Not a good week for Colorado Dems

Democratic hopes in the upcoming election took a couple of hard left hooks to the body this week with the announcement of two folks getting out of elections for federal office.

The biggest news was state Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs, dropping his bid to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Udall and throwing his support behind Republican front-runner, Congressman Cory Gardner.

This was a blow to Democratic hopes that Hill would siphon away votes from Gardner in a primary and that Hill supporters might be discouraged from turning out for Gardner in the general election.

Democrats have been counting on a fight between what they believe are two factions of the Republican Party, with Hill being a representative, in their eyes, of the “tea party wing.”

Many progressives view this faction as intractable wingnuts who will consistently take an all-or-nothing approach to politics, and once settled on a candidate, will sit on their hands and refuse to vote for anyone else, due to this wingnutiness.

They come to that conclusion based on a few races in which the policy differences between the Republican candidate and the Democratic candidate were so narrow you couldn’t put a piece of paper between them.

This is not the case with Cory Gardner, who while not a perfect conservative, is pretty darn good. He is most likely the best chance for Republicans to remove that 60th vote for Obamacare presently occupying one of the state’s U.S. Senate seats.

Democrats have had some luck urging their opponents to get into fist fights with one another to the extent the survivor is unable to mount an effective campaign.

Occasionally, they have been fortunate to find a faux third-party candidate they could surreptitiously support and drain enough votes that a tight election would go to their candidate. This is pretty much what happened in Virginia in 2012 — personal problems of the Republican governor at that time aside.

Hill, however, is too smart for any of this. He’s clearly a legislator on the rise and understands that being stubborn in the face of a pretty good candidate who has a better shot at winning an important seat doesn’t help one’s future, to say nothing that it might not be the best thing for the country.

The second event is that a supposedly strong candidate running against 3rd Congressional District incumbent Scott Tipton abruptly pulled out of the race. The candidate was former Democratic House leader and present Pueblo County Commissioner Buffie McFadyen.

The fact that she was considered a strong candidate is pretty amazing all by itself. Here’s an example why, from KKTV News, that may leave you scratching your head, as well.

The TV station reported that on the night of Jan. 25, 2013, McFadyen and Pueblo County Democratic Party Chairman Ron Greenwell were found by a Pueblo County sheriff’s deputy parked in a vehicle on a dirt lot in Pueblo County.

The commissioner was behind the wheel, and after an exchange with the officer, she admitted she had consumed one glass of wine.

The deputy radioed in, “I’ve got an intoxicated Buffie McFadyen out here. Um, I don’t have her DUI, maybe just because she sitting in the driver seat. But the vehicle’s off, so we’re good there … I don’t know. She’s being kind of mouthy.”

McFadyen wasn’t subjected to a field sobriety test. In the state of Colorado, if you’re seated behind the wheel of a car with the keys in the ignition, you’re considered to be operating that vehicle, whether it’s running or not, which is say nothing of the idea that if you didn’t drive the vehicle there, how did you arrive at the scene?

The deputy told the commissioner “I think you might need to call for a ride. I think you might’ve had a little too much to drink.” Eventually, she got a ride home. As you might expect, this caused a little kerfuffle in Pueblo, but she was still considered by some to be a strong contender for Congress.

McFadyen said she withdrew from the race to spend more time with her family. The search for a Democratic candidate in that race continues. Not a good week for Colorado Democrats.

Rick Wagner writes more about politics on his blog, The War on Wrong.


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