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This is a big weekend for both Democrats and Republicans, culminating in their respective state assemblies tomorrow. But most of the action will be on the Republican side, where there are more contested races than on the Democratic side.
First up is today’s congressional assembly in Colorado Springs, which kicks off at 2:00 p.m. There are eight — count ’em, eight — Republicans running to replace retiring Rep. Joel Hefley, and there aren’t enough chairs for everybody.
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The way the process works — for both the congressional and state assembly — is that a candidate needs more than 30 percent of the votes to make it onto the primary ballot in August. A candidate who receives less than 30 percent of the vote, but more than 10 percent, can still petition on to the ballot. A candidate who receives less than 10 percent of the vote (and who submitted to be part of the process) cannot petition onto the ballot at all. In the congressional assembly, look for state Sen. Doug Lamborn and former Hefley staffer Jeff Crank to battle it out for the most overall votes. Former El Paso Sheriff John W. Anderson should also make the top three or four. Colorado Springs Mayor Lionel Rivera has already gone the petition route and collected enough signatures to make the ballot on his own.
Tomorrow, the big news will still be in Colorado Springs, where the Republicans will hold their state assembly. Both Bob Beauprez and Marc Holtzman are going through the process at the assembly, though Holtzman has been collecting petition signatures just in case he doesn’t make the 30 percent threshold. Holtzman has already denied a Beauprez request to pull out of the race altogether if he doesn’t reach 30 percent, but if Holtzman drops below 20 percent (which probably isn’t likely), it will really slow down his campaign and cause significant damage to his chances to win the August 8 primary. Beauprez would seem to be on track to do well at the assembly, but a surprise showing by Holtzman would also put a dent in any momentum that Beauprez’s campaign has gathered over the last couple of weeks.
Democrats are also holding their state assembly tomorrow in Greeley, but there isn’t much at stake because the only real battle still to be won is between a couple of candidates running for statewide CU Regent. The one issue worth keeping an eye on relates to the Democratic candidate for governor, Bill Ritter. Ritter is unopposed, but there may be some backlash to his candidacy tomorrow from Democrats who are still upset over his personal pro-life stance on abortion.