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Farm Team: In Colorado, Ambitious Democrats Hit New Ceiling

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Udall, above, and Bennet are a spring chickens by Senate standards and could be in office for decades to come, blocking the path for other ambitious Colorado Democrats.

“In some respects, it is easier to win there in a non-presidential year because that district touches every single media market in the state,” state Democratic Party spokesman Matt Inzeo said, noting the millions of dollars that the presidential campaigns and super PACs spent in 2012.

“Without some of that insanity, you might be able to put together a reasonable congressional campaign budget to do TV,” he added.

Democrats name state Sens. Angela Giron and Gail Schwartz as possible contenders. Also, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is actively recruiting Schwartz and Lt. Gov. Joseph A. Garcia.

Up and down the ballot, Democrats name a litany of state officeholders as their political future. They include state Reps. Crisanta Duran, Rhonda Fields, Dan Pabon and Brittany Pettersen, state Senate Majority Leader Morgan Carroll, state Sens. Mike Johnston and Jessie Ulibarri, and former state Rep. Karen Middleton.

Republicans describe Rep. Cory Gardner as the brightest GOP star in Colorado, hoping he would run for Senate. Even Democrats will praise his political skills.

Gardner has yet to rule out his run, but his actions do not show much enthusiasm for a Senate run. Instead, Republicans say he will continue on the fast track for House leadership.

Other GOP names to watch in the coming years include state Reps. Brian DelGrosso and Clarice Navarro, Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach, state Sen. Ellen Roberts, 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler and former state Rep. Jon Becker and state GOP Treasurer Christine Mastin, according to state Republicans.

Farm Team is a state-by-state look at the up-and-coming politicos who may eventually run for Congress. The column runs on Thursdays.

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