Road to the Colorado Statehouse: Dem Allport Will Have to Pick Up Pace to Challenge Libby Szabo in HD 27

I’m back. This time I mean it. With Colorado’s legislative session in gear and both chambers of the General Assembly up for grabs in this fall’s election, there is no time to dive into the fray like the present. While Mount Virtus may never be as prolific a place as it’s ever been. You can follow some of my other writings as follows:

Nevertheless, this year you can count on this space for more coverage of events at the legislature and analysis of the upcoming state legislative elections — much like these 2010 posts on the state house and senate.

That sort of in-depth analysis will wait ’till later. For now, to whet the appetite, a quick look at House District 27 — 2010′s correctly called #1 pickup for Republicans. Democrats want it back, naturally. But given the recent reapportionment that added to the district’s GOP registration advantage, it’s an uphill climb. A month ago the liberal blog Jeffco Pols reported that Big Labor’s Tim Allport was stepping up to challenge Republican freshman Rep. Libby Szabo:

But can he win? Allport’s certainly connected enough to the activist core of the Colorado Democratic Party, and we suspect that every notable Dem in Jeffco will at least go canvass for the labor leader. Whether or not he poses a serious threat to Szabo, however, all comes down to his fundraising. If Allport’s numbers are competitive, HD-27 might be useful in the Democratic attempt to regain the House.

If Allport doesn’t pull in the amount of money he needs to, however, it gives good reason for Democrats to ignore HD-27 and focus on easier ways to recapture the speaker’s office. The next few weeks, then, will be critical to the overall viability of Allport’s campaign as he both picks off low-hanging fruit and reaches out to new donors.

Well, early signs indicate that the Arvada house district may not shape up to be on the Democrats’ 2012 hit list. Allport’s first 40 days’ take was less than $2,500, and more than $1,000 reportedly has been spent already. Too early to count him out, though. The unions’ ability to cash in quickly with small donor committee dollars keeps the challenger a threat for now.

Szabo sits pretty with more than $33,000. Still, she and the GOP team will be working hard, not taking anything for granted. If they are going to maintain their one-seat edge in the House, Republicans will have to model that approach statewide.

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