Don’t worry, Democrats are not immune from blistering primaries. In fact, this year, the divide in the Democratic Party is bigger than ever thanks to the Bernie vs. Hillary loyalists. We’re just glad that Democrats are finally feeling our pain. Here are the races to watch tonight:
For the first time that we can remember, U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette has a primary opponent – and his name is hilarious – Charles (Chuck?) Norris. No, not that one. But DeGette’s primary is just a symptom of the grassroots (Chuck) vs. establishment (Diana) divide in the Colorado Democratic Party, which is still working to patch things up after the Colorado grassroots voted for Bernie and the establishment (including super delegates) turned on them to support Hillary. The stunt in which the asses in the state party didn’t notify Team Bernie that they could pick up additional delegates didn’t help the situation at all. Our money is on DeGette, but stranger things have happened this year.
Senate District 29
Two electeds Rep. Rhonda Fields and Rep. Su Ryden are battling for the seat vacated by term-limited state Sen. Morgan Carroll. Carroll has volunteered to walk into the U.S. Rep. Coffman buzz saw. What a team player.
Senate District 31
The Democratic primary to replace Sen. Pat Steadman has been brutal from the beginning when Steadman last fall endorsed political newcomer Steve Sherick, instead of Rep. Lois Court, for his seat. Court, according to the Denver Post, has the support of the party establishment. Although, the announcement was made at an event with State Reps. Alec Garnett and Paul Rosenthal, so he can’t be that anti-establishment. Erin Bennett is a community organizer who works for Colorado 9to5.
Senate District 33
Rep. Angela Williams and Jon Biggerstaff are squaring off in another establishment vs. grassroots race. Williams has raised a whopping $94,000 compared to Biggerstaff’s $21,000. Biggerstaff refused to take PAC money, but Williams likely has the name recognition and campaign infrastructure to best Biggerstaff.
House District 3
Jeff Bridges, son of Rutt Bridges, is fighting against Meg Froelich, who just completed a documentary on women elected officials. The fundraising is somewhat competitive, with Bridges raising $95,000 and Froelich raising $75,000. Rumor has it that Bridges originally was eyeing a run against Coffman until party officials talked him down to House District 3. Bridges likely has an unlimited pool of money for the primary as well as the general where he will likely face off against Republican Katy Brown.
House District 8
If you drive around Denver, other than the Boyd v. Carrigan v. McCann signs all about town, you’ll also see signs for Leslie Herod and Aaron Goldhamer, another tough race for Democrats. Each candidate has raised approximately $100,000 (Goldhamer loaned himself $25,000). Herod is considered the establishment candidate to Goldhamer’s grassroots support and, not surprisingly, he took top line at the HD8 assembly. Without polling, it’s anybody’s guess. The seat is currently held by Rep. Beth McCann who is running for 2nd JD DA.
House District 42
This primary is amazing, not because it’s competitive (although, it may be), but because of Democrat Eric Nelson’s epic meltdown. He sits on the board of Aurora Public Schools, but appears to have faked his education credentials. We give him props for refusing to step down. Way to stick it to the man, and, potentially, hand it to Republicans. We would love to see this guy advance, if only for the entertainment value.
2nd Judicial District Attorney
Deputy DA Kenneth Boyd, CU Regent Michael Carrigan, and Rep. Beth McCann are all vying for the top legal dog in the 2nd Judicial District. The race has attracted gobs of money – $1.5 million so far, which is at least one million more than any other non-federal race in the state. Carrigan leans on his background running a large law department whereas McCann says her legislative background will be helpful to the department, and Boyd claims to be the only one to embrace new DNA technology. It’s wide open and voters want a change from former DA Mitch Morrissey, whose office has been mired in controversy. The winner of the primary will go on to face Independent candidate Helen Morgan.
17th Judicial District Attorney
Sitting DA Dave Young (no, not the legislator from up north) failed to make the primary ballot via the Assembly, losing to Carolyn Datz, but he rallied and made the ballot. His fundraising numbers look weak compared to Datz, but he has the incumbent’s advantage.