4 Things To Know About Colorado Democrat Andrew Romanoff
Democrat Andrew Romanoff jumped into the 2020 race to challenge Sen. Cory Gardner, according a Thursday report by the Denver Post. The field of high-profile candidates is growing quickly; last week AR Intel highlighted Mike Johnston (D-CO), a failed 2018 gubernatorial candidate who also officially entered the race.
Andrew Romanoff is a fairly well-known entity in Colorado politics and would be a formidable opponent in both a Democratic primary and a general election. In anticipation of his Senate announcement, AR Intel pulled together the 4 most important things to know about Andrew Romanoff.
1) Successful State Politician, Unsuccessful Federal Politician
Romanoff was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 2000, and he held his seat until 2008. In 2004, after serving only two terms, Romanoff was named Speaker of the House. Romanoff led House Democrats until 2008.
In September 2009, Romanoff announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate. Although he had the backing of former President Bill Clinton, his run was short lived. In August 2010, Romanoff was defeated in the Democratic primary by Sen. Michael Bennett (who went on to win the general election). Four years later, Romanoff would make a second run for federal office, this time against incumbent Rep. Mike Coffman in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District. Romanoff was once again unsuccessful and lost to Coffman by nearly 9 points.
Since losing his election over four years ago, Romanoff has largely removed himself from the public eye. He has served as the president and CEO of Mental Health Colorado since 2015, and most of his public statements over the past several years have been centered on the issues of mental health.
2) Opposed Giving Tax Surpluses Back To Taxpayers
In 2008, Romanoff led a crusade to change the state constitution by undoing parts of the “Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.” Amendment 59, sponsored by Romanoff, would have eliminated the constitutional requirement that revenues in excess of a certain amount be refunded to taxpayers. The amendment would have effectively allowed the state government to keep tax surpluses for themselves and deny taxpayers’ ability to control excessive government spending during prosperous times.
Romanoff justified his ballot initiative by arguing that the change could be used to help create a “rainy day fund” for state education. Despite this olive branch, Romanoff failed to receive support for the initiative from teachers unions in the state. The initiative failed and only garnered support from about 42% of voters.
3) Single-Payer Advocate
When running against him in 2010, Romanoff argued that he was more progressive than Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO). One area he pointed to in order to highlight the difference between the two was Romanoff’s total commitment to single-payer health care. When The Denver Post asked him what the key policy differences between him and Sen. Bennet, Romanoff had the following to say:
“I support a universal, single-payer, non-profit health plan [for] the same reason the rest of the industrialized world has taken that route. My opponent, to the best of my ability, does not. It’s a little hard to tell. In some cases the differences between us is that I take positions. When people ask me questions, if I have a stand I try to answer it. If I don’t, I acknowledge that, too.”
4) In Favor Of Carbon Taxes
In the same interview with The Denver Post in which he trumpeted his support for single-payer, Romanoff also expressed his support for a carbon tax. When asked what his preferred energy policy would be, he had the following to say:
“I don’t think there’s a single solution here because the responsibility rests not just with the American government or state governments but with individuals, with consumers, with homeowners, with businesses, ranches and farms. We ought to harness all of these efforts in the public and private sectors to reduce our use of fossil fuel and to minimize carbon emissions and to increase energy efficiency and conservation.”
When asked specifically about a cap-and-trade bill, Romanoff said he would prefer a “revenue neutral carbon tax:”
“I think the cap and trade plan, or variations thereof, are less transparent, less efficient, less effective, more susceptible to gaming, than a revenue-neutral carbon tax. And by that I mean you would increase the fees on pollution and decrease the tax on income. You’re going to get less of any activity that you tax so what we’re doing by taxing work is discouraging the sort of activity we ought to be promoting. What we ought to be discouraging instead is carbon emissions, and that’s where a fee would be more properly placed.”
5 Things to Know About Mike Johnston, the Democrat Challenging Cory Gardner
At least one Democrat hopes to take on Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) in the 2020 election, and he made his intentions known on Thursday. Mike Johnston, a Democrat who unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2018, is hoping his political fortunes are a little better in 2020. A former educator and state senator, Johnston is the best known candidate to announce he’s running to take on Gardner.
