Newly elected U.S. Representative Betsy Markey has barely settled into her congressional office, but already Republicans are looking to kick her out in 2010.
Here’s a list of GOPers who have been talked about as potential Fourth Congressional District candidates, in order of their likelihood of running:
University of Colorado Regent Tom Lucero of Loveland
Odds he’ll run: Already announced.
Why he’d run: Last December, even before Markey was sworn into Congress, Lucero officially filed as a candidate. So far, he’s the only announced Republican in the race.
Why he wouldn’t: Lucero’s got a head start, sure, but he’ll need to use this time to raise cash and tell people who he is before bigger names start entering the race. Being first doesn’t automatically mean success. Just ask Tom Vilsack and John Cox, the first Democrat and Republican to enter the 2008 presidential race, respectively.
State Representative Cory Gardner of Yuma
Odds he’ll run: Pretty good
Why he’d run: Gardner’s made no secret that he’d be interested in a congressional run, though currently he’s got his hands full as House minority whip.
Why he wouldn’t: Gardner’s from the sparsely populated Eastern Plains, and he’ll have to introduce himself to Front Range voters.
Fort Collins City Councilman Diggs Brown (not pictured)
Odds he’ll run: Good
Why he’d run: Brown’s interested, and some Republicans have formed a “Draft Diggs” campaign to raise money and Brown’s profile.
Why he wouldn’t: It’s difficult to organize a Colorado political campaign from Africa, where Brown will be spending the next 10 months deployed with the U.S. Army Special Forces. Brown says he’ll decide whether to jump in the race when he returns to Colorado.
Former Interim State Treasurer Mark Hillman of Burlington (not pictured)
Odds he’ll run: Ambiguous
Why he’d run: Hillman’s name continues to come up as a possible candidate. He’d have the A-list GOP support, money, and name recognition to run a primary campaign.
Why he wouldn’t: Hillman’s name has also been brought up for statewide office or even a U.S. Senate run. He hasn’t yet said what he wants to do.
Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck
Odds he’ll run: Too early to tell
Why he’d run: Buck was reportedly considering running for attorney general–but since Attorney General John Suthers announced a couple weeks ago that he’ll run for re-election, Buck might look to Congress as his next step instead.
Why he wouldn’t: Buck’s looking at his options right now, and he might choose a different path for 2010. He also says he’s not currently interested in a CD-4 run, though he hasn’t ruled it out.
State Senator Greg Brophy of Wray
Odds he’ll run: Questionable
Why he’d run: Brophy’s clearly interested in the job.
Why he wouldn’t: If a stronger candidate from the Eastern Plains jumps in–like Gardner–Brophy knows he’ll likely be edged out.