Democrats channeling their 6th sense for 2014 congressional election


AURORA | Election fatigue from last November’s federal election doesn’t seem to faze former Democratic House Speaker Andrew Romanoff and other Democrats. Romanoff announced Feb. 2 that he filed candidacy for the 2014 U.S. congressional election — and he might not be alone.

Romanoff plans to challenge U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora in the mid-term election.

Romanoff recently moved into Aurora City Councilwoman Molly Markert’s ward in central Aurora.

The district, based partly in Aurora, is nearly evenly split among Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters.

In an email sent to supporters, Romanoff announced his candidacy and campaign website,

Romanoff lost to Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in a U.S. Senate primary in 2010 and now works at Colorado-based International Development Enterprises, a nonprofit that provides irrigation, water storage and technology to poor, small-scale farmers around the world.

Romanoff might not be the only Democratic candidate bidding for Congressional District 6.

State Sen. Linda Newell, D-Littleton, whose district now includes part of Aurora, said in late January that she is considering a run against Coffman as well.

“This is a major life decision,” she told Fox31 Denver in a statement. “I want to make sure it’s the right choice for my constituents, my family and me. I’ve been talking with my family, and Colorado and (Washington) D.C. political leaders. Since other Democrats have communicated their desires, CD-6 constituents deserve to know all the potential candidates available to them.”

Calls to Newell were not returned.

Former state Rep. Karen Middleton, D-Aurora, is also considering a run in the newly crowded race.

Middleton, president of Emerge America, a national political organization that trains women to run for political offices, said she’s encouraging Democratic, female candidates to enter the race in the 2014 mid-term elections for Congressional District 6. She could be included in a list of potential Democratic female candidates, but she has yet to make an official decision on whether to run.

“I think women candidates should be in the mix, and I’d be honored to be among those, but we should take some time to see what’s out there,” she said.

Coffman said in mid-February that he takes “every potential opponent seriously.”

Before Romanoff officially announced his candidacy, Coffman sent out an email to supporters asking for campaign donations.

“Andrew Romanoff is a candidate with major name recognition and a lot of friends (like Bill Clinton) in the highest circles of national liberal fundraisers,” he wrote in the email. “I am really relying on you to help me make sure we can counter Andrew Romanoff, and any other well-connected Democrats, who want to turn the 6th Congressional District blue next year.”

Coffman said in an email he doesn’t expect to launch re-election campaign efforts in full swing this far ahead of the November 2014 election.

“We just had an election, and voters elected me to be their representative, not a full-time candidate,” he said. “Right now, I’m focused on working across the aisle for policies to help Colorado’s working families and small business owners succeed.”


Reach reporter Sara Castellanos at 720-449-9036 or [email protected] 


The Associated Press contributed to this report.