Friday, March 24, 2017

Salazar Won’t Run for Governor, KOA Interview, Karen Trinidad

Former U.S. Senator and Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, announced he would not run for governor of Colorado in 2018.

Democrats are expecting their first primary for an open seat since 1998 when Mike Feeley lost to Gail Schoettler. She lost in a close race to Republican Bill Owens. The Democrats could lose this year if there is a divisive primary.

In an interview with KOA’s Karen Trinidad, Ciruli said most observers weren’t surprised Salazar will not run. He’d made it clear that his family came first and that his legal career was important for his family’s financial well-being. A Colorado governor is one of the lowest paid in the country at $90,000 (48th lowest).

Although he always said the governor’s job was one he would like and he would have been the frontrunner, this is not a year that he would have cleared the field. There is simply too much pent up ambition and there are serious divisions in the party between the Clinton and Sanders forces. The party is ready for a fight. Salazar was a Clinton person, known as a political moderate who had been out of the Colorado elective office since 2009.

Former Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar | Denver Post
Next up will be Congressman Ed Perlmutter, who has indicated he’s interested if Salazar did not run. Perlmutter has several advantages, including a built-in fundraising machine that could raise millions and a strong voter base in his district. Both parties have run effective statewide races for senate from congressional seats, such as Cory Gardner, Wayne Allard, Mark Udall and Tim Wirth. Although he would give up a safe House seat, he’s been in the minority since 2011 and is likely to remain there.

But even Perlmutter would probably not clear the field. Already running is former State Senator Mike Johnson with a strong, if not well-financed, campaign. An expert on education, he would be seen as centrist in a liberal party.

On the leftwing, giving thought to running are Representative Joe Salazar and Senator Mike Merrifield. Numerous other names have been mentioned as a big field considers the race.

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