Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Why Senator Morgan Carroll Is Not Running For Congress In Colorado's 6th District


Exactly a week ago, we looked at the congressional primary shaping up for the pivotal 6th district in Colorado, currently held, though only barely, by right-wing extremist, Mike Coffman. His radical right ideology no longer fits a newly drawn moderate suburban district. Last week we looked at the possible candidates and posited that the new state Senate Majority Leader, progressive stalwart Morgan Carroll, would be the best candidate to take on Coffman. But like our friend Chris Larsen in Wisconsin-- the Democrats' state Senate leader there, she feels she can accomplish more in the state legislature than in Washington, DC. I asked Senator Carroll to explain her perspective about staying in Colorado instead of going to Congress. Below is the guest post she penned for us:

Making A Difference... For Real
-by Sen. Morgan Carroll, SD 29 Aurora & Eastern Arapahoe

The future of a Democratic majority in the U.S. House, invariably goes through CD6 in Colorado. This is a district we can and should win. CD 6 is a highly diverse district filled with pragmatic voters are concerned with getting and keeping a job, paying the bills, and wanting their kids to have a good education and future opportunities to succeed.

I live in the heart of this district and know it very well. I am grateful to all who have approached me to run for this office. As much as I would love to run and win this Congressional District, I will not be running for Congress in 2014. I am in the unique position of returning to the Colorado State Senate with Democratic majorities in both chambers and a Democratic governor. I have been elected by my colleagues as Colorado Senate Majority Leader which means that I have an incredible opportunity to help shape the platform and public policy priorities that we run and pass in Colorado (i.e. for working families, civil rights, consumer protection, investment in education, election reforms, addressing climate change policies and common sense reforms addressing gun violence).

We have a chance here in Colorado to deliver real and meaningful reforms that will make a significant difference in people's lives. To some people, Congress might be a "higher office," or a promotion of sorts. Yet, Congress in its current form, is dysfunctional. The current rules (lack of single subject, optional public hearings for bills, optional decisions to bring anything up for a vote, and the ability of one person to stop all action in the U.S. Senate) sentence the American people to paralysis. From my perspective I would be giving up a certainty of making a difference in favor of a very real possibility of joining a U.S. Congress that can't get anything done.

The good news is that I think we will have several good choices in candidates to run for this seat and who will help take the need for reform back to DC. Joe Miklosi had the courage to announce and run before redistricting was even finalized and was in the unenviable position of needing to make up for lost time after the maps were settled. He did important ground work to clearly show this is a new district and Congressman Coffman's far right-wing rhetoric and obstructionism is not a good fit for the new district.

So far, I believe some of the potential candidates include former Speaker of the Colorado House, Andrew Romanoff, and former State Rep. Karen Middleton. Many others have raised the idea of Rep. Rhonda Fields, who is another rising star in the Democratic party. All of these candidates would be pro-choice and pro-equality. This district is ripe for a progressive populist to run and win. The right candidate for this seat is the candidate that is on the side of regular people.

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