Here's a fantasy political race for U.S. Senate in 2010: former Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton for the GOP versus former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff for the Dems. If you've been following the early jockeying among politicos, you know Norton's chances are probably a lot better than Romanoff's. After all, Governor Bill Ritter seemed to settle the issue months ago when he passed over Romanoff and appointed former Denver Public Schools czar Michael Bennet to replace outgoing Senator Ken Salazar. Moreover, since taking the job earlier this year, Bennet, who had never held elected office before, has raised oodles of cash. While rumors have swirled for weeks that Romanoff might run, it now seems he's serious. He's taken the first formal step by filing the paperwork to form an exploratory committee---just as Norton did earlier this week. "The support I've received around the state has been enormously encouraging," Romanoff says in a statement printed by the Denver Business Journal, which adds that Romanoff could make an official announcement next week. For now, he's got a Web site. Over Labor Day weekend, Romanoff attended a union-sponsored picnic, not far behind Bennet, who, according to Westword, was glad-handing. Meanwhile, Romanoff supporter Wally Sealy, a political organizer in Pueblo, is helping to rally a steering committee for Romanoff there, according to The Denver Post. So far, it includes Pueblo District Attorney Bill Thiebaut, Pueblo County Commission Chairman Jeff Chostner, and Deborah Kalb, an ex-aide to former U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell.