House Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino's bid for the Speaker's gavel just got harder.
In HD61, former State House Democrat Kathleen Curry, who ditched the Democrats and went independent, made the ballot Tim Hoover reports:
Former state Rep. Kathleen Curry of Gunnison, who famously bolted from the Democratic party in 2009 to become unaffiliated, has made the ballot for House District 61, a seat that sprawls across several mountain counties, as an unaffiliated candidate.
Curry needed the valid signatures of 400 voters to petition her way onto the November ballot, and Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s office notified her she had 442 signatures.
Curry, who’d been elected three times to the legislature as a Democrat before leaving the party, was unable to run as an unaffiliated candidate in 2010 because she had not changed her registration soon enough and instead ran unsuccessfully as a write-in candidate.
This could spell doom for Democrats, as it could allow the Republican candidate Debra Irvine to win a plurality of the vote with Curry and Rep. Millie Hamner (D-Dillon) splitting the liberal vote.
With the battle for control of the Gold Dome likely to come down to only a few races, Ferrandino's dreams of the majority just got a bit blurrier.
Sources say Democrats are looking at ways to knock Curry off the ballot. A supporter that it claims to be of ballot access, the Colorado Democratic Party has had no problem trying to keep candidates off the ballot this cycle already.
It's no wonder Ferrandino et al fear Curry, as she nearly beat the Democratic candidate in 2010 as a write-in candidate.
The district has changed, diminishing Curry's name-ID advantage somewhat, but the base of the district is still very much Curry's old stomping grounds and chances are nobody in Gunnison County has ever heard of Millie Hamner. In fact, very few people anywhere have probably heard of Millie Hamner, as she was appointed to the seat after the incumbent, Christine Scanlan, was appointed as Hickenlooper's legislative lobbyist.
The fact that Curry lost by only 300 votes to the Democrat in 2010 as a write-in means she will be a potent electoral force.
A race that once didn't keep Ferrandino up at night, suddenly looks like it will become a cash suck. Three-way races are complicated and complex, a far cry from one-on-one in a liberal-leaning ski district. Far costlier too.
What's also got to worry the Minority Leader is if Curry won, would she end up caucusing with Frank McNulty and Amy Stephens?
If Ferrandino's party tries to get Curry knocked off the ballot and she wins, how much do you think she'll want to return the favor?