Hush, Hush and on the QT: Legislators Play Musical Chairs

Don’t blink or you’ll miss who’s running for office or who’s leaving early.

The Music is On with Plenty of Chairs on the Floor
Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald (D-Coal Creek) joins a list of legislators who are leaving office before their terms are up in 2009. Popular Democrat Rep. Dan Gibbs (D-Silverthorne) has taken a bid for Fitz-Gerald’s seat, which would leave open the 56th district, which covers Summit, Lake and most of Eagle County.

Fitz-Gerald is stepping down to devote full time to her congressional campaign.

Hush, Hush will guess that some of the names on the list to replace Gibbs could include Sandy Briggs, chairman of the Summit County Democratic Party or Eagle County commissioners Arn Menconi or Peter Runyon, both Democrats. 

The Democrat appointed to fill Gibb’s seat could face Republican challengers such as former Eagle county commissioner Tom Stone or real estate developer Muhammad Ali Hasan from Beaver Creek for the 2008 election. More to come soon on this developing story.

Another person looking at the Boulder-area state Senate race for the 18th district is former Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Rollie Heath. Already, University of Colorado Regent Cindy Carlisle has launched her campaign to replace term-limited Democrat Ron Tupa.

No Deal on Governor Duel
Former governor Bill Owens challenged Gov. Bill Ritter to a public debate on collective bargaining and unions with respect to state employees, according to The Denver Post. Owens also wanted to defend his administration over problems with state computer systems.

Ritter respectfully declined, surely no surprise to the Owens camp, but Hush, Hush wonders if this is a sign that Owens has decided to become more visible and vocal because he has a future 2008 race in mind?

Preparing for the Feb. 5th caucus
The Colorado Democratic Party is launching a series of caucus training events in November and December. You will want to attend if you are interested in becoming a delegate in the Democratic Convention in Denver next August. Also, be sure to register by Dec. 5th if you want to participate in the Democratic presidential caucus.

Currently, there are no caucus updates available on the Colorado Republican website.

Another Udall for U.S. Senate
Last Saturday, Congressman Tom Udall (D-NM) decided he will enter the crowded candidate field for the U.S. Senate in New Mexico, a seat being vacated by Republican Pete Domenici for health reasons. A formal announcement will be made during Congress’s Thanksgiving recess. Udall could face at least three other candidates in a Democratic primary. Rep. Mark Udall and Tom Udall are cousins.