TRAIL MIX | Candidates scramble as heatwave days drift into fall | Chroniclers


The heatwaves of 2021 are drawing to a close.

Technically, this sweltering time of summer occurs when the Sun appears in the same part of the sky as Sirus, the Dog Star, which is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major.

As the Farmer’s Almanac says, the ancient Romans believed that Sirius generated his own heat, helping to explain the sultry, lazy days that usually fall 20 days on either side of the star’s conjunction with the sun, when both get up and go to bed at the same time. This year is from July 3 to August 11.

Over the years, as the astrological origin of the phrase fades away, people have filled in the meaning by noting that dogs tend to sleep a lot when it’s hot, or by suggesting that the days are not. good for a dog or even as the heat grows. mad dogs.

During the summer between election years, the heatwave days are lull when the political world tends to bow in anticipation of the busy months ahead, between legislative sessions and generally before the campaigns are in full swing. This year, the pace hasn’t slowed a bit in the U.S. Senate, with lawmakers scrambling to get a vote on a massive infrastructure bill as the August recess weeks loom, but back in Colorado, the political world seems to be taking a break.

Part of the reason is that Republicans have yet to field top candidates for most of the top office, including the four statewide positions on the year’s poll. next and the seat in the United States Senate held by Democrat Michael Bennet and members of the United States House in the eight congressional districts that will be voted on in 2022.

There are many reasons why Republicans were slow to align their starting lineup, including the party’s shallow bench following the series of beatings the GOP suffered in the last election. Most importantly, it’s the delayed Congressional – and legislative – cards that keep ambitious politicians from both parties on hold until late fall.

As the days grow shorter and the sun begins to creep further south, expect a cavalcade of Republican leading office candidates to begin to launch their campaigns, albeit with the boundaries of the new 8th Congressional District. state uncertain for at least a few months, there could be some persistent entrants closer to winter.

Before long, voters can expect to have a clearer picture of the races that Democratic incumbents statewide will face next year, with opponents lining up for U.S. Senator Michael Bennet. , Governor Jared Polis, Secretary of State Jena Griswold and Treasurer of State Dave Jeune.

Some of the races already have Republicans running, including gubernatorial candidate Greg Lopez, the former mayor of Parker who finished third in the 2018 GOP primary and has been campaigning almost since then, and Army veteran Erik Aadland, who declared himself a Republican a few months ago before launching a campaign in the US Senate.

University of Colorado regent Heidi Ganahl, the only Colorado Republican to hold a statewide post, is expected to join Lopez in the governor’s primary. Olympian Eli Bremer, a former El Paso County GOP officer, recently told Colorado Politics he strongly plans to challenge Bennet and may take a step after his job as a Games commentator ends. from Tokyo later this week.

Former Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese has been heading for a Secretary of State campaign for months. .

In what has so far been the lowest profile of state and congressional races – unusually, since office has been a stepping stone to running for governor in recent years – Young could soon end up with an adversary in his candidacy for a second term as state treasurer. Buzz has recently been building around former Air Force Top Gun instructor Lang Sias, former state senator and 2018 Republican candidate for lieutenant governor.

The office that has yet to attract a serious candidate – or any candidate at all – is the Attorney General, although Republican strategists insist Democrat Phil Weiser will not get a pass. next year, predicting that one of the many current or former district attorneys might decide to run a race soon.

In these relatively calm final days ahead of the end-of-year rush and next year’s return to campaign frenzy, now is a good time to take stock of the standards the 2022 candidate crop is standing at. to compare to.

Denver Democrat Diana DeGette is the state’s longest-serving elected official. First elected to the State House in 1992, she won her 13th term in Congress last year and is running for a 14th in next year’s election in the 1st Congressional District by an overwhelming majority. democrat.

The district DeGette represents holds an even greater distinction, however, having been represented by women for longer than any other district in the country. Prior to DeGette taking office in 1997, the seat was held for a dozen terms by the first woman sent to Congress by Colorado voters, Democrat Pat Schroeder, first elected in 1972, making the call. next year the District of Denver’s 50th consecutive year. deputy.

The price of political longevity, however, is shared between Mike Coffman and Scott McInnis, two Republicans who each served long terms in the State House and Congress before their current positions in local government.

Coffman, elected for his first term as mayor of Aurora in 2019, has served with two brief interruptions since 1989, after winning a seat in the State House in Arapahoe County in 1988. He rose to the State Senate in late 1994 – replacing Republican Bill Owens, who had been elected state treasurer a few months earlier – then followed Owens into the treasurer’s office four years later, after quitting ‘Owens was elected governor.

Coffman, a Marine, left office for about nine months to serve in Iraq, then was elected Secretary of State, a position he held for two years until he won a seat in Congress representing the suburb of 6th Congressional District. He was re-elected four times until losing in 2018 to Democrat Jason Crow, but then rebounded the following year to land his post as mayor of Aurora.

McInnis, serving his second term as Mesa County Commissioner, was first elected to the State House in 1982 and served five terms until he won a seat in Congress, representing the 3rd District of Congress. He held the seat for six terms until his retirement after the 2004 election. McInnis attempted a return to power with a nomination for governor in 2010, but lost the GOP primary to the dark horse of the tea party. Dan Maes.

Maes then lost the general election to Democrat John Hickenlooper with 11% of the vote, the lowest percentage ever recorded by a major party candidate since the turn of the 20th century, when the Republican and Democratic parties.

McInnis made a comeback in 2014 and has since helped run things in Mesa County.

On the other hand, every Colorado student of politics is familiar with the famous day in 1905 when the state had three governors in a single 24-hour period.

Following the controversial 1904 election, the GOP-controlled legislature declared Republican James Peabody the winner shortly after Democrat Alva Adams took office, although lawmakers imposed the condition that Peabody should resign immediately and let his lieutenant governor, Republican Jesse McDonald, serve. the term.

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