Joe Miklosi focusing on run for Congress against Mike Coffman -- not Andrew Romanoff

Categories: Politics

Joe Miklosi.JPG
Joe Miklosi.
Colorado's 6th Congressional District has been a safe Republican enclave -- the sort of place likely to elect current representative Mike Coffman for as long as he cares to serve in Congress. But a judge recently redrew lines to make the district more competitive, thereby giving an actual chance to Democratic state representative Joe Miklosi. And he aims to make the most of it despite calls for a better known Dem, like Andrew Romanoff, to enter the race.

Miklosi declared in July, before the new boundaries were in place, and he stresses that he didn't decide to do so under the theory that such changes were likely. "My campaign was never about the congressional district lines," he stresses. "It was about job growth and making Colorado the renewable-energy capital of the country. That's been my laser focus."

With that in mind, he declines to comment about the possible candidacy of Romanoff, who didn't return an interview-request call from Westword. Instead, he talks about his own viability, as evidenced by support from a large number of his fellow Democratic state reps, and what he sees as growing momentum for his quest.

"I've taken part in dozens of campaign appearances, and the support has been enthusiastic," he says. "People are receptive to candidates for Congress who focus on bread-and-butter issues -- issues like how to get the economy on track and how to create jobs."

Likewise, he says he's hearing plenty of negatives about Coffman. "There's tremendous dissatisfaction, because he's a do-nothing member of Congress. He's focused on Medicare destruction, comparing Social Security to a Ponzi scheme and pursuing a narrow, radical social agenda that doesn't reflect Colorado or our values. He serves on a small business committee where over 103 bills were introduced to help small businesses grow, and he didn't want to sponsor any of them. He'd rather spend his time on English-only ballots, not representing the district -- and he deserves to be fired."

As Senator Michael Bennet recently pointed out, Congress is currently less popular than Paris Hilton. Miklosi understands why.

"People I've talked to -- Republicans, Democrats, unaffiliated voters -- just want practical problem-solvers, and that's the kind of leadership style I'm going to bring. I've balanced the budget every year in the state House of Representatives, I've cut my salary to show good faith; I've served on the audit committee that last year performed 52 financial and performance audits and saved taxpayers $47 million.

"I also bring a diverse professional background. I spent six years in business, where I helped start an Internet software company, four years in the non-profit sector, working for the most amazing civic organization in the world, Project C.U.R.E., which ships lifesaving medical supplies around the world, and twelve years of public-policy experience."

Clearly, Miklosi is attempting to send the message that Democrats don't need a bigger name to take on Coffman -- because he's more than capable of doing the job himself. But he'll likely have to keep repeating his credentials unless or until Romanoff announces that his hat won't be going anywhere near the ring.

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9 comments
Reuben Espinosa
Reuben Espinosa

Miklosi is a solid Democrat and would make an outstanding Congressman. But The Denver Post today described Miklosi as "obscure." Republican Coffman is anything but obscure.

While Romanoff has solid name recognition, I suspect state Sen. Morgan Carroll would stand a much better chance of beating Coffman in a one on one matchup.  The Dems cannot afford to lose this one.

Average Voter
Average Voter

But the very reason prominent Democrats are not flocking to this seat to take on Mike Coffman is that they do not see it as winnable in 2012.  Most Democrats seem convinced that Coffman is poised to take on Senator Mark Udall in 2014.  (Notice Udall's recent endorsement of a Balanced Budget Amendment -- a Coffman signature issue?) 

I suspect the big name Dems will be happy to let Miklosi "take one for the team" this election cycle. They then can pursue the 6th CD, in 2014, when it is a vacant seat... and very winnable for the Dems.

Ironically, if the 6th CD had remained relatively intact, after redistricting, I suspect Coffman would have been content to remain a congressman there for years to come.  The new congressional district may actually cause Coffman to challenge Udall in 2014.  Incumbents are most vulnerable during their first re-election effort. 

Coffman has won statewide races three times, including bucking a Democratic wave in 2006.  This "competitive district" nonsense may very well backfire on Dems in 2014, particularly if Barack Obama wins re-election in 2012.

I don't live in this district, but I am utterly amazed at how deluded Dems and liberals have become with believing the new 6th CD is theirs for the taking in 2012.  The big bucks from Democratic contributors and labor unions will not be coming Miklosi's way.  

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Strong post, Reuben. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

If I lived in the Sixth District, I would not vote for Romanoff, Miklosi, or Coffman.  There is exactly one socialist in the Congress (Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont), and we need several hundred more -- Colorado should help to rescue our country from the clutches of the criminal gang known as the Republican Party and their enablers, the Democratic Party.

