Monday, August 29

Gov. Owens names Gigi Dennis Secretary of State

Nomination a Threat to Coffman run for Secretary of State?

I still have a lot of catching up to do on Colorado politics, but I was not happy to hear that the new Secretary of State is in favor of more spending. Instead of boosting the CO economy, Dennis would support allowing the state government to keep $3.1 billion that would otherwise be refunded to taxpayers. This is not the way to win me over early on in the game!
Measures on the Nov. 1 ballot include the hotly debated Referenda C and D, which would ease tax and revenue limits in a state constitutional amendment. Dennis said she supports the proposals, which would allow the state to keep $3.1 billion normally refunded to taxpayers.

The election process itself is a big issue for the secretary of state's office. The presidential election last November spurred a flurry of new voter registrations and spawned allegations of voter fraud and felons casting votes.
So, on the Dennis nomination, ColoradoPolls seems to think this spells trouble for Mike Coffman, who still plans to run for Secretary of State. With Dennis position in favor of more spending, this could be something that Coffman could use to stand out. While it does mean some competition, it doesn't seem that Dennis can compare to the leadership and experience that Coffman has demonstrated. The national media attention probably does not hurt him either. From what I have read about Coffman, he seems to be quite a real American hero. This is the kind of leadership and courage the state of CO needs. Of course, this does not constitute and endorsement from my part, as I am not fully familiar with Coffman's positions on a range of important issues.
Gigi Dennis was appointed Colorado Secretary of State (SOS) today in a move that could signal trouble for Mike Coffman, the Republican State Treasurer who has announced plans to run for SOS in 2006.
Mike Coffman's campaign issued a press release stating that he plans to run for Secretary of State upon his return from Iraq. Here is the full statement via ColoradoPols.
Coloradans for Coffman Statement on Appointment of Secretary of State

Maj. Mike Coffman, who is on an unpaid military leave of absence to help with the reconstruction efforts in Iraq, will run for Secretary of State when he returns to Colorado early next spring.

"If Mike Coffman has the courage to go to Iraq to help move that country's political process forward, so that our men and women who have sacrificed so much can come home, then he has earned Colorado's support for Secretary of State," said retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Jim Hall.

"No one cherishes the right to vote more than a combat veteran, and no one would work harder for fair elections in Colorado than Mike Coffman," said Hall, who also is an Arapahoe County GOP activist.

Coffman is currently serving our nation in Iraq as part of a Marine Corps civil affairs unit in the Al Anbar province. Al Anbar is the largest Sunni Arab dominated province in Iraq. It is often referred to as the heart of the insurgency, where coalition forces continue to face stiff resistance.

Coffman's assignment is the Elections Officer. His responsibilities for the remainder of the year will be focused exclusively on working with the Independent Elections Commission of Iraq with the upcoming elections in the province. After the December election, Coffman will be an advisor to the newly elected government in Al Anbar province until the end of his tour of duty in March.
I thought this was a good strong move by Coffman, leveraging the media attention as a result of the nomination to affirm his intention of running for SOS. I'm looking forward to hearing more about his work in Iraq, and his plans for CO upon his return.