Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald is apparently taking a hard look at running for governor. Organized Labor has already come out strong for her, and she is rumored to have a good shot at getting on EMILY's List. But the reason she may be taking a closer look now is because of what she faces in 2006 anyway.
Fitz-Gerald isn't a shoo-in for re-election to her current seat in 2006 (she's rumored to be a top target of the GOP), and the thinking is that if she's going to face a tough race, she might as well face a tough race with a bigger potential reward. Even if she were to lose, Fitz-Gerald could recover from a loss in a governor's race (with great name recognition from the statewide race) and still be a top candidate to take over Congressman Mark Udall's seat when he leaves to run for the U.S. Senate in 2008. But if she were to lose a re-election for her state senate seat, she'd be effectively done as a candidate.
Fitz-Gerald would rely heavily on lobbyist and former Democratic operative Collon Kennedy if she were to run for governor, and that could be the first sticking point. Kennedy ran Penfield Tate's campaign for Denver Mayor in 2003, and despite spending big dough Tate finished a dismal fourth. Despite her many strengths and supporters, Fitz-Gerald has an equal number of opponents in both parties who would come out strong against her. Her viability as a candidate could depend heavily on what kind of team she could assemble, and if she could patch up some of her many feuds with Democrats in order to get the talent behind her that she needs.