Who Weeps For Doctors Chaps and Nick?

Gordon Klingenschmitt, Janak Joshi.

Gordon Klingenschmitt, Janak Joshi.

Two incumbent Republican members of the legislature from Colorado Springs responsible for a lot of negative press lost their seats in yesterday’s primary elections, results that seem likely to manifest in further GOP infighting down the road–even as some more socially well-adjusted Republicans breathe a small sigh of relief today. The Colorado Springs Gazette’s Rachel Riley reports on the long-awaited ouster of Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt in the SD-12 primary:

“I work hard to establish God’s kingdom, not my own, and, as you know, God’s will is not always done in this world,” Klingenschmitt told dozens of supporters beneath model airliners hanging from the ceiling…

Klingenschmitt fielded handshakes and pats on the back from throngs of supporters encouraging him to keep faith.

“I thank God for the opportunity to run a clean race on my side, even if that was not reciprocated,” he said in an interview. “I’m disappointed that people can lie, steal and cheat and violate their cadet honor oath and still win elections. I kept my cadet honor oath, and I ran with integrity, and I hold my head high.”

On Facebook, Colorado’s most (in)famous Republican lawmaker, who freely accused his detractors of being possessed by demons, implied gay scoutmasters should be “drowned in the depths of the sea,” and claimed Rep. Jared Polis wants to behead Christians like ISIS, sounds like he’s finally ready for the Second Coming:

In all my endeavors I have tried simply to establish the kingdom of God on this earth. In Luke 19, Jesus commands us to occupy until he comes. But in verse 14 of the parable of the talents, the citizens did not want God’s appointed steward to rule over them. At the end of the story, the King returns and takes his throne. I look forward to His return, and I want only Christ to rule my heart and world. Maranatha. Come quickly, Lord.

nickOver in House District 16, once-and-future Rep. Larry Liston is celebrating his hard-fought win over incumbent Rep. Janak “Dr. Nick” Joshi. The Liston vs. Joshi race featured some of the nastiest red-on-red attacks in any Colorado election this primary season, and as the Gazette’s Ellie Mulder reports, don’t look for them to kiss and make up anytime soon:

Liston told The Gazette in early June that he entered the race because he heard complaints about Joshi’s lack of community involvement.

“People know me and they trust me,” Liston said in the June 15 interview. “They appreciate the fact that I run a clean, above-board, issue-oriented campaign and not a sleazy gutter campaign like my opponent.”

Meanwhile, the Committee to Elect Janak Joshi created the website larrylies.com.

“We wanted to show people who is telling the truth,” Joshi said in the interview. “We have all the evidence of everything we’re saying. That’s why we have this web page, so people can go and check it out themselves.”

Joshi’s campaign positively threw the kitchen sink at Liston, attacking him on bipartisan votes like the state’s health insurance exchange, dubiously using photos of Liston from “Hummer” skits at the legislature against him, a huge violation of decorum–and even finding a senior citizen willing to accuse Liston without any supporting evidence of beating her up.

In response, Liston had his own legislative record, Joshi’s lack of engagement in the district, and (of course) the fact that “Dr.” Joshi lost his medical license before being elected to the legislature–a fact that for whatever reason Joshi managed to keep from media scrutiny for his entire House career.

In both Chaps’ and Joshi’s cases, these are lawmakers whose base of support was always on the far right of the Republican political spectrum. Although defeated last night in what appears to be only a partly successful attempt at an intraparty “purge,” the hard right isn’t going away. Whether these men or new “whacktivist” contenders, you can be assured that they’ll be back. They’ll be angrier than ever. And they’ll win seats.

For today, though, you can celebrate a couple of baby steps toward relative sanity.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (June 29)

MoreSmarterLogo-300x218Still holding onto that Primary ballot? Consider making a nice paper airplane. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► The five-way Republican race for the U.S. Senate nomination came to a conclusion on Tuesday night with a surprisingly-easy victory for El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn. With nearly 36% of the Republican vote, Glenn easily held off his nearest challenger; Jack Graham finished a distant second with slightly more than 24%.

The biggest winner in the Senate race appears to be Democratic incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet. Republicans in Colorado and around the country are openly admitting long odds for Glenn to knock off Bennet in November.

 

► There were a lot of uncontested Primary races on the ballot on Tuesday, so we broke down the results to give you the numbers on the most notable Primary fights.

 

► We’ve updated The Big Line following Tuesday’s Primary. We predicted the correct order of finish in the GOP Senate race for the top three spots (Darryl Glenn, Jack Graham, and Robert Blaha).

