The only legislator to be on the receiving end of a negative TV ad blitz already this cycle, state Senator Evie Hudak is looking at a tough re-election battle in 2012. In a competitive seat and a supporter of every tax increase in sight, Hudak would be in trouble regardless of whom runs against her. Making matters worse for Hudak, there is a strong stable of candidates lining up to oppose her.
Already, state Representative Robert Ramirez (R-Westminster), who won a squeaker of an election in 2010, has declared his candidacy for SD19. In recent weeks Lang Sias, himself a tremendous candidate, is also prominently rumored to be jumping in.
Sias ran against Ryan Frazier in the CD7 primary last year and earned a great deal of goodwill from party activists in his run. A veteran of both Iraq wars and a lawyer by training, Sias was seen as a whip smart candidate with a bright future in Colorado politics, even if the Congressional race didn't go the way he wanted. A source tells the Peak he is near a decision on the race and is likely to jump in soon.
Regardless of Sias's decision, 2012 spells bad news for Evie Hudak.
During the Prop 103 debate, in which Hudak played a prominent role in pushing for the $3 billion tax increase, Compass Colorado blasted Hudak on TV with a $60,000 ad buy — a not insubstantial media blitz, especially considering Colorado voters were not seeing much else in the way of political ads in the fall.
Coloradans ultimately rejected Prop 103 nearly 2:1, a margin that surely has caused some heartburn among Hudak's supporters.
And Compass Colorado is not done with Hudak either, placing her on its Dirty Dozen Job Killers list. The conservative group describes her voting record on their website, which includes voting to raise taxes a whopping $4.27 billion:
- Prop 103 ($2.9 billion)
- All Dirty Dozen tax increases ($323.3 million)
- FASTER car registration tax ($265 million)
- Hospital tax ($590 million)
- Repeal of the Senior Homestead Property Tax exemption ($192 million)
- Automatic pay raises for bureaucrats
- Repealing the 6% government spending cap
To us, this voting records spells D-E-F-E-A-T in a tough race.
The new SD19 is a highly competitive district, with Republicans holding only a 1% registration advantage. In 2010, Democrat Treasurer Cary Kennedy won the district by a mere six votes, but Republican Regent Steve Bosley took it by over 3,500 votes, meaning the district leans Republican in pure party-line voting.
Being a down-ballot state Senate race, most voters will have little information on who Evie Hudak is — and at this point the only message they've received is that she LOVES higher taxes.
In the near future, Hudak will struggle to get any message through with the airwaves blanketed by Presidential campaign ads. That is not good news for her in a district that leans to the GOP candidate.
We fully expect outside groups to play heavily in this race on both sides. The problem for Hudak is the right has already dropped 60 large in defining her early.
And that is just the early blitz more than a year out — it will only get worse for Hudak.
If Evie Hudak is still a State Senator at this time next year, she'll be one lucky lady, walking with a noticeable limp.
(Photo Credit: Colorado News Agency)