Why is Fitz-Gerald Staying Out?

State Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald has joined a growing list of prominent Colorado Democrats by announcing yesterday that she won’t pursue a run for the governor’s office. The eyes of all political insiders now turn to Speaker Andrew Romanoff.

Both Fitz-Gerald and Romanoff earlier announced their potential candidacies for the state’s top executive offices hinged on the passage of Referenda C and D. Now Fitz-Gerald has bailed out a week before the election. And the generally left-of-center audience of the Dead Governors’ blog is already rationalizing.

Let’s see… the outcry for weeks has been that the Colorado Democrats need a primary opponent for Bill Ritter, especially because of his pro-life views. When asked by the Denver Post after her announcement if she would support Ritter’s candidacy, Fitz-Gerald’s curt response was: “Not exactly.”

Questions to ponder, since all the reasons for the Senate President’s announcement are unclear:
– Would Fitz-Gerald be more likely to avoid the governors’ race if she thought C and D would pass or fail?
– What role does the dispute over whether she can run for re-election for her Senate seat have to play?
– Do you think someone may have advised her that she has a much better chance helping Democrats save the State Senate than winning the Governors’ office?
– If the Holtzman-Beauprez intraparty feud is so deadly to the Republican’s chances to keep the governors’ seat, why can’t the Democrats find a top-of-the-line candidate eager to uphold the pro-choice/abortion views of its base?

Inquiring realists have better answers than rationalizing Democrats.


  1. says

    The “intra-party” feuding isn’t what’s deadly to Republican chances in 2006. It’s the fact they’re Republican. Brand R is on the downslope. As Luis has pointed out, what’s Allard done to earn himself the lowest approval ratings of any Republican senator, besides being a Republican

  2. says

    My friend Curious, I’m so glad beyond words to see you make that remark. I hope you sincerely believe that with all your heart. Though holding such a misguided belief might make reality hurt a bit more down the road, and possibly lead to disillusionment on your part, I beseech you never to lose hope. Never.

  3. says

    You have an alternate explanation for why Allard has the lowest approval rating of any Senator (not just Republican as I mistakenly said)? What has he done to deserve this?

  4. says

    I am open to reasonable arguments, but you’ll have to marshall more and better evidence than this one SurveyUSA tracking poll to convince me the state is trending Democrat. Look again: is New Jersey trending Republican because of Frank Lautenberg’s ratings? Or Minnesota trending Republican because of Mark Dayton’s ratings?

    But by all means, keep believing it.

  5. says

    You want an alternative explanation? Perhaps many fiscal conservatives in Colorado are associating Allard with the GOP Congress’ profligate spending habits – even though he was one of a handful to support the recent Coburn amendment. (I don’t think his vote got much media attention at all out here …) Perception out there among some may be that the national party has strayed too far from its conservative roots and are branding some of their discontent on Allard. Who knows?

  6. says

    Perhaps many fiscal conservatives in Colorado are associating Allard with the GOP Congress’ profligate spending habits

    Like I said, Brand R is in decline.

  7. says

    Look, if you’re saying the GOP’s national leadership is shooting the party in the foot by practicing out-of-control pork spending and dishing out more entitlement packages than their Democrat predecessors, I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s stupid and short-sighted. Something different is happening at the state level here in Colorado – the national Brand R might be in decline here, but the state Brand R might find a raison d’etre in the wake of a defeat of Refs C & D. That’s my two cents worth.

  8. says

    I assume this is the Jon Caldera/John Andrews Republican party then? The state party leadership certainly don’t seem to be staking their continued relevence on C&D’s defeat.

  9. Ben says

    Who said the state GOP is “staking its relevence [sic]” on the defeat of C & D? The state party has to placate its titular head (Gov. Owens). Look at the grassroots… You don’t have to accept my premise – you can wait until 2006.

  10. says

    So you’re saying that somehow a defeat of C&D will give a boost to all the Republicans that are deafeningly silent about it? I’m not following the logic that leads to “the state Brand R might find a raison d’etre in the wake of a defeat of Refs C & D”

    What would that raison d’etre be? Explaining away their tepid support or opposition?


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