 

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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Key Race Watch: Primary Election Results

The Primary Election is (finally) complete. You can view the complete election results at this link via the Secretary of State’s website, but for your convenience, we’ve rounded up the results in some of the most-watched Primary races (we’re assuming you already know what happened in the Senate race).

There are only a few races that were close enough that it may still be too early too declare a winner, such as the 3-way Republican Primary in SD-4 (Douglas County), where Jim Smallwood leads Benjamin Lyng by less than 100 votes (5,858 — 5,789 as of this writing). In HD-7 (Denver), Democrat James Rashad Coleman leads Michele Wheeler by a slim margin as well (2,609 — 2,529 as of this writing).

Click after the jump for the full list of key race results…

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Windholz implies pro-choice supporters care less about women than opponents of choice

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

GOP Rep. JoAnn Windholz (center).

GOP Rep. JoAnn Windholz (center).

Colorado State Rep. JoAnn Windholz, who called Planned Parenthood officials the “real culprits” in last year’s clinic massacre in Colorado Springs, took to Facebook yesterday to condemn the Supreme Court’s decision affirming a women’s right to choose.

“The liberal leaning US Supreme Court once again protected the made up right of abortion,” Windholz wrote on Facebook, adding that that it “isn’t enough that the child is killed, now the mother is in danger as well.”

“So who cares about women more?” she asked in the post.

In fact, the Supreme Court based its decision on the fact that the Texas abortion restrictions, which, among other things, required that abortion clinics be equipped like complete surgical units, were not medically necessary.

Windholz: Who could find fault with a law that improves health and safety standards in order to protect women inside abortion clinics? You would think that the pro-abortion side would want to have additional safety measures in place for women. That is not the case. The liberal leaning US Supreme Court once again protected the made up right of abortion in a 5-3 decision (against 2013 Texas law) to not make it a necessary for abortion doctors to have admitting privilege at a local hospital. Why – because it would mean something went seriously wrong with an abortion. It isn’t enough that the child is killed, now the mother is in danger as well. So who cares about women more?

The court found that real intent of the Texas legislature was, in fact, to unconstitutionally limit a women’s right to an abortion by requiring clinic doctors to have, for example, admitting privileges, when the health benefit of such privileges is minimal.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer  wrote in the majority opinion, “Nationwide, childbirth is 14 times more likely than abortion to result in death… but Texas law allows a midwife to oversee childbirth in the patient’s own home.”

It’s unclear what Windholz means when she wrote, “So who cares about women more?”

And Windholz did not immediately return a call seeking an explanation.

But it appears Windholz does not believe that people or even Supreme Court Justices care about women if they support a women’s right to choose.

Shortly after the shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs last year, Windholz wrote on Facebook, as first reported by The Colorado Independent:

Windholz: Violence is never the answer, but we must start pointing out who is the real culprit. The true instigator of this violence and all violence at any Planned Parenthood facility is Planned Parenthood themselves. Violence begets violence. So Planned Parenthood: YOU STOP THE VIOLENCE INSIDE YOUR WALLS.”

Get More Smarter on Primary Day (June 28)

MoreSmarterLogo-ElectionIt all comes down to this…until it all comes down to November. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► The Primary Election is today, which should not come as much of a surprise to anyone reading these words. If you still have a mail ballot buried under a pile of coupons at the end of your kitchen table, don’t even think about mailing that sucker (ballots must be received by your county clerk before 7:00 pm on Tuesday; postmark dates are irrelevant). For ballot drop-off locations and other in-person voting locations, go to JustVoteColorado.org.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office has updated voting turnout results as of 8:00 am today. Turnout for Democrats is at 23%, while Republican voters are nearing 28%.

And remember, if you see a candidate, staffer, or volunteer today, say thanks.

 

► Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is in Denver today to enjoy the Primary festivities for a campaign event at the headquarters of something called the “Galvanize” co-working space. Clinton will also attend at least one private fundraising event today before departing Colorado.

 

► Benghazi! Oh, wait…

As the Washington Post reports:

A final report issued by the Republican majority that investigated the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, found fault with virtually every element of the executive branch response to the attacks but provided no new evidence of specific wrongdoing by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton [Pols emphasis]

…But while it contains voluminous additional details of what happened before, during and after the attacks on State Department and CIA compounds in Benghazi, the report’s overall narrative does not substantively differ from previous investigations and numerous news accounts over the years.

That sound you hear is the echo of Republicans slapping their foreheads and yelping, D’oh!

