Top Democrat sees opportunity to capture seats in Colorado
DENVER – The chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said Wednesday his party has an opportunity to add to its victory here two years ago, when Democrats captured an open Senate seat and a House seat from Republicans.Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., said Democrats are pushing a message of change while Republicans are vowing to stay the course.”I don’t know of anyone who’s happy with the current course,” said Emanuel, who was in Colorado raising money for what he believes will be some expensive races.Emanuel’s visit comes just before Colorado’s primary on Tuesday, including the nasty Democratic battle in the 7th District. Peggy Lamm, Ed Perlmutter and Herb Rubenstein are all seeking the nomination to face Republican Rick O’Donnell in a district where GOP Rep. Bob Beauprez is stepping down to run for governor.Emanuel said Colorado Democrats are being urged to adopt the national party’s six-point message that includes making health care more affordable, lowering gas prices, raising the minimum wage, cutting college costs, protecting retirement accounts and eliminating deficits.State Democratic Party chairwoman Pat Waak said candidates are backing the message because it appeals to Coloradans, especially economic development, a health care system that works and energy independence.”I think these are things people in Colorado feel deeply about,” she said.State Republican Party chairman Bob Martinez said the Democrats’ six-point plan won’t play in Colorado, where local issues dominate. He said Republican candidates will be coming out with their own message focusing on local issues, including water, education, and improving transportation.Martinez said Emanuel and other top Democrats are targeting Colorado because of Democratic victories two years ago, when they captured a Senate seat, a House seat, and control of the Legislature for the first time in 44 years.”They think they smell blood in the water. I think they’re wrong,” Martinez said.Emanuel was in Colorado raising funds for congressional candidates, including Angie Paccione, who is trying to unseat Rep. Marilyn Musgrave in the 4th District.Paccione’s campaign cited reports that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reportedly has reserved $630,000 of television advertising to target Musgrave.Emanuel refused to say how much the party is willing to spend to win that race and the 7th District but said it will be “enough to win.”—On the Net:Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee: http://www.dccc.org
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