Senate President Brandon Shaffer has ended his CD6 striptease. After weeks of speculation, which began on this blog in December, Shaffer has formally announced he won't be running in the more competitive CD6, and instead will stay in the impossible-to-win CD4 race.
Shaffer's announcement that he will stick with CD4 brings to an end a long stretch of brutal and damaging process stories that undermined the current CD6 candidates and exposed Shaffer as a politician more concerned with his own ambition than representing a specific community in Congress.
Days after calling the Peak a liar in an interview with the Colorado Statesman regarding our reporting that he was looking at CD6, The Denver Post reported Shaffer was polling in CD6. News that Shaffer was looking at moving races was not met kindly by current CD6 candidate, Democrat state Rep. Joe Miklosi (D-Denver), whose campaign pushed back hard against Shaffer's potential entry.
Miklosi's campaign consultant, Steve Welchert, even went so far as to invoke Shaffer's wife and kids as a reason to not move races.
Shaffer's race jumping adventure also invoked the ire of liberal activists in CD4. One liberal blogger who runs a site dedicated to attacking CD4 Congressman Cory Gardner had this to say about Shaffer's potential switch to the CD6 race:
For my money, [Shaffer has] lost a lot of credibility through this decision that shows his lack of loyalty to his supporters in the 4th. If Shaffer has that little loyalty to the people in the District he currently lives in, I would hate to imagine how “loyal” he would be to the people of the 6th, should he decide to switch races.
Burn! When even liberals who are dedicated to attacking your opponent are instead training their fire on you, you know you've royally screwed up.
Shaffer's exit from the candidate pool leaves only one better funded Democrat for Miklosi to beat now in the CD6 Democrat primary. Currently, the two declared Democrat candidates for CD6 are Miklosi and Dr. Perry "Massage Therapist Millionaire" Haney. Haney has donated or lent $421,000 to his own campaign, but managed to raise only $16,000 from other people in all of 2011.
Regardless of where the money came from, Haney now holds a decisive 2:1 advantage in cash on hand compared to Miklosi.
Miklosi, meanwhile, has been the worst Congressional fundraiser in Colorado this cycle, pulling in only $104,000 in the 4th quarter, despite seeing a 30-point swing towards Democrats during the redistricting process that was finalized late last year.
With Shaffer firmly in the 4th, and Miklosi and Haney battling it out for the right to lose to Mike Coffman in the 6th, Democrats have pretty much left themselves with only one potential race to win — the 3rd Congressional district.
Unfortunately for Democrats, while their candidate is raising good money, he's got a long and illustrious criminal rap sheet, a voting record supporting over a billion dollars in tax increases, and took a taxpayer funded bonus for working on the political campaign of then-Congressman John Salazar.
That's not a recipe for success in any district, let alone the conservative 3rd CD.