Over the past couple days the editors of the Denver Post have issued their endorsements for 10 key state house and 5 key state senate races. If we presumed these were the only races to change hands and that all went the way favored by the Post, we’d end up with a deadlocked state house (32-32-1) and a preserved Democrat majority in the state senate (19-16).
In summary, here is what the Denver Post supports as the state legislature’s new Republican freshman class:
- Libby Szabo (HD 27)
- Robert Ramirez (HD 29)
- Karen Cullen (HD 18)
- Mark Barker (HD 17)
- Keith Swerdfeger (HD 47)
- Ellen Roberts (SD 6)
- Bob Rankin (SD 5)
From the races they weighed in on, here are a few other Republican freshman state legislators we very well could see, even though the Post didn’t back them:
- Don Beezley (HD 33)
- Kathleen Conti (HD 38)
- Bob Boswell (HD 50)
- Tim Leonard (SD 16)
- John Odom (SD 20)
And then there are a few state house races that may not be seen as “key” battleground turf but could switch hands and tell us about the power of the Tea Party wave, especially:
- HD 56: Debra Irvine (R) vs. Rep. Christine Scanlan (D)
- HD 3: Christine Mastin (R) vs. Rep. Daniel Kagan (D)
- HD 52: Bob Morain (R) vs. Rep. John Kefalas (D)
- HD 26: Mark Barrington (R) vs. Rep. Andy Kerr (D)
One last key point: The eminent likelihood of Republicans taking over either one or both chambers of the state legislature also has a key implication for the governor’s race — which yesterday took on new life with Rasmussen’s surprising poll numbers (though classifying it as a “Toss-up” is a bit of a stretch, or at least a bit premature).
With a Democrat in the governor’s office, conservative attempts to roll back the tax-and-spend Ritter agenda and implement other solutions will be seriously watered down or vetoed. With Tancredo in office, a conservative legislature can move forward while moderating some of his hardest political edges in the lawmaking process. You have to look at these decisions in the whole of their context. The reality of a two-way race means conservatives need to rally behind Tom Tancredo.