 

► Can El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn complete his long journey to win the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate? As the conservative National Review explains…maybe:

Three months ago, El Paso (Colo.) county commissioner Darryl Glenn had just over $11,000 in his Senate-campaign account. He had no paid staffers. And though he’d elevated his profile with a stem-winder of a speech at Colorado’s GOP convention and won his way onto the ballot — much to the surprise of many onlookers — as recently as mid May, most Republicans were still writing him off.

But that was then.

Though several Colorado Republicans describe the primary race as a “crapshoot,” many now expect Glenn to emerge victorious when primary ballots are tallied Tuesday evening. In the five-way primary, he has managed to capitalize on the fractured field thanks to a surge of support from movement conservatives, including an outside group that has made independent expenditures on his behalf.

We’ve had Glenn atop The Big Line ever since he pulled off his stunning upset at the State Republican Convention in April. If we were the betting type — and we are — we’d have to go with Glenn as the favorite tonight. But if you read the news today in Colorado, you’ll notice a common theme: CRAPSHOOT!

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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Last Ballot Return Numbers Before Primary

votebutton

Here you go: The latest (and last) turnout numbers from the Colorado Secretary of State’s office for the June 28th Primary (numbers are accurate as of 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday):

Democrats

Ballots sent: 990,961;
Ballots returned: 232,273;
Percent: 23.43%

Republicans

Ballots sent: 997,793;
Ballots returned: 277,588;
Percent: 27.82%

How do these numbers compare to past Primary races? According to the SOS’s office:

The turnout among active voters in the 2014 primary was 21.84 percent. In that contest, almost one-fifth of the ballots were turned in on Election Day. In 2012, the primary turnout was 23.76 percent.  In 2010 — a year with high-profile contested races among both Republicans and Democrats — the turnout hit 36.7 percent.

For more information on turnout based on a county-by-county basis, click here (PDF).

To Everyone Who Worked on a Primary Race: Take a Bow

It’s finally here. You’ve labored through months and months of long hours, endured sore knuckles and blistered feet, angry voters, angrier opponents, and fire-breathing supporters of your opponents.

And now, you wait.

For candidates, campaign staff, and volunteers, Election Day is a strange time; you want to do everything you can to help your campaign to the finish line, but there’s really not much left to be done. So you fidget. You make a few phone calls. Perhaps you wave signs at intersections. But mostly, you wait.

So to all of the candidates and campaign staffers throughout Colorado who have put their hearts and souls into one particular race — no matter the political party — take a bow. You’ve earned it. Thanks for everything you do.

Get More Smarter on Monday (June 27)

MoreSmarterLogo-ElectionRemember, friends: If you still have a ballot at home, it is too late to put it in the mail. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Colorado’s Primary Election is tomorrow, which means it is too late to put your ballot in the mail if you haven’t voted already (ballots must be received by your county clerk before 7:00 pm on Tuesday; postmark dates are irrelevant). For ballot drop-off locations and other voter information, go to JustVoteColorado.org.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office has updated voting turnout results as of 8:00 am on Monday.

 

► The Supreme Court had a busy morning as it works on finishing up its to-do list before Justices begin their annual summer break. The Washington Post reports on the ruling that captured the most attention:

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down Texas abortion restrictions that have been widely duplicated in other states, a resounding win for abortion rights advocates in the court’s most important consideration of the controversial issue in 25 years.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy joined the court’s liberals in the 5 to 3 decision, which said Texas’s arguments that the clinic restrictions were to protect women’s health were cover for making it more difficult to obtain an abortion.

The challenged Texas provisions required doctors who perform abortions at clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and said that clinics must meet hospital-like standards of surgical centers.

Similar restrictions have been passed in other states, and officials say they protect patients. But the court’s majority sided with abortion providers and medical associations who said the rules are unnecessary and so expensive or hard to satisfy that they force clinics to close.

In a separate ruling that was also announced today, the Supreme Court overturned a corruption conviction for former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. Critics worry that the court’s decision in the McDonnell case could make it harder to prosecute public officials for criminal wrongdoing.

 

► The five Republican candidates seeking their party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate race continue to straddle the fence on their support of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump. As John Frank writes for the Denver Post:

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn made clear for months that he supported Donald Trump for president. He even called Trump “a patriot.”

But with Ted Cruz in Denver last week, Glenn added an “if” caveat that didn’t go unnoticed in the state that is driving the #DumpTrump effort ahead of the convention.

“Right now, we have a presumptive nominee,” Glenn started. “And if he remains our presumptive nominee, we have a responsibility, a responsibility, to get in line and support that candidate.”

(He also landed Cruz a standing ovation for this line: “If he cannot be our next president of the United States of America, I am personally going to lead the charge to make sure he’s our next Supreme Court justice.” Cruz demurred politely.)

