Musgrave Facing 3rd Party Challenge From Republican Moderate in CO-04
by MetaData, Mon May 08, 2006 at 01:20:36 PM EDT
Marilyn Musgrave (hisss) appears to be in a three-way fight for CO-04 with moderate Republican Eric Eidsness jumping the GOP to run under the banner of the Reform Party. Eidsness isn't a random maverick, his credentials go back to Reagan's Cabinet and a six year stint with the EPA. The Dem in the race is Angie Paccione, an energetic, smart campaigner who already has the capability of challenging the evil lady in pink.
According to an article in the Denver Post, Eidsness faced intense pressure not to run against Musgrave in a primary. Also, the moderate wing within the Republican Party, has been unable to stand up to the extremist wing, led by hard-line Christians and the anti-tax/anti-government ideologues.
Will the third candidate give Republicans a way to vote against Musgrave without going Democrat, or will a moderate Republican pull votes away from Paccione? More, plus quotes from the Denver Post after the fold.
Colorado's District CO-04 covers the thinly populated Eastern plains, with population centers along the North I-25 corridor. The rural demographics has been increasingly swamped by so-called "exurb" growth. This district runs pretty conservative as the Reps have a 40% vs 25% registration advantage over the Dems, with another 34% independent. Bush swamped Kerry with 57% to 36%. However Musgrave's anti-gay, religious-right extremism turned off sufficient voters that she only received 51% in 2004.
The district is about 20% hispanic, but turnout has been low. Another argument that immigration has the potential of benefiting the Democrats.
The big question for us all as Bush's popularity crumbles and Conservative policies prove unsuccessful. Do the moderate Republicans jump ship or just sit out?
From the Denver Post:
Musgrave, a conservative Christian, is finishing up a second term in Congress after a highly visible first term. Raised in Greeley, Musgrave, a former state senator and state representative, authored a proposed U.S. constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and woman only.
Paccione, like Musgrave, cut her political teeth in the Colorado legislature. Representing House District 53 for the past four years, Paccione has served as vice chairwoman of the Education Committee.
A native New Yorker, Paccione received a basketball scholarship to Stanford University, from which she graduated with a political science degree. She played professional basketball, moved to Colorado in 1985 and worked in education. Paccione received a Ph.D. in education from CSU, where she also taught. She lives in Fort Collins.
Reform candidate Eidsness served as an officer in the Navy during the Vietnam War, including tours with a salvage team. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, with a degree in civil engineering, Eidsness is a former vice president with CH2M Hill. A former Republican, Eidsness was nominated by President Reagan to a Cabinet-level position in the Environmental Protection Agency in 1981. He served with the EPA for six years.
The 4th Congressional District is made up of 15 counties and a portion of three others, including most of Weld County. It covers all the Eastern Plains counties bordering Kansas and heads west along the Wyoming border into Larimer County.
Higher gas and energy costs are putting the squeeze on farmers in Colorado and elsewhere, and farming constituents are placing more demands on elected representatives for economic relief.
Once a predominately rural district, the 4th has seen its constituency reshaped amid Colorado's growth as farmland gives way to urban and suburban communities.