Average Voter
Average Voter

Jeez!  Just what America doesn't need or want... another avowed socialist in Congress!  There is a reason that so very few Americans are registered with that party.  They recognize the "principles" of that political party is seriously out of step with reality or what most Americans believe.  We don't need more spending at the federal level!

Andrew Romanoff won't run because he cannot afford to lose another political race.  He will not be able to raise the funds to battle Joe Miklosi in a primary, then take on the well-funded and veteran campaigner, Mike Coffman.

Little known Miklosi may be "Not Your Average Joe," but he is a Denver politician who now wants to be the congressman for Aurora.  That is not going to set well with folks in that city.  I don't think any of them envisioned having to go outside the boundaries of Aurora to find the city's first congressman.  The carpetbagger image will be hard for Miklosi to shake.

Like it or not, Coffman is known to Aurora residents.  He has lived in that community since he was 9, represented parts of the city in both the state house and the state senate.  Half of the city has been already represented by him in Congress for over three years now.

His push for a Balanced Budget Amendment, cuts in military spending, cutting out congressional pensions, and seeking to solve the rare earth metals crisis resonate well with voters.  He is the only member of Colorado's congressional delegation never to have sought an earmark for pork barrel legislation.   

Coffman is a known quantity to people in Aurora.  Miklosi is not and really doesn't offer much in the way of mainstream ideas.  Besides having a significant campaign war chest, Coffman has a strong base of political support from Littleton, Greenwood Village, and Highlands Ranch.  Miklosi -- and Brandon Shaffer in the 4th CD -- have no chance to take out Coffman and Cory Gardner, respectively.  I imagine Democratic dollars will be concentrated on the Pace-Tipton race in the 3rd CD.  Democratic Party big donors are not going to waste their money on the 6th or 4th CD races, especially when they are facing a tough battle just getting Colorado to vote for Barack Obama again.

Despite your passions, this is the reality of 2012 in the Centennial State. 

ThinkingVoter
ThinkingVoter

"He is the only member of Colorado's congressional delegation never to have sought an earmark for pork barrel legislation."

So you admit that he's not doing his job.  Because that's what his priority job is; to bring back federal funds to his district.

That "earmark" bullshit only works in National elections.  Coffman is a stooge and a waste of a seat.  Apparently he isn't a Representative that that makes his constituents a priority.

And that "carpetbagger" claim makes me laugh.  Really?  You think a majority of Aurorans that are raised there, stay there?  That's reason enough for Littletonians, Greenwood Villagers, and Highlands Ranchers to vote against Coffman.  Probably why we didn't see his campaign slogan:  "Vote for Coffman, he's from Aurora!"

ThinkingVoter
ThinkingVoter

"No, pork barrel legislation is should never be a measure of whether a member of Congress is doing his/her job.  Bringing back federal funds to one's district should not be any congressman's top priority."

Oh?, Now who's the socialist?  You believe in spreading the wealth do you?, and Coffman is your man for sacrificing the tax dollars of his constituents to the more vocal and aggressive members of Congress? 

Tell you what, you get all 435 voting members of the House and all 100 senators on board with agreeing to allow their brethren ahead of them on federal funding and I'll be happy to deliver a unicorn to your front door.

Average Voter
Average Voter

No, pork barrel legislation is should never be a measure of whether a member of Congress is doing his/her job.  Bringing back federal funds to one's district should not be any congressman's top priority. 

This kind of thinking is what has led us to the kind of unbridled spending that has driven up the federal deficit.  There are too many representatives trying to bring home the pork for projects in their district whether it is needed or not.  It is time for members of Congress to start looking at the big picture and not be using federal dollars to ensure their own reelection.  Contrary to your statement, Mike Coffman clearly makes his constituents a priority by not wasting their tax dollars.

I don't know if the majority of Aurorans, who were raised there, still live there.  But of all those, who live there at the time of this post, Joe Miklosi is not one of them.  You can laugh at the carpetbagger label, but it won't be taken lightly by residents of Aurora.  They have waited a long time for their city to get its own representative.  They're not likely to give that honor to a Denver politician.  There is no love lost between Denver and Aurora.   

The majority of voters in Littleton, Highlands Ranch, and Greenwood Village will continue to give their support to Coffman because they appreciate his fiscal restraint in Congress.  That is not a quality attributed to Miklosi, and his record in the state legislature certainly does not reflect that.

You may not believe any of this, but I can assure you the money people, within the Democratic Party, do.  They will not be committing major funds to a race they recognize they cannot win.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Thoughtful post, Average Voter. Thanks for weighing in.

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