Congressman Mike Coffman waltzed to a double-digit victory over Andrew Romanoff to represent Colorado’s 6th Congressional District, with Romanoff conceding in a speech to supporters after returns showed an insurmountable gap.
Coffman was on the attack about Romanoff being a “career politician” from an early point in the election cycle. Ironically, Coffman, who has not lost an election in more than 25 years, has been in the political arena since 1989 when he was sworn in to the Colorado House of Representatives. Coffman’s career as a politician spans more than a decade longer than Romanoff’s.
When Romanoff walked through the doors at Moe’s BBQ restaurant in Aurora just before 8:30 p.m., his gathered supporters welcomed him like the high school quarterback who left it all on the field but lost the big game. There was all the usual applause and cheering that morphed into chants of “Andrew! Andrew!” But a hush quickly fell over the room.
As Romanoff made his way through the crowd, he shook every extended hand with a stoic expression that betrayed a little disappointment. Some of his supporters were still waving “Romanoff for Congress” signs that were starting to droop.
Earlier in the night, the gap between Romanoff and his opponent, Mike Coffman, still seemed plausibly surmountable, with the hope that the last-minute ground-game push might make a difference. But with the secretary of state’s website reporting at 9 p.m. that Coffman had a 12-percentage-point lead, the game was over.
Romanoff took to the small stage to address the tightly gathered crowd. With watery eyes, he had to make a just slight gesture for the room to grow quiet. In his concession speech, he thanked his family and supporters and congratulated Coffman on his victory. “We love you, Andrew!” one supporter yelled out. “Oh, I love you too,” Romanoff replied, breaking into a wide and poignant smile.
At the end of the speech, Romanoff invited his volunteers to take the stage, and they came flocking from all corners of the room. The stage, small though it was, was nowhere near big enough to fit the whole army of volunteers, some of whom were visibly teary. After giving a wholehearted thank-you to his team, he called out two pairs of volunteers who formed budding romances during the campaign. The young couples in question blushed hard.
As the horde of volunteers left the stage to some of the more robust applause of the evening, Romanoff hopped down to mill around the room.
The song that came on next?