Democratic Rep. James Coleman of Denver has announced that he will run for the state senate seat held by fellow Democrat Angela Williams. It could set up a primary challenge if Williams, who is running for U.S. Senate, decides to end her bid and run for reelection in her local senate race.
Candidates for the statehouse have up until March to decide whether to participate in the caucus for a seat, Williams said.
“Numerous supporters have also reached out asking what this means for the district,” Williams said. “I have not decided to vacate my seat as Senator for SD33, and I think this has confused a lot of my constituents. As colleagues, I wish Rep. Coleman had sought my counsel before formally filing to run.”
Coleman said he talked to her a number of times about his interest in running before he made the news public.
“I sat down with Senator Williams. I respect her. There’s no animosity,” Coleman said. “It wasn’t about whether she was being a good senator. I endorsed her for U.S Senate. I want to run for my Senate district that I live in.”
The seat covers District 33, which includes Five Points, North Capitol Hill, Whittier, Cole, City Park West, City Park, Skyland, Park Hill, Stapleton, Montbello, Green Valley Ranch and DIA.
Coleman was elected in 2016 and is serving in Williams’ old house seat in District 7, which covers Stapleton, Montbello, Green Valley Ranch and DIA. He already has endorsements from the other Democratic Reps who represent part of the senate district, Leslie Herod and Chris Hanson.
Both candidates are members of the Black Democratic Legislative Caucus at the statehouse. Coleman vacating his House seat means there’s more room for another African American legislator, but he’s not pigeonholing it.
“I would love to have that number stay or increase, to have that diversity but the goal is (not only) to find diverse candidates but people who are ready to serve the community well,” Coleman said “It’s about a ground-up candidate who is engaged.”