Frank’s entire story is worth a read, as he tries to understand the meaning behind some of Glenn’s more cryptic comments on the GOP Presidential race.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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Bob Beauprez Making Dr. Chaps Very Angry

Carly Fiorina (right), with Rep. Gordon "Dr. Chaps" Klingenschmitt.

Carly Fiorina (right), with Rep. Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt.

As the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Rachel Riley reports, the red-on-red purge campaign masterminded by two-time GOP gubernatorial loser Bob Beauprez rolls on–and is provoking an angry backlash from its targets, including SD-12 primary contender  Rep. Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt:

Just days before the primary election, state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt is fighting back against a political advocacy group he believes to be responsible for mailing attack ads against him to Republican voters in his district.

Klingenschmitt, who faces Bob Gardner in the state Senate District 12 race Tuesday, submitted a letter to 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office Thursday calling for a criminal investigation into former U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez, founder of nonprofit Colorado Pioneer Action.

In the letter, Klingenschmitt said the mailers contain false information, a misdemeanor under state law. He added that the ads also violate campaign finance law because they do not identify what individual or organization sent them…

Bob Beauprez.

Bob Beauprez.

You’ll recall earlier this month when GOP SD-4 candidate Jess Loban, running hard in a primary against “establishment” Ben Lyng, called out Beauprez via subordinate operative Justin Prendergast for wading into his primary. Loban also claimed that Beauprez’s group was running attacks against a number of conservative incumbent lawmakers in addition to Loban–including Reps. Klingenschmitt, Janak Joshi, and Lori Saine. Lumping himself in with those incumbents is clearly about boosting Loban, since picking favorites in an open primary is much more acceptable behavior than attacking incumbents.

We haven’t heard as much about Saine and her primary against Mead trustee Colleen Whitlow in all of this, but Beauprez’s involvement in these two hot primary races in El Paso County seems quite likely to result in intra-GOP bad blood one way or the other. Despite the widespread loathing for Klingenschmitt in non-crazy Republican circles, we’ve heard that he may indeed be the favorite going into tomorrow’s primary against former Rep. Bob Gardner. We’re less certain about Joshi, whose cut-throat race against Larry Liston may hinge more on personal dislike for Liston.

In all of these races where Beauprez appears to be targeting conservative incumbents, there will be grateful winners and angry losers on Wednesday morning. Having lost two critical gubernatorial races for Colorado Republicans in two attempts, backroom purging and kingmaking may be Beauprez’s last best shot at relevance in our state’s politics.

But it had better work. If it doesn’t, Beauprez has made nothing but enemies.

Ballot Return Numbers Jump Over Weekend

votebuttonUPDATE: The Secretary of State’s Office sent out a corrected version of this morning’s press release, noting that turnout for Republicans is 24% (not 29.41%, as stated in the original release).

—–

We’re continuing to pass along the latest turnout numbers from the Colorado Secretary of State’s office for the June 28th Primary (numbers are accurate as of 8:00 a.m. on Monday):

Democrats

Ballots sent: 990,873;
Ballots returned: 208,572;
Percent: 21%

Republicans

Ballots sent: 997,631;
Ballots returned: 239,483;
Percent: 24%
*(NOTE: the SOS’s office originally listed turnout at 29.41% but has since corrected its release)

Total turnout in the 2014 Primary was 21.84%. According to the Secretary of State’s office, nearly one-fifth of all voters waited until Election Day to cast their ballots in the 2014 Primary.

For more information on turnout based on a county-by-county basis, click here (PDF).

Get More Smarter on Thursday (June 23)

Get More SmarterYour weather forecast for Thursday is as follows: Partly Sunny, Party Cloudy, Mostly Hot, Potentially Rainy. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols! If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

Get those ballots returned, people! If you haven’t received a ballot or have run into other Primary-related problems, go to JustVoteColorado.org for more information.

 

House Democrats have ended their “sit-in” protest at the refusal of the Republican-controlled chamber to even consider voting on new gun safety measures. As Chris Cillizza reports for “The Fix”:

House Democrats staged one of the most dramatic moments in recent congressional history Wednesday night and into Thursday morning, holding a sit-in on the floor of the lower chamber to demand that votes be held on a series of gun-control measures.

It drew wall-to-wall coverage on cable television and lit up Twitter even as much of the East Coast went to bed. A number of those talking and writing about the sit-in insisted that the high-profile moment marked a major turning point in the political fight over gun control.

“This may turn out to be a Selma-like moment,” said Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.) on the House floor just before midnight Eastern time.

