Democrats for Education Reform has issued its 2012 legislative endorsements, backing three Senate candidates and seven House contenders, all of them Democrats.
All of the candidates endorsed by DFER’s Colorado chapter also have received contributions from political committees related to teachers’ unions.
There’s also considerable overlap between the candidates endorsed by DFER and those supported by Stand for Children, the other education reform interest group that endorses in legislative races. Stand endorsed six Democrats and five Republicans.
In one contest, House District 28 in Lakewood, the two reform groups are on opposite sides of the fence. DFER is backing Democratic community organizer Brittany Pettersen while Stand supports Republican businesswoman Amy Attwood. The race is one of several battleground contests in Jefferson County.
Here are the other candidates endorsed by DFER:
District 18 (Colorado Springs) – Rep. Pete Lee. Also endorsed by Stand, Lee is in a tight race with Republican businesswoman Jennifer George.
District 32 (Adams County) – Dominick Moreno. The mayor pro tem of Commerce City, Moreno faces Republican Paul Reimer, a counselor.
District 42 (Aurora) – Rep. Rhonda Fields. Her name was on several education bills in 2012, and she’s considering possible dropout and truancy legislation for 2013. She faces Republican Mike Donald, a businessman.
District 47 (Pueblo and Otero counties) – Chuck Rodosovich. A former state agency executive, Rodosovich helped found a Pueblo charter school and faces Republican Clarice Navarro-Ratzlaff in a closely watched race.
District 50 (Greeley) – Rep. Dave Young. The former teacher faces Republican insurance agent Skip Carlson. Stand endorsed Young.
District 61 (Central mountains) – Rep. Millie Hamner. The former superintendent of the Summit County district, Hamner has emerged as a key figure on major education bills. She’s in a three-way race, facing Republican Debra Irvine and independent Kathleen Curry, who formerly served in the House as a Democrat. Stand also has endorsed Hamner.
District 26 (Arapahoe County) – Sen. Linda Newell. This is considered one of the closest Senate races in the state. Newell faces Republican businessman David Kerber. She was one of the prime sponsors of Senate Bill 12-046, the law that rolls back most zero-tolerance school discipline policies.
District 25 (Adams County) – Sen. Mary Hodge. As a member of the Joint Budget Committee, Hodge is deeply involved with K-12 and higher education funding. Her GOP opponent is retired federal ICE agent John Sampson.
District 35 (San Luis Valley) – Crestina Martinez. A Costilla County commissioner, she faces GOP community activist Larry Crowder. This is another close race.
All three Senate candidates also were endorsed by Stand.
DFER also endorsed Democratic State Board of Education member Angelika Schroeder, who’s running in the 2nd District.
The DFER Advisory Committee, which issued the endorsements, includes such well-known figures as Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia, former Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien, State Board of Education member Elaine Gantz Berman and state Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Denver.