Congressman Joel Hefley is apparently causing quite a few headaches for Republican lawmakers in Colorado.
At least five Republican legislators would love to run for Congress in CD-5 if Hefley retires, and at least two would move into the district ASAP if they got the official word (even though it isn't required in Colorado for candidates to live in the congressional district in which they run, it's certainly bad form not to move). But it's sounding like Hefley may wait until the next legislative session to announce his intentions, because his chosen successor might not be a state legislator.
If Colorado Springs politico Jeff Crank is Hefley's guy, as has been speculated, then by waiting for the 2006 Colorado legislative session Hefley can place an extra burden on prospective candidates who have to spend their days at the state capitol. Since this race would likely be decided in a Republican primary, the timetable for the first major battle moves up to the spring Republican congressional assembly -- and that's a tough thing to prepare for if you're somebody like State Senator Doug Lamborn, who is dealing with his legislative duties at the same time.
So what's next? A consultant retained by one prospective Republican candidate has told him bluntly to announce his intentions to run now and forget waiting for Hefley's announcement. It will be interesting to see who bluffs and who calls.