In an Aurora mayoral race that polling and fundraising shows is ostensibly a two-way race between Republican former City Councilman Steve Hogan and Republican City Councilman Ryan Frazier, a spate of recent endorsements has reshaped the race. As Lynn Bartels noted, Hogan got the backing of Democrat Congressman Ed Perlmutter today, while Frazier picked up the support of Republican Congressman Mike Coffman.
Add to that Hogan's recent endorsement by the police and firefighter's unions, and it appears Hogan has stopped caring altogether about garnering conservative votes. Although we aren't endorsing in the race, as we like a number of the candidates, it will be hard for conservatives to consider supporting Hogan after he sought the backing of Perlmutter.
It is altogether reasonable that a Republican will vote for Frazier or the race’s other sensible conservative, Jude Sandvall.
In the eyes of many Republicans, a Steve Hogan beloved by Ed Perlmutter is a Steve Hogan that is disqualified.
It appears the Perlmutter push is a play to the Democrats in Aurora, as the leading Democrat candidate for Aurora Mayor, "Defector Debbie" Stafford, was pulling barely 13% of Democrats in the only publicly released poll so far (paid for by the Frazier campaign).
In that Magellan Strategies poll, Frazier was leading in support from Democrats at 18.4% support to Hogan’s 14.6% and Stafford’s 13.3%. With Frazier at 35% support in the poll among GOP respondents to Hogan’s 13.7%, it’s clear where Hogan’s opportunity lies.
But by attempting to please liberal voters in Aurora, Hogan is likely to anger potential conservative supporters.
The Perlmutter endorsement won’t help Hogan with supporters of Frazier's Congressional campaign who were pondering supporting someone else in the Mayor's race, even helping push them in Frazier's direction. One guaranteed way to anger Aurora Republicans is to trumpet the support of the man they fought tooth and nail to remove from office only a few months ago.
Perhaps in a nod to the coming conservative problem Hogan's campaign is going to have, they also had former Aurora Mayor and Republican Paul Tauer on hand at the Perlmutter endorsement press conference to reaffirm his support for Hogan.
The big question for Hogan's campaign at this point: Will the conservative support Hogan loses over the Perlmutter and union endorsements equal or surpass the liberal support he gains?