CO-Senate: Bennet Lands Cecil
Appointed Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet (D) has hired high-level party operative Guy Cecil to serve as his chief of staff, a recognition of the political peril in which he finds himself in 2010.
Cecil, who is currently the president of Thomas Circle Strategies, a public relations firm, spent much of 2008 as the political and field director for then Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (N.Y.) presidential campaign. Prior to that, he served as political director at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
"Guy's strong work ethic, leadership abilities, and strategic thinking will be a real asset," said Bennet of the hire. "Colorado will be well-served by having Guy on our team."
Bennet is among the most endangered Senators up for re-election in 2010. Appointed by Gov. Bill Ritter (D) to fill the vacancy caused by Sen. Ken Salazar's (D) ascension to Secretary of the Interior, Bennet began as a virtual unknown in the state.
Despite the best efforts of national Democrats -- including the White House -- Bennet drew a strong primary challenge in the form of former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff who had also been prominently mentioned as a possible appointee to the Senate.
And, Republicans have landed a top-tier recruit in the Rocky Mountain State in the form of former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton who even Democrats acknowledge has a terrific profile to run statewide.
Cecil's hiring is an acknowledgment by Bennet of the difficult path he must tread over the next 12 months. But, given Cecil's reputation within the party, it should also serve to reassure nervous strategists that Bennet grasps the enormity of his challenge and is doing everything he can to tackle it.
Wondering where Colorado ranks in terms of its likelihood to switch parties? Make sure to check out the latest version of the Fix's Senate Line tomorrow in this space.
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