It’s election night, so, of course, it’s time to start our primary-night election pool. I mean, you need something to keep you awake until the end of the night. Email me your pick at firstname.lastname@example.org by 7 p.m. when the polls close. I haven’t decided the winner’s prize, but I guarantee it will be memorable (which, by the way, may be somewhat shy of fabulous. It might be as memorable as Littwin on your voice mail.).
And be sure, of course, to tune in for the all the results on our election page at ColoradoIndependent.com. (And if you need a refresher before you vote, it’s all there on our governor’s page.)
So, we’ll start with the governor’s race. Obviously Jared Polis and Walker Stapleton are the chalk picks on the Dem and Republican sides respectively. Among Democrats, you shouldn’t be too shocked, though, if either Cary Kennedy or Michael Johnston (suddenly the hot underdog pick) wins. And on the Republican side, Vic Mitchell could have a shot. As we know, polling has been scarce, and with the unaffiliated voters eligible, we have no idea whether the pollsters have gotten their modeling right. I think it could be an exciting night, or it could mean that gazillions of dollars have been wasted.
Here’s the gov balloting for Democrats:
Now we move on to the hot attorney general primary in the Democratic Party. I like this one, pitting progressive state Rep. Joe Salazar against former CU law dean, Phil Weiser. The Dem establishment really, really, really doesn’t want Salazar to win, which you can take either way. In any case, this is the progressive-establishment battle everyone is talking about and the left-middle battle that some were expecting, but never happened, in the governor’s race. No one would be surprised if this is close. And should a Democrat win, it’s also the governmental position best poised to take on the Trump administration. Republicans have already settled on George Brauchler.
The treasurer’s race has a similar split, although it has been made in a far lower key, but with more money spent than you might have expected to replace Walker Stapleton. I have exactly no inside info on either of these races, so you’re on your own. I do have the names, though:
On the Republican side, it’s state Rep. Polly Lawrence, state Rep. Justin Everett and realtor Brian Watson.
For Democrats, it’s Rep. Dave Young from the establishment side and financial guy Bernard Douthit representing the progressives.
We’ll finish with the congressional primary races.
In CD1, we have seen a surprisingly interesting race in which 11-term incumbent Diana DeGette has been challenged from the left by Saira Rao — a former Wall Street banker who supported Hillary Clinton but is now running on the establishment Democrats’ failure to successfully address social justice issues and on the party’s over-reliance on corporate money. Rao has run a good race, very much in tune with the times in a liberal district, but it’s very difficult to beat an incumbent who has done nothing in particular to offend the voters who have been electing her for years.
In CD2, running to replace Polis in the Democratic primary are former CU regent Joe Neguse and Mark Williams, who was a fighter pilot in the Air Force and a chairman of the Boulder Democrats. Neguse is thought to be the favorite. What we do know is that the Democrat will almost certainly win in November.
In the 5th district — in which the Republican will win in November — incumbent Doug Lamborn, who always faces a tough primary and always manages to win, has got a big field (which should work in his favor) running against him this time. This was the year Lamborn almost didn’t make the ballot and had to be a saved by a judge. We’ll see if he has the same luck against his long list of opponents: state Sen. Owen Hill, Darryl Glenn (you remember him), former Green Mountain Falls Mayor Tyler Stephens and former judge Bill Rhea. I’ll be particularly interested to see how Glenn does.
CD6 is the big race on the Democratic side. It’s another progressive vs. establishment race. Jason Crow was the handpicked candidate (see: House minority whip Steny Hoyer) to face Mike Coffman, who has beaten back the best the Democrats have to offer (Morgan Carroll, Andrew Romanoff) in a district that is wide open. Crow is the former Army Ranger combat veteran who is thought to be a counter to Coffman’s long years as a Marine and Army veteran. Crow is running against progressive Levi Tillemann, who is also the grandson of Nancy Dick, who was Colorado’s first female lieutenant governor. The district is rated a tossup for November.
Democrats like to think that they have a chance to upset Scott Tipton in CD3. The national political gurus don’t see it that way. But there are Dems running for the opportunity: Arn Menconi, who ran as the Green Party candidate in the 2016 U.S. Senate race, former state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush and Karl Hanlon, a rancher/water attorney.
There are more races, of course, but this is plenty for our purposes. So, send in your vote, and who knows what riches await the winner. Hint: It won’t be rich by Jared Polis or Vic Mitchell standards.