The race is shaping up into a three way contest - with state Senate president Joan Fitz-Gerald the early frontrunner over high-tech entrepreneur Jared Polis and environmentalist Will Shafroth it could be an unprecedented Democratic brawl - pitting powerful liberal constituencies against one another. The "Big Line" over at Colorado Pols lists the odds at this point in the race as follows:
Fitz-Gerald 3-1, Labor endorsement not unexpected, but still a big deal
Polis 10-1, Not off to a blazing start and has a lot of ground to cover
Shafroth 15-1, If he isn't raising good $ now, won't even make it to 2008
Those comments and odds were posted prior to the filing of Q2 fundraising reports. All of the candidates raised impressive amounts:
Polis $459K/$403K CoH (with $150K from his own pocket)
Shafroth $300K/$288K CoH
Fitz-Gerald $236K/$189K CoH.
Considering all of the candidates in CD-2 raised as much or more than CD-4 incumbent GOP Rep. MadCat Musgrave in anticipation of another tough re-election campaign, the amount of money pouring into the Democrats' coffers means the winner may have to spend over a million dollars and may be one of the most expensive in state history.
The 2nd CD is one of the most progressive in the Interior West - and provides an opportunity to elect a liberal Democrat. Polis' signature issue is education - and his dedication to progressive causes has brought him the support and interest from across the netroots. Fitz-Gerald is an experienced politician who was successful in convincing Colorado voters to support a ballot initiative to loosen the constitutionally-mandated "TABOR" budget restraints to address fiscal concerns - and has focused on healthcare issues. Shafroth is the Executive Director of the Colorado Conservation Trust and has a political pedigree in the state going back four generations.
What we have shaping up is a contest between the establishment candidate, the netroots activist candidate and the green candidate. Who emerges as the victor may be a precursor for the national party's future.
This is a primary battle we should all be paying attention to.
Cross-posted at An Enduring Democratic Majority.