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Think You Can Be a Political Handicapper?

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Ann Wagner, Republican candidate for the House seat in Missouri’s 2nd district, is in a competitive primary with candidate Ed Martin.

Wall criticized Ribble for “voting to end Medicare and replace it with a voucher scheme” — an attack we will hear a lot of from Democrats this cycle — and he said that he would have voted to raise the debt ceiling, saying the consequences for not doing so would have been disastrous. Ribble voted for the final debt ceiling compromise.

Sal Pace (Colorado’s 3rd district). Though he was only elected in 2008, Pace is the Minority Leader in the Colorado House. He plans on challenging freshman Rep. Scott Tipton in a district expected to include both the Western Slope (of the Rockies) and Pueblo.

Pace wasn’t as slick or as programmed as many of the candidates I have interviewed, which is probably why I liked him so much. We will see whether he is too low-key.

He too talked about “localizing” the race, and he cites a number of “ethical” issues that he’ll raise about Tipton’s short tenure in Congress. But Pace will have to step up to win this competitive district. He acknowledges that he has never had a tough general election, and he comes from the district’s most Democratic area, Pueblo.

If Pace can get a strong Democratic turnout in Pueblo and sell himself as a moderate Democrat in the district’s more conservative areas, he certainly could be a very serious threat to Tipton. But he’ll have to run different races in different parts of the district.

That’s the rundown on the first five candidates. Next time, the rest of the bunch.

Stuart Rothenberg is editor of the Rothenberg Political Report.

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