But he likely won’t be the last. Back in November, AR Intel noted that Johnston and speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, Crisanta Duran, would likely jump in the race. While there’s not yet any clear indication from Duran that she will indeed run, AR Intel takes a deeper dive into the background of Johnston below:
1) Career Background
Much of Johnston’s career has been in the education field. After graduating from Yale University in 1997, Johnston worked as a teacher in Mississippi. In 1999, he co-founded New Leaders for New Schools, a nonprofit committed to “developing transformational school leaders.” His background in education led him to serve as an educational adviser to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.
In May 2009, Johnston was elected to the Colorado State Senate, where he served until 2017. He followed up his state legislature career by launching a campaign for Colorado governor. Johnston did not move beyond the Democratic primary, however, placing third in the race with a little over 23 percent of the vote.
2) Known For Education Reform
Johnston is most well known for his educational reform efforts, authoring several bills while in the state senate. According to The Denver Post, he is “best known for” his teacher effectiveness law, which tied teachers’ evaluations to their students’ academic growth and weakened teacher tenure protections. He was a “key figure” in the passage of the READ Act, which created a new system to identify students in kindergarten through third grade with reading disabilities, and he worked to pass the ASSET bill, which provided in-state tuition for students who were born in another country.
Johnston’s efforts to push for educational reform drew the ire of teachers unions. Two influential teachers unions endorsed Johnston’s opponent, Cary Kennedy, in Colorado’s Democratic primary for governor in part because of Johnston’s ties to the education reform community.
3) Gun Control Advocate
Aside from education reform, Johnston is also known for his strong gun control positions. Johnston was a vocal advocate of a package of gun control legislation passed by the Colorado senate in 2013, and said he would advocate for its implementation on a national level. He made gun control a central issue in his gubernatorial campaign and Johnston said he would not shy away from raising the issue of gun laws during the race. In fact, a large portion of the money he raised came from gun-control advocates like Michael Bloomberg.
In November 2018, Johnston penned an editorial in The Denver Post urging “elected officials to take action on common sense gun safety like banning high-capacity magazines, requiring universal background checks, banning bump stocks and enacting strong red flag laws to keep guns out of the hands of those who are dangerous.”
4) Supports ObamaCare and Universal Health Care
As a supporter of ObamaCare, Johnston opposed Republican efforts to repeal the law. In October 2017, he agreed that federal proposals to allow each state to develop and run their own health insurance programs as a replacement to ObamaCare made little sense.
Johnston has advocated for universal healthcare and said he supports allowing any Coloradan to buy into the state’s Medicaid program. Doing so, he argued, would serve as a way to bolster the negotiating power of the program with providers and creating more competition in the insurance market. Johnston also specifically said that he would want to limit the Medicaid buy-in option to areas of the state that have only one private insurer currently offering plans.
5) Tax Cut Opponent
Despite the fact that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is expected to save Coloradan families over $775, Johnston opposes the law. He criticized Sen. Cory Gardner’s support for the bill, saying it “created new threats.”
Johnston has also supported tax increases. During his time at the statehouse, Johnston unsuccessfully campaigned for a $1 billion income tax increase to fund the state’s schools.
2020 Movers & Shakers: The Latest News on Democratic Presidential Candidates
It was a busy weekend for potential 2020 presidential candidates as a whole host of Democrats openly speculated about timelines, campaign strategy, and more. The upcoming presidential election is expected to include as many as two dozen candidates. Those in the news over the weekend include senators, a congresswoman, and a governor.
To get a breakdown of the latest moves among potential 2020 Democrats vying for the opportunity to challenge President Donald Trump, sign up for a free 7-day trial of AR Intel today!
These Are the Democrats Who May Run in Battleground Senate Races in 2020
It’s never too early to be thinking about the next election, and nowhere is that truer than in a battleground state (or, of course, Washington, D.C.). As a new slate of senators prepares to take the oath of office in January 2019, the next potential crop are weighing the pros and cons of a Senate bid for 2020.
There will be 34 Senate seats up for election in 2020, including 33 regularly scheduled seats and one special election in Arizona to fulfill the remaining term for the late Sen. John McCain. The last time these seats were on the ballot in 2014, Republicans gained 9 seats, meaning they are defending more seats than Democrats in 2020.
