I personally am excited to see Andrew Romanoff announce his bid for the U.S. Senate. As Chair of the largest county in the state, I cannot begin to count the number of angry e-mails and phone calls to our office refusing to support the Democratic Party because people are tired of our Democratic elected officials refusing to stand up against industries that are more concerned with bottom line profits than they are for the dignity and humanity of people — whether it be in providing affordable health care to everyone or in honoring our working families by supporting the Employee Free Choice Act. These calls are not from Republicans; they are from Democrats who are fed up with middle of the road tactics that do not represent the values that we as Democrats cherish.
For the first time since I was elected Chair, our office is receiving calls from people excited about the U.S. Senate race. People are ready to support their former Speaker, a man who has fought tirelessly for Coloradans — to ensure our children are safe from crumbling schools and are gaining a world class education, to ensure our families have access to affordable health care, and to ensure that our state is freed from the stranglehold of an archaic tax amendment that stifles growth and limits the ability for Colorado to be the state we all dream of.
There are mixed feelings about primaries in the Democratic Party in Denver. Some say primaries push the party line to extremes and cater to those on the fringes in our political world. Some say primaries force negative campaigning that leaves the other side with plenty of material to use following the August election. I believe the 2010 U.S. Senate primary in Colorado will ensure Democrats are given a voice in who OUR candidate is — a voice that was blatantly ignored by the gubernatorial appointment of this seat.
State Party Chair Pat Waak’s intimation to county Democratic Party chairs that county parties cannot endorse in a primary election is not entirely correct. The Colorado Democratic Party rules make it clear that a county’s central committee can endorse one Democratic candidate over another. The rules also do not preclude county party officers from endorsing as individuals. Whether an entire county party has endorsed in the past is not clear and, from what I am hearing this year, an endorsement from the Democratic Party of Denver is up in the air.
It is not always easy to be a political party county chair, and sometimes we use local primaries as excuses for staying neutral when more than one qualified candidate runs for a seat. But sometimes, like now, I believe it is our obligation to stand up for our county and for our own belief of what is right, even if it may not be easy. I haven’t officially endorsed Andrew Romanoff for U.S. Senate although I would be remiss if I didn’t admit it is obvious I have a preference. I will, however, support the Democratic candidate in the 2010 general election regardless of who wins the primary. I believe Democrats on either side of this primary race will do the same. I cannot reiterate enough however, how excited I and other Denver Democrats are to have our Democratic champion back — fighting for what is right, even if it may not be easy.
Chair, Democratic Party of Denver