The AP's Kristen Wyatt reports this morning via Twitter that freshman Representative Robert Ramirez (R-Westminster) has earned himself a challenger even before the new legislative lines are drawn. The challenger, lawyer-lobbyist Tracy Kraft-Tharp, announced despite the fact she doesn't know if she'll even legally be allowed to run for the seat, as district lines haven't been set yet. State legislators, by law, must live in the district they represent.
Kraft-Tharp, who also sits on the Democrat State Central Committee for Jefferson County, is an opponent of SB 191, the bipartisan education reform bill that passed the Legislature in 2010. On Facebook in March she complained that the cost of implementing the reform wasn't worth it. Why spend money on reform when you can just throw more money at a broken system?
You can be sure the lobbyists for the CEA will be lining her campaign chest with plenty of financial padding.
A couple of other positions/statements Kraft-Tharp has locked herself into via her Facebook account:
- Public employees don't serve taxpayers, they just get paid by them.
- Supports Obamacare. Can't understand why everyone else doesn't, or what the word "compromise" means.
- Says Obamacare hasn't raised insurance rates.
- Loves the Liberal Loon Carol Hedges and believes economic growth won't help the budget deficit. (Despite the fact that tax revenues are expected to grow $685 million next year from economic growth)
As a lawyer-lobbyist she comes from a long line of Democrats with that ignoble notation in front of their name from state Senator Pat Steadman to most notoriously, twice failed US Senate candidate, Tom Strickland. Outside safe districts like Steadmans’ it hasn't proven to be a winning moniker.
Ramirez was elected by the thinnest of margins, beating incumbent Democrat Rep. Debbie Benefield by 197 votes in 2010. By all accounts, Ramirez won his seat through outright dogged determination, walking his district three or four times, according to our sources.
This marks the first announcement of a state legislative candidate challenging a sitting incumbent in a swing district. The fact that the announcement is of a lawyer-lobbyist who has decided to run before even knowing if she would legally qualify, is not a good sign for Democrats. It is simply another example of a case of an affliction which has hit the Democrat Party in Colorado recently — give me an elected office, any office. I don't care who I have to represent to get it.
(Photo via Facebook)