Monday, January 21, 2013

Statewide Footprint

Ken Salazar in 2004 basically launched the Democratic surge that has taken control of Colorado’s politics. As Salazar was defeating Pete Coors to shift the Ben Campbell seat to the Democrats, he set the tone and image of the Democratic Party for the next decade.

George W. Bush was re-elected in Colorado by the same amount Ken Salazar won the senate (actually Ken received 997 more votes). In that year, Bill Owens (R) was governor, Wayne Allard (R) was the other senator and 5 of 7 congressional seats were in Republican hands. By 2008, Democrats took the governorship, the Allard senate seat and 4 of the 7 congressional seats. Although Republicans had a modest recovery in 2010, pitching up two congressional seats, they are still playing defense. In November, they were thoroughly whipped in the legislature and the presidency.

Ken also gave Colorado Democrats a new congressman in 2004 – his brother John in the 3rd CD. In addition, Democrats began 2005 with control of both houses of the legislature, a feat not accomplished since the 1960s.

“Ciruli said he didn’t think the tar of Washington — or any of the highs and lows at Interior between 2008 and 2012 — will cripple an ambitious 57-year-old Salazar if he wants to run for governor in six years.
‘I think he has a statewide footprint. It’s amazing how quickly, when you’re no longer associated with an administration, that people start to see you the way they used to see you.’”

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