September 17 2009, 10:12 AM
This year is turning out to be a big one in terms of appointees to the U.S. Senate. There's George LeMieux in Florida and controversial Roland Burris, who nabbed President Barack Obama's former seat in Illinois. But of the five appointees so far, only Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Colorado Democrat Michael Bennet are running for full terms in 2010. And only Bennet is facing "a serious primary problem," to use the words of NPR. The problem's name is Andrew Romanoff, who kicked off his campaign in Pueblo yesterday, boasting of his accomplishments as former speaker of the Colorado House, while highlighting the struggles of his immigrant grandparents (via The Denver Post). Romanoff, the "underdog Democrat," is the first from his party in recent memory to challenge an incumbent for statewide office, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. In more bad news for Bennet, Republican Jane Norton leads by nine points in a Rasmussen poll (45 to 36 percent). The automated poll could be taken as bad news for Romanoff, an indicator that Colorado remains a swing state despite impressive gains by Democrats in recent years. In other words, in-fighting might not help the Dems. Meanwhile, Bennet's office isn't looking very sharp, as feds conduct a terror investigation in Aurora and New York. A chain of e-mails from inside Bennet's office were mistakenly sent to the press, including comments from staffers worried that news organizations might conclude the state's junior senator wasn't "as much in the loop" as his colleague, Mark Udall, writes The Colorado Independent.