Romanoff tells friends he’s running; Norton, too

By Jody Hope Strogoff

Politics was clearly on the menu at Del Frisco’s Steak House on Tuesday when the Denver Rustlers gathered for lunch before their annual foray to the Junior Livestock Sale at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo. The lively bipartisan group of leaders from Colorado’s political, business, social and civic arenas munched on tasty political morsels and side dishes of juicy gossip as candidates for 2010 — officially announced and otherwise — whetted their appetites.

Former Democratic House Speaker Andrew Romanoff and soon-to-become U.S. Senate candidate, center, and Dem U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, right, shake hands at the Denver Rustlers annual lunch while Dem U.S. Sen. Mark Udall watches on the side.
Photo by Jason Kosena/The Colorado Statesman

Among the choice tidbits picked up at this prime south metro eatery were the following: Former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, of Denver, has been telling friends that he definitely will be a candidate for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by fellow Democrat Michael Bennet, and former Republican Lt. Gov. Jane Norton will officially announce her candidacy for the same seat later this month.

Romanoff, accompanied at the luncheon by his father who was visiting from out of state, told a reporter only that he prefers to wait two weeks before saying anything on the record about the upcoming plans. But lawyer/Denver Rustler Steve Farber, who was also at the Del Frisco’s event, confirmed to The Statesman that he had personally received a call from Romanoff a few days prior, informing him that he is in the race and seeking his support. (Farber told Romanoff that he already made a commitment to Bennet and intends to keep it.)

Another politically interesting grouping! Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, former GOP Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, Denver Rustler Larry Mizel and Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet.
Photo by Jason Kosena/The Colorado Statesman

Norton, accompanied at the luncheon by her husband, attorney Mike Norton, told The Statesman that she plans to make an official announcement of candidacy by the end of this month, thereby adding to the number of Republican candidates hoping to unseat Bennet, who was appointed to the U.S. Senate last December by Gov. Bill Ritter.

The Senate race was the main dish at this year’s Denver Rustlers luncheon.

Hungry for dessert? You’ll have to wait until next week when The Statesman’s full coverage of the Denver Rustlers trip is served up in full.