Colorado Dems Get Out of a Rutt

With Rutt Bridges’ announcement that he won’t pursue the Democratic nomination for governor, the crazy speculation begins.

First, this obviously doesn’t mean Bill Ritter is a shoo-in or even the anointed frontrunner for the Dem ticket.

Second, the way Bridges stepped down suggests the party leadership is trying to rally the troops around someone else. So who do Pat Waak and Company want to run? Senate President Joan FitzGerald has been out on the stump with union organizers bashing Wal-Mart. With such a play to the base, maybe she is the logical choice. Rumors are also floating around Congressman Mark Udall and Mayor John Hickenlooper, but I’m on the wrong side of the aisle myself to give a good insiders’ assessment.

Finally, Bridges’ announcement may have more to say about the campaign for Referendum C and D than the race for governor. Do you remember last summer when his Bighorn Institute pulled the initiative early to change TABOR after they saw the writing on the wall? Well, maybe Bridges recognizes that for his candidacy to go anywhere, the two ballot measures on this year’s ballot would have to pass. Stepping out of the limelight now means saving face when they inevitably will fail. Or maybe he really believes that he can do more to rescue C and D by stepping out of the governors’ race. Just speculation, my friend, but either way it’s not a good sign for those supporting the “No Refund for You” tax increase.

Meanwhile, don’t forget that Colorado’s two GOP candidates for governor, Marc Holtzman and Bob Beauprez, will be on Backbone Radio with Rob and Jessica Corry this weekend.

The overall edge in the 2006 governors’ race remains with the Republicans, but stay tuned….

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