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Lefty Rivera

Off the top of my head, I'd agree with you--I felt Cody did an outstanding job for Ken Salazar this past year.

Speaking of rising stars, I'm heading to the State Young Dems reorg on Thursday, so I'll have a chance to speak to some of the folks I think are rising stars in our side of the fence. More to the point, I'll be able to ask them whom they feel is rocketing through our ranks.


Sounds like the makings of an ongoing challange...

Ter Ducken

Cody is widely considered to be average at best. His track record before Salazar was dismal.


Who would you nominate as a rising star from the republican party?

Democrat Insider

Cody Wertz? He's a pimp, for sure, but I'd also nominate Tyler Chaffee for this "rising star" thing if he weren't already too good to be a "rising star," the boy's just pure star-power.

And while we're at it, how about Jim Merlino? The 3rd CD's registration numbers tilt even further to the right than the statewide numbers, making it much more difficult for a Democrat to win. And John did better than Ken in the 3rd, a topic I'm sure comes up regularly at the dinner table they share in DC. But again, Merlino is in NO WAY a "rising star," he's more superstar than anything else.

Red Hawk, you may know Republican insiders, but you're view of us Dems from the outside is abysmal.

Ter Ducken

I just read about Salazar talking about running for governor. If Salazar stuck foot in mouth any more often, he'd be barred from being exported into this country. Cody Wertz can't stop him from saying dumb things, but he can certainly prepare him better for reporter's questions.


My understanding is that Wertz is consisently hamstrung by Salazer and, specifically, the Strategy Team of Salazar during the campaign.


Brian Anderson is a borderline Rising Star/Political Force for the Republican Team. Had he been able run Coffmans former campaigns as he saw fit, Mike would be in a different Primary right now.

If we want to stick to communications and media, I'd also nominate Kelley Harpe as a rising start. Why this guy is still in Denver constantly amazes me.


is there anyone not connected directly to the schaffer campaign you would consider a rising star in the republican party, red?


Since you think losing campaign staff are not potential candidates for Rising Stars (Kelley Harpe was as his best when he worked for the Majority), then I'll throw another name out there... let's see what you think of it: Jack S.

Yes - he needs at least two more campaigns under his belt, but he is certainly on his way to becoming a force.

Remember: we're lookig at "rising" here.


brian anderson!? don't you have to win at least once to be considered a rising star!? he did not manage any of coffman's previous campaigns, ran cox's disasterous bid for the 2nd cd, got fired from albright's campaign, and worked for shaffer for only a month during the convention. i do like harp. but ba? surely you can point to another rising star that has at least won something.


For Dems, you have to look at the CD-3 staff, like Merlino and Rutt's kid. The only other big race that I can think of (at least citywide or congressional) would be the guys who pulled the Denver DA race upset - who did that one?


I assume you're talking about Jack Stansbery. I agree - he's got a good record with 96-Hours in '02 and Beauprez in '04, but could use another race or two.


I would like to nominate Scott Russell. I think has done great work in the Springs, on Owens 2002, and despite what others say, at State Party. Scott rocks!

Brian Anderson

It’s certainly nice to know I have a fan :)

I appreciate being named a Rising Star—that was awfully kind of you RedHawk.

It’s true, my personal win-loss record is pretty bad. But I take heart knowing that folks like Karl Rove and James Carville also had a fair number of losses early on, and as anyone who has been a disappointed CM on election night will attest, you tend to learn a lot more from defeat than you do from victory. So much of this business is about learning, and being able to internalize lessons from the trail into future campaigns. Another thing to remember is that it takes more than just a good staff to mount a successful campaign.

Just to clarify, I wasn’t fired from Marti Allbright’s campaign—I was transferred to New Mexico, where I had the pleasure of working with a great team in the NM-2 open seat. As so often happens in this game, when the outcome looks likely in a given race, the party committees—on both sides of the aisle—move resources to where they will do the most good for the team. That election night, in a district with a 1.5:1 Democrat to Republican registration advantage, we were able to get the GOP candidate, Steve Pearce, now Congressman Pearce, over the finish line—56% to 44%.

My tenure in professional politics has certainly seen its share of disappointing election nights, but as a wise mentor once told me, campaigns, politics and life in general are marathons, not sprints.

Thanks again RedHawk - Brian

Jen Jen

Morrissey's DA race was Terry Snyder and Jason Bane


Tyler Chafee has gotten a bad wrap lately. He really knows what he is doing, he has just had his hands tied.

What about Brendan McGuire or Maria Handley from the Salazar campaign? Are they high enough on the food chain to be a rising star?


Lurker: even a Candidate Driver could be a Rising Star - that's the beauty of the word "Rising."


There are a bunch of new-bies on the Dem side with a lot of potential. But, last time I told my R politico friend about my newest prodigy, I found the opp-research wheels of the R-insiders were in motion.

That being said, I think Brendan, Cody, Tyler are pretty well known. I think Brian's insight into the campaign school of hard knocks were not wasted on these 3.


If you want to know my opinion, I say Pace!


OK. You got me with Pace. Who's Pace?


Sal Pace - The man, the myth, the legend. I hear he is the new District Office Director.


Ok, So we know this blog is male oriented. Aren't there any women that come to mind?


District Office Director for what? Has anyone heard who the new staff is at the GOP headquaters?


Doug -
Sorry about that CD3 District Office Director for J.Salazar. Sal Pace, is well, an interesting guy... never boring.

As for the Party staff, I was wondering that myself. It seems the Ds and the Rs have an opportunity to put their $ where their mouth is and actually pay some rising stars.
ED of a state party is a thankless job - it can be a career breaker position, or a real stepping stone.

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