A little over a week after Colorado’s epic 2014 election, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is already putting the 2016 CD6 race in the headlines.
Even though Mike Coffman defeated Andrew Romanoff by nine points, the DCCC seems undaunted, reportedly working to recruit Romanoff to run again in two years.
This isn’t uncommon nor is it a terrible idea if a Presidential election year brings more money and resources to Colorado, a very purple state.
But even if Romanoff doesn’t offer a rematch, Coffman will likely face a fierce fight from another Democrat in 2016, if he runs for re-election.
That question seems to be one of the pivotal points that the DCCC are resting its hopes upon, assuming that Coffman will give up CD6 to run for US Senate in 2016.
If he intends to continue to serve in Congress, he will remain a top target until he finally tires out his competition.
It’s exactly what his Colorado Congressional colleague Ed Perlmutter was forced to do and has done successfully. Perlmutter has persevered through many top tier Republican opponents in a very competitive district.
His past competition included Ryan Frazier, who many saw as a rising star in the GOP, and Joe Coors Jr., who had no problem with campaign fundraising.
This year, the GOP had a very qualified and talented candidate in Don Ytterberg, but the lack of outside funding, in a Republican year, showed that the GOP has accepted that CD7 belongs to Perlmutter until he retires.
Now CD6 is the most competitive district in Colorado and if Mike Coffman wants to stop seeing his new competition mentioned in headlines a week after he defeats his most recent one, he’ll have to prove the same staying power that Perlmutter has proven.
It won’t be easy. More would-be Democratic suitors for CD6 will show up and more statewide positions will become tantalizingly attractive.
But the same thing happened to Ed Perlmutter. When Bill Ritter announced he wasn’t running for re-election, Perlmutter would have been a competitive gubernatorial candidate in 2010. But he passed on the opportunity and stayed to represent CD7.
If Coffman intends to continue to represent CD6, he will need to get used to the target on his back for a few more elections. But if he keeps knocking off the best the Dems have to offer, eventually, they will resign themselves to waiting until he retires.
Coffman’s own party has already done that with one of the most competitive districts in the state, but it took Perlmutter four successful elections in that district to pull it off.
That likely means four more years of fights for Coffman, if he waives off the temptation for higher office. That’s no guarantee, but CD6 could possibly be his for as long as he wants it as long as he doesn’t mind a few more fights.
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About The Blogger
– Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Read new entries here usually every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dezzutti writes about federal, state and local matters and how our elected leaders are handling the issues important to Colorado. Dezzutti is also the host and producer of the Emmy award winning Colorado Inside Out on Colorado Public Television.