Democrat Levi Tillemann taps Bernie Sanders veteran to run 6th Congressional District campaign

Author: Ernest Luning - December 19, 2017 - Updated: December 21, 2017

Levi Tillemann waits to speak at a stop on a listening tour held by Colorado Democratic Party Chair Morgan Carroll on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 68 hall in Denver. Tillemann said he plans to announce within days that he's running in the Democratic primary in Colorado's 6th Congressional District. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)Levi Tillemann, Democratic candidate in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)

Colorado congressional candidate Levi Tillemann announced this week that Juan Rodriguez, a veteran of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, will manage his campaign in Colorado’s 6th District, where Tillemann is one of four Democrats running in next year’s primary for the seat held by Republican Mike Coffman.

A political media and campaign consultant with nearly 30 years experience, Rodriguez was political outreach director for the Sanders campaign in Nevada last year and helped organize in Colorado for caucuses after that.

Rodriguez is president of Rodriguez Hispanic Concepts, a Hispanic advertising and government affairs agency, and is programs coordinator for the National Hispanic Environmental Council. He got his start in politics at 23 when he was elected to the Rock Island County Board in Illinois and later worked as an aide to Illinois Sen. Alan Dixon and Illinois Rep. Luis Gutiérrez. He’s done work for former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and other candidates, nonprofits and political committees in the Midwest. He lives in Fort Collins.

Tillemann, a clean power expert and former Energy Department official in the Obama administration, is running in the suburban swing seat along with Democrats Jason Crow, an attorney and Army Ranger veteran; David Aarestad, an attorney and former school board candidate; and computer technician Erik Stanger, a recent entrant in the race.

Coffman, serving his fifth term in Congress, is an Army and Marine Corps veteran and has held public office in Colorado for nearly three decades. He’s facing a primary challenge from conservative activist Roger Edwards.

The district, which covers Aurora and parts of Adams County to the north and Arapahoe and Douglas counties to the south, is considered one of the most competitive in the country and is one of 23 districts held by a Republican but won last year by Democrat Hillary Clinton. Election forecasters rank it as a toss-up, citing the political mood and Crow’s status as a combat veteran in a district where Coffman has had that distinction to himself.

Precinct caucuses are March 6 and the primary election is June 26.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.