Colorado Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County) participated in the sit-in, and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver) stopped by to lend support.

 

President Obama’simmigration-reform plan hit a major speed bump today when the Supreme Court stalled out on making a decision on a lower court ruling. Meanwhile, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) is a co-sponsor of a new immigration bill; the legislation would allow immigrant children who have been in the U.S. since 2010 to stay in the country. Coincidentally, 2010 was the last year in which Coffman voted against the DREAM Act, just one stop on a long journey in which Coffman has basically taken every side available on immigration reform efforts.

 

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Get More Smarter on Wednesday (June 22)

MoreSmarterLogo-SunscreenGood news: it’s still hot outside, but for today, at least, we should be able to stay below 100°F. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols! If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► One week from today, the Colorado Primary Election will be complete. If you haven’t yet received a mail ballot, you should check your registration or address status ASAP. Go to JustVoteColorado.org for more information.

If you haven’t yet voted, you might want to get moving — turnout numbers are still pretty weak thus far.

 

► Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has reversed course and will seek re-election for the U.S. Senate after months of “unequivocal” statements that he would be a “private citizen” in November. Rubio is not a big fan of the Senate — he barely bothers to show up to vote — but since his Presidential aspirations didn’t work out this year, he doesn’t have anything else to do until his next bid for the White House in 2020. National Republicans aren’t opposed to the idea, since an incumbent Rubio gives them a better chance to keep that Senate seat in Florida.

 

► The Aurora School Board member and State House candidate whose resume appears to be almost entirely fictional remains defiant despite calls from the Aurora School Board asking him to resignEric Nelson is doubling tripling quadrupling down on the validity of his personal biography — which has largely been disproved by the Colorado Statesman and Denver7.

 

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No Surprises in Final Senate Fundraising Report Before Primary

Ernest Luning of the Colorado Statesman reports on the final pre-Primary fundraising totals for the five Republicans running for U.S. Senate. If you’ve been watching this race at all for the last couple of months, you probably won’t be shocked to see the fundraising updates:

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet raised $1.65 million — more than 10 times as much as any of the Republicans hoping to unseat him — in the most recent reporting period, pre-primary finance reports show, although GOP candidate Jack Graham wrote his campaign a check for $500,000, bringing his self-funding total to $1.5 million.

With $5.7 million in the bank, the Democrat had more than six times the cash on hand of the nearest Republican. Reports covered the second fundraising quarter up until the June 8 reporting deadline ahead of Colorado’s primary.

Via Ernest Luning of the Colorado Statesman

Via Ernest Luning of the Colorado Statesman

As you can see from the graphic at right, none of the Republican candidates are remotely close to collecting the kind of cash that incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver) has continued to put together.

If we focus only on the Republican candidates, pre-Primary fundraising numbers are following the same general trend that we’ve seen throughout 2016. The only exception was foreseeable: Darryl Glenn is finally raising some decent money ($109k) in the first fundraising period since he captured top-line at the State Republican Convention in April.

A few other noteworthy items…Former Colorado State University Athletic Director Jack Graham loaned his campaign another $500k, and Jon Keyser inexplicably contributed another $50,000 to his own campaign. Keyser’s contribution seems particularly pointless; he needed a lot more money than this to catch his Republican rivals with any sort of significant advertising buy.

Here are the cash-on-hand totals for the five Republicans with one week to go in the Primary:

Jack Graham:  $882,800
Robert Blaha:  $278,177
Jon Keyser:    $173,484
Darryl Glenn:  $50,198
Ryan Frazier:  $19,850

 

Poll: Who Will Win The GOP HD-16 Primary?

With the June 28th primary election now just a week away, we’re rolling out informal polls for our readers in a number of key races around the state. Safely Republican Colorado House District 16 is playing host to an unusual Republican primary race between incumbent Rep. Janak Joshi and former Rep. Larry Liston.

As with all of our polls, we’re interested in knowing who you actually think will win this election–not your personal preference.

Who will win the GOP HD-16 primary?
Janak Joshi
Larry Liston
View Result

 

Poll: Who Will Win The Democratic HD-3 Primary?

With the June 28th primary election now just a week away, we’re rolling out informal polls for our readers in a number of key races around the state. Highly competitive Colorado House District 3, presently held by Rep. Daniel Kagan, features a robust Democratic primary race between Jeff Bridges and Meg Froelich.

As with all of our polls, we’re interested in knowing who you actually think will win this election–not your personal preference.

Who will win the HD-3 Democratic primary?
Jeff Bridges
Meg Froelich
View Result