TEA= Taxed Enough Already
Democrats are running scared.
Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter won’t run for re-election this fall, sources told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
The first-term Democrat was elected in 2006 in a pivotal swing-voting state. He has been widely considered a rising star in the Democratic Party.
Two Democrats with knowledge of Ritter’s decision disclosed it on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to publicly discuss the governor’s political plans.
Ritter did not return phone calls seeking reaction. Sources said Ritter called a news conference on Wednesday to announce his decision. A spokesman for Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., said she and Pat Waak, the state Democratic Party chairmwoman, would call a meeting of senior elected officials from Colorado on Wednesday to discuss how to go forward as a party.
Reaction from Republicans was swift.
“What a dramatic turn of events. He was a very weak incumbent and he wanted to get out on his own terms,” said Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams.
Top contenders to replace Ritter included Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff.
North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan stunned fellow Democrats when he decided not to seek re-election this fall and swung open a race that Republicans are convinced will help the GOP dent the Democrats’ fragile majority in the Senate.
Dorgan’s announcement Tuesday means Democrats will have to defend open Senate seats in at least four states in what could be a challenging election year. Anti-incumbent sentiment is brewing among voters, and the party in power typically gets blamed for the county’s troubles.
North Dakota Republican Gov. John Hoeven—who has won his last two elections with more than 70 percent of the vote—appeared ready to jump into the 2010 race. The three-term governor had shrugged off questions about challenging Dorgan, but said Tuesday he was considering a run “very seriously.”
“I expect we’ll announce our intentions here within a couple of weeks,” Hoeven, 52, told The Associated Press.
State Sen. Laura Kelly (D) just announced her withdrawal from the race to face Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.). She becomes the fifth formidable recruit to bow out in recent weeks.
“I have been forced to make a decision between honoring the pledge I made to the people in my Senate district and my firm conviction that the people of the 2nd congressional district deserve a truly independent voice in Congress,” Kelly said in a statement.
“This has been a very hard decision, but it is the right one.”
Kelly joins several recent dropouts, including businessman Jack McDonald, a well-funded challenger to Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) who announced last week that he wouldn’t run. The others are Ohio state Rep. Todd Book, who was running against Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio); former Tennessee Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Paula Flowers, who was running for Rep. Zach Wamp’s (R-Tenn.) seat; and Solana Beach City Councilman Dave Roberts, who was running against Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.).
……On top of that, Democrats have lost four incumbents in vulnerable districts to retirement recently. It has been a distinct shift, taking five seats off the map on offense and adding four on defense.
It might have something to do with the upcoming overhaul of Senate ond Congress by fed-up American voters.
Republicans need to take heed: Get back to your fiscal conservative roots or you’ll be next.