By Don Knox, STATE BILL COLORADO
Colorado House Democrats, trying to fend off a Republican takeover in this fall’s elections, are faced with having to defend considerably more territory than their opponents. And things aren’t getting any easier in that regard.
In the past two weeks, three incumbent Democratic representatives have gained Republican challengers. They are Brighton Rep. Judy Solano in a competitive HD-31, Fort Collins Rep. Randy Fischer in a Democrat-leaning HD-53 and Aurora Rep. Karen Middleton in a seemingly safely Democratic HD-42.
By contrast, no new Democratic candidates have emerged against Republican opponents.
What’s more, Republicans have done a better job, at least to this point, of keeping opponents at bay. So far, five incumbent House Democrats have no major-party opposition. Eight, and possibly nine, House Republicans are similarly situated.
The Democratic incumbents with no major-party opposition yet are Reps. Mark Ferrandino, HD-02; Beth McCann, HD-08; Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, HD-10; John Kefalas, HD-52; and Ed Vigil, HD-62.
The Republicans incumbents with no major-party opposition so far are Bob Gardner, HD-21; Cheri Gerou, HD-25; David Balmer, HD-39; Frank McNulty, HD-43; Carole Murray, HD-45; Glenn Vaad, HD-48; Laura Bradford, HD-55; and Jerry Sonnenberg, HD-65. The list grows to nine if Rep. Tom Massey, HD-60, is included. Massey has not formally filed paperwork to run, according to Colorado Secretary of State records.
The magic number for the GOP to reclaim Colorado’s House is six. McNulty has predicted a GOP pickup of between four and seven seats. Democrats, by contrast, have said they will keep control in the 2010 elections.
Colorado’s 2010 elections are on Tuesday, Nov. 2.
State Bill Colorado’s 2010 Election Tracker is published below.