clinton continues to slam Romney at Colorado campaign stops

‘Explainer-in-chief’ delivers stunning blows
The Colorado Statesman

Former President Bill Clinton revved up supporters of President Barack Obama and delivered a ringing denunciation of Republican nominee Mitt Romney at two campaign stops on Tuesday in Commerce City and Denver.

Obama has “got a better jobs plan, he’s got a better health care plan, he’s got a better education plan, he’s got a better budget plan and he’ll keep trying to bring us together,” Clinton told an estimated 2,000 supporters inside a packed gymnasium at Manual High School after speaking earlier to a smaller crowd at Adams City High School.

Candidates brand each other liars in CD 7

The Colorado Statesman

With less than a week to go before ballots are counted, the race for the 7th Congressional District seat between incumbent Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter and his Republican challenger, Joe Coors, is coming down to a hard-fought chase for votes after a campaign that has turned brutal in recent months.

“We have this saying in Jefferson County — if you walk, you win,” said Perlmutter at a rally for volunteers on Sunday. “It’s the personal contact you make, it’s that door-to-door contact… when you look somebody in the eye and you explain why you feel it’s so important.”

The stars shine brightly for candidates

‘Mad Men’s’ Jon Hamm attracts the ladies, but goal is to get them to vote
The Colorado Statesman

Advocates for President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney criss-crossed the state as the clock ticked down toward the Nov. 6 election.

The stars came out on Saturday as “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm, his wife, actress and screenwriter Jennifer Westfeldt, and “Law & Order: SVU” star Stephanie March plied the metro area in an Obama campaign van, making stops at field offices and what the campaign calls staging locations, where volunteers gather to pick up canvassing material, in Lakewood, Littleton and Denver.