Key battleground states will include the aforementioned Arizona, along with Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Virginia, just to name a few. In addition, retirements could throw some races not currently on the radar into “battleground” territory (think Tennessee in 2018).
So, who are the candidates already rumored to be considering 2020 Senate campaigns? Sign up for a free, 7-day trial of AR Intel today to find out!
AR Intel Week Ahead: 10-15-18
With just three weeks until Election Day, debate season is in full gear in House and Senate races. Senate debates for Arizona, Missouri, Nevada, and Wisconsin are all taking place this week, along with key House races in Michigan, Iowa, Ohio, and Nebraska, among many others.
Meanwhile, President Trump is hitting the road on behalf of candidates across the country. He’s in Florida Monday, surveying damage done to the panhandle coast by Hurricane Michael, and then handing out the medal of honor on Wednesday. He’ll hold rallies in Montana and Arizona later in the week.
For further details on these updates and much more, sign up for a free 7-day trial of AR Intel!
AR Intel’s 2018 Midterm Debate Look Ahead
It’s officially debate season! House and Senate candidates across the country are taking the debate stage, looking into television camera lenses, and telling voters what exactly it is they will do in office.
Given the sheer number of closely-watched races, let alone the number of debates for each race, AR Intel compiled a list of debates in some of the most critical races this fall. Take a look below of October’s “Must See TV” debates, and let us know in the comments section if we missed one important to you!
To view the AR Intel debate look ahead, sign up for a free 7-day trial of AR Intel today!
RAGA’s Zack Roday Gives the Lay of the Land for Attorney General Races Across the Country
The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) might not grab the headlines that the Republican National Committee (RNC) does, but the work that this group is doing is just as critically important.
“Our sole focus is on electing rule-of-law-driven state attorneys general, and our first priority in that effort is re-electing our incumbents,” said Zack Roday, RAGA’s communications director, during an exclusive one-on-one interview with AR Intel. But in a year in which many Republicans are running for AG for the first time, he stressed that electing Republican candidates across the board is critical.
“People should be excited about voting for Republican attorneys general. Our candidates will prioritize the rule of law and safety over political gamesmanship,” he said.
To read the full, exclusive interview, sign up for a 7-day free trial of AR Intel today!
Primaries in Colorado, Maryland, New York, Oklahoma, & Utah – Here’s Who to Follow
Tuesday marks yet another busy primary day on the 2018 midterm calendar. This round of primaries includes critical gubernatorial contests in Colorado and Maryland, surprising congressional challenges from liberal candidates in New York, and the return of Mitt Romney in Utah.
To get a rundown of who to follow as the returns come rolling in Tuesday night, become an AR Intel Insider today and get full access to the post below!
3 Things to Watch for in the Colorado, Maryland & New York Primaries
Tuesday marks yet another big day of primary contests across the country. Voters in Colorado, Maryland, New York, Oklahoma, and Utah will all hit the polls to pick candidates for the November 6 general election, now just over four months away.
In Colorado, voters will decide just how liberal they want their state to be, as Republicans, Democrats, and undeclared voters, for the first time in a primary, select nominees for governor. Maryland Democrats are also choosing a gubernatorial nominee, and the results are more likely to be based on geography than ideology. And in New York, four young, upstart liberals are challenging long-term congressional incumbents from the left.
Want to read more about each? Become an AR Intel Insider today!
OFA Just Announced 27 “Priority” Districts for 2018. How Does That Stack Up to CLF?
Organizing For Action (OFA), the remnants of former President Obama’s campaign operation, announced this week that it is “prioritizing 27 districts” currently held by Republicans.
“OFA volunteer teams will organize in each district to amplify support on the ground for candidates who will actually fight for their constituents,” a statement from OFA read.
The full list of districts includes several where Donald Trump did better than Hillary Clinton. It does not include all the seats held by Republicans in districts where Clinton beat Trump, which Democrats tend to see as their best opportunities for pick-ups in November.
What exactly “prioritizing” means is unclear. What’s clearer is what’s happening on the other side of the aisle. Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), the super PAC closely associated with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), appears to be beating the Democrats at their own game.
To learn in which districts each group is operating and how they compare, become an AR Intel Insider today!