DENVER
11/14/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Romanoff Makes It Official: He's Running For Senate

Watch Romanoff's remarks, courtesy of denverdirect.tv at Wednesday's Denver campaign event in Washington Park:

Update: Andrew Romanoff has picked up a major endorsement in State Treasurer Cary Kennedy. In an email to supporters, Kennedy writes:

I am writing to you today to let you know that I have endorsed Andrew Romanoff to serve as Colorado's next United States Senator.

As you may know, Andrew and I have worked side by side for 15 years on issues that matter to Colorado. We have worked together to expand mental heath services in Colorado's neediest communities, to secure bipartisan support for a successful balanced-budget agreement (Ref. C), to open doors for children to have low-cost health insurance (SCHIP), and to repair and replace aging school buildings throughout Colorado (BEST). Andrew is a tireless advocate for the people of Colorado and an extraordinarily effective legislator. I have watched him move mountains to promote fairness, justice, equality, and opportunities for all, and I know he will do the same in Washington.

Primaries are difficult. Sen. Michael Bennet is also a wonderfully talented leader. The good news is Colorado will be exceptionally well served with either of these two men in the Senate. I appreciate your continued support and look forward to seeing you during the upcoming campaign season.

Update: In a survey conducted on Tuesday, September 15, Rasmussen found Jane Norton up by 8 points--42%-34%--over Andrew Romanoff and up 9 points--45%-36%--over Michael Bennet in a general election.

Update: Andrew Romanoff made his Senate Candidacy official this morning in Pueblo. Joining him at his announcement rally was an impressive contingent of Colorado Latina leaders, including Denver City Councilwoman Ramona Martinez, state Sen. Abel Tapia and former state Sen. Polly Baca. At the Pueblo rally, Romanoff quoted Bobby Kennedy by saying "If you stand with me today, I promise I will always stand with you." Additionally, Romanoff coordinated the launch of his website to correspond with this morning's announcement.

Andrew Romanoff

Former Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives Andrew Romanoff has the state--and indeed, the whole country--buzzing. The Senate bid from the popular former Speaker, coupled with former Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton's announcement has turned a sleepy cakewalk of an election for incumbent appointee Michael Bennet into what figures to be a grueling marathon.

Here's what commentators, politicians and bloggers from Colorado, and around the country are saying about the suddenly exciting Colorado primary season:

Markos Moulitsas, the Daily Kos:

Bennet was appointed to his seat, not elected. He has never been elected to anything before. He is untested in a campaign setting, has never had to sell himself to the voters, has never had to craft a campaign message, has never had to build a field operation. But rather than test him in a primary before Democrats put all their eggs on the Bennet basket, the DSCC is doing what it can to clear the primary field for an incumbent nominated to the seat in an undemocratic process. Their director of communications, Eric Schultz, has spent the last few weeks sending out to their media list negative articles about Romanoff.

David Sirota:

It's a good lesson not just here in Colorado, but everywhere: primaries are good because they make legislators more accountable to the constituents they are supposed to represent.

Rachel Maddow: (WATCH)

Threats from the left have shifted the rhetoric of incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado. Here's where Bennet Started at a town hall meeting in Pueblo on Saturday; Senator Bennet gave flimsy support to the idea of a public option... saying he would probably vote for health reform without the public option. And then reports circulated that Senator Bennet would likely face a primary challenge from Democratic House Speaker Andrew Romanoff. And now... the Senator supports the public option after all... The left may be learning its lesson: if you don't lay down in front of the door, you're less likely to get used as a doormat.

Dan Haley, The Denver Post:

Both guys are part of Generation Obama. Like the president, who is 48, the two Democrats, at 44, are a tad too old to be Gen Xers and too young to be baby boomers.

They're both center-left, white Yalies with law degrees. Romanoff did his undergrad work at Yale and was editor of the Yale Daily News. Bennet earned his law degree from Yale Law School and served as editor of the Yale Law Journal.

They're both non-native species to Colorado, and their roots here, however shallow, are only in Denver. Neither would look terribly comfortable in a bolo tie.

Mike Littwin, The Denver Post:

But when I talk to Democrats -- many of them Romanoff's friends -- they basically answer for Romanoff this way: If you want the honest truth, I was snubbed by my (former) BFF, the governor, I can't get past it, and so I come to you, the Colorado voters, because I don't have anything better to do on a Saturday night than sit in my room and read every last sub-clause of HR 3200.

They say that Romanoff, who thought very hard about running for governor four years ago, is using this primary to basically appeal Ritter's decision. You -- or at least those of you who vote in the Democratic primary -- get to be the jury.

Governor Bill Ritter:

What I am hopeful of is that it (the primary) does not split the party or split it in way that causes damage in the November election... I obviously would have counseled Andrew against this, but this is something he decided to do, and I'm going to be with Michael Bennet.