Jason Crow, Democratic candidate for Congress in the 6th Congressional District. Photo by Sara Hertwig/Aurora Sentinel
AURORA | Hoping to steal away GOP Congressman Mike Coffman’s 6th Congressional District seat, Jason Crow is among 11 Democrats across the country the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is backing with its Red to Blue program, which aims to flip Republican-held districts to the Democrats, the organization announced Wednesday.
“Former Army Ranger Jason Crow has never shied away from a tough fight,” said DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján in a statement. “He’s made it his mission to solve big problems for his community and helped lead the charge to bring the Veterans Medical Center to Aurora.
“I have profound respect for American heroes like Crow who volunteered to wear the uniform and serve our country. Jason is ready to unseat Mike Coffman in a year when Coloradans are ready for change.”
The DCCC calls its Red to Blue program “highly competitive and battle-tested.” Those chosen for the program receive strategic guidance, staff resources, candidate trainings, according to the organization.
In 2016, former Aurora State Sen. Morgan Carroll, who is now the current chair of the Colorado Democratic Party, made the cut for the program, but lost to incumbent Mike Coffman, who had 52 percent of the vote. Carroll had 43 percent. Coffman successfully fought back two other Democrats in elections before that.
But in a statement about making the Red to Blue list, Crow said the results of this year’s municipal election perhaps shows a shift.
“From day one, this campaign has been about building a big tent. From leaders like Irene Aguilar, Bernie Sanders’ state political director JoyAnn Ruscha, Ken Salazar and Mark Udall, to organizations like End Citizens United and Giffords, people believe in our message of inclusion and problem solving,” Crow said. “I’ve spent my life putting words into action and I’m honored to have the support of more folks who will help us bring change to the 6th district. Last Tuesday proved that the momentum is in our favor and with a year out, that momentum is just beginning.”
But Jack Pandol, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, likened the designation of Crow over the other Democrats in the race to the 2016 Democratic primary.
“Just like Hillary did to Bernie, the Democratic establishment rigging this primary against Levi Tillemann is a powder keg waiting to blow. For every dollar Jason Crow accepts from Pelosi and her establishment cronies, he’ll need many more to distance himself from her toxic unpopularity.”
Crow and two other Democrats, Aurora attorney David Aarestad and tech entrepreneur Levi Tillemann, are seeking the nomination to run against Coffman. For the first time since winning the 6ht CD seat, Coffman has drawn a primary candidate from his own party: Roger Edwards who hails from Highlands Ranch.
Crow is the only Colorado Democrat to be chosen for the program in this round of candidates. But Congressman Scott Tipton’s seat in the 3rd Congressional District made the cut as one race to watch. So far he’s challenged by former state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush.