02 June 2006

Colorado's Invisible Election

In many Colorado General Assembly races, the election is already essentially over, even though not a single primary has been held. About 19% of the General Assembly races in this election cycle are uncontested. Democratic Congresswoman from Denver Diana DeGette also has no major party opposition, nor does her Congressional District's Democratic party nominee to the State School Board.

The View From My Precinct

Indeed, where I live, the only races with major party contests I'll face at the ballot box in November are the statewide races for Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Attorney General and CU Regent at Large.

I have no local government races (only half of RTD board members face election every two years and this is an off year for my district), a completely uncontested state house race with not even a third party challenge, no state senate race (only half are contested every two years), an uncontested state school board race, no CU-Regent race for my Congressional District (again, only half face the voters every two years and this is my district's year off), and an uncontested Congressional race. Of course, there is no U.S. Senate race in Colorado this year (as happens one out of every three federal elections), and no Presidental race this year.

There are twenty-five judicial retention elections on the ballot for Denver voters this year, but they are almost certain to result in a unanimous vote of confidence.

As I noted before, the only contested issue on my state primary ballot will be the Xcel Energy franchise agreement with Denver and any other municipal issues that end up on the ballot in August.

This is just as well, I suppose. I'll need plenty of space on my polling machine cheat sheet for many ballot issues this year.

The Big Picture

According to Dan Slater, eleven Democrats and two Republicans, in the sixty-five member state house, will not face major party opposition this time around (it is possible that one of the two unopposed Republicans will get a last minute Democratic party opponent today). Two Democrats and one Republican of the eighteen facing election fights this year, will not face major party opposition in the state senate.

Reps. Cerbo, McGihon, Judd, Terrance Carroll, Madden, Weissman, Jahn, Soper, Peniston, and Curry. Kathleen Curry’s place on this list is even more impressive, because that seat was held only two years ago by a Republican, and was highly targeted in 2004. House District 61 is a swing seat, and it shows the amazing job that Rep. Curry has been doing in a rural district.

Also, congrats to the Democratic voters in HD 13. They will get to select the next State Representative for that district, as well. Claire Levy and Jim Rettew both made the primary ballot — but no Republicans bothered to run! . . .

Congrats to Senators Abel Tapia and Paula Sandoval. Both have no Republican opposition. Again, in 2002, Tapia’s SD3 seat was hotly contested, with hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent by both sides on that race.

Republicans seem to have forgotten the basic rule, not unlike the lottery, that you can't win if you don't play.

[O]f the remaining 15 seats up for election this year, Democrats only need to win 6 of those 15 to keep a majority in the State Senate.

The current division of the fifteen contested state senate seats is 9 to the Republicans, and 6 to the Democrats. In the opinion of Mile High Delphi, four of the seats held by Democrats are safe or lean democratic, and there are two Democratic held and two Republican held seats which are "toss ups". Three of the Republican leaning Senate seats this election are open seats being contested by Democrats, while there is only one Democratic leaning open State Senate seat.

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