Andrew Romanoff

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Andrew Romanoff
33rd Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives
In office
January 2005 – January 2009
Preceded byLola Spradley
Succeeded byTerrance Carroll
Member of the Colorado House of Representatives
from the 6th district
In office
January 2001 – January 2009
Preceded byKen Gordon
Succeeded byLois Court
Personal details
Born (1966-08-24) August 24, 1966 (age 52)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationYale University (BA)
Harvard University (MPP)
University of Denver (JD)
WebsiteOfficial website

Harlan Andrew Romanoff (born August 24, 1966) is an American politician. A Democrat, he was a member of the Colorado House of Representatives from 2000 to 2008, serving as Speaker from 2005 to 2008. He was a candidate for the United States Senate in the 2010 election, when he was defeated by incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet in the party's primary. Romanoff was a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014, running to represent Colorado's 6th congressional district.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Romanoff was raised in Columbus, Ohio and graduated from Columbus Academy. His mother, a Democrat, was a social worker. His father, a Republican, was a prosecutor. Romanoff has a twin sister.[2]

Romanoff earned a bachelor's degree from Yale University. He took time off from Yale to work at the Southern Poverty Law Center, where he researched the Ku Klux Klan. He also worked at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and taught English in Nicaragua and Costa Rica.[3] During his time in Nicaragua, his political philosophy was shaped by reading A Theory of Justice by liberal philosopher John Rawls.[2]

Romanoff obtained a Master's degree in public policy from John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.[4] Prior to earning a law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Romanoff worked for Democratic Congressman David Skaggs.[3]


From 1993 to 1997, Romanoff worked as a senior associate at the consulting firm of Greenberg Baron Simon & Miller. Romanoff served as a senior policy advisor to Governor Roy Romer from 1997 to 1999.[5]

Romanoff has taught government at the University of Colorado Denver (1999), the Community College of Denver (1996-2005), Metropolitan State College of Denver (1996-2005), and Red Rocks Community College (1996-2005).

Romanoff has been a senior advisor with International Development Enterprises since 2010.[6][7]

Colorado House of Representatives[edit]

Romanoff was a member of the Colorado House of Representatives from 2000 to 2008, winning re-election three times. Romanoff became Speaker of the House in 2005, and at the time was the youngest speaker in the history of the Colorado House.[8] Before becoming speaker he was the House Minority Leader, representing House District 6. Romanoff was considered by many to be a possible Democratic candidate for Governor of Colorado in 2006, but announced in late 2005 that he would not seek the Democratic nomination for governor. Romanoff left the Colorado House after 2008 due to term limits.

In 2010, Romanoff was criticized in a Denver Post op-ed by members of the Colorado Latino Forum for his support of legislation affecting immigrants, including one law that “denied basic government services to individuals who couldn’t immediately prove they were legal residents.”[9]

2010 U.S. Senate election[edit]

In early 2009, U.S. Senator Ken Salazar was nominated and confirmed as United States Secretary of the Interior. Romanoff was on a short list of possible candidates for appointment to Salazar's seat.[10] To fill the seat, Governor Bill Ritter chose Denver schools' superintendent Michael Bennet. Romanoff opted to challenge Bennet for the Senate seat in a Democratic primary contest.

The Washington Post reported that "Many Democrats here and in Washington think Romanoff decided to challenge Bennet purely out of pique, resentful that Gov. Bill Ritter (D) did not appoint him to the Senate seat left vacant when Obama named former senator Ken Salazar interior secretary."[8]

Romanoff made campaign finance and ethics a key issue of his campaign, declining to take Political Action Committee (PAC) money for his Senate campaign. As a member of the Colorado legislature, Romanoff took PAC money.[11]

A preference poll taken March 16 at precinct caucuses showed Romanoff with 51 percent support, Bennet with 42 percent, and the remaining uncommitted.[12] Delegates at each stage of the Democratic caucus-assembly process aren’t pledged to a candidate but are selected based on candidate preference.

Romanoff won the Democratic State Assembly against Michael Bennet, with 60.4% of the vote to Bennet's 39.6%. The State Assembly determines ballot placement for the August primary.[13] As Romanoff had a higher percentage of votes, his name appeared first on the Democratic ballot.

On September 16, 2009, Romanoff officially announced his campaign to challenge Bennet for the Democratic Senate nomination of 2010.[14] He was endorsed by Bill Clinton on June 29, 2010.[15] President Barack Obama endorsed Bennet shortly after Romanoff announced his candidacy.[16]

On August 10, 2010, Romanoff was defeated by Bennet in the Democratic primary.

Job offer from the Obama Administration[edit]

On September 27, 2009, Michael Riley of the Denver Post reported that Romanoff was offered a position in the Obama Administration in exchange for not running for U.S. Senate against Michael Bennet.[17] According to Riley, Jim Messina, deputy Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama, made a phone call to Romanoff offering him various positions in the Obama Administration, which included a position at the United States Agency for International Development. Romanoff turned down the offer.[18]

Romanoff issued a statement on June 2, 2010, in which he confirmed that he was contacted by Messina on September 11, 2009 and was told that President Obama was going to support Bennet in the Democratic Party primary. Romanoff told Messina that he would be running anyway and Romanoff states, as reported by the Washington Post that Messina "suggested three positions that might be available to me were I not pursuing the Senate race. He added that he could not guarantee my appointment to any of these positions." White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton told the Post that "Mr. Romanoff was recommended to the White House from Democrats in Colorado for a position in the administration. There were some initial conversations with him, but no job was ever offered." Messina sent Romanoff job descriptions for three positions: an administrator for the Latin America and Caribbean Bureau within USAID, the chief of the Office of Democracy and Governance within USAID, and the director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.[19][20]

On June 10, 2010, KDVR reported that Bennet said he had known about the White House's offer to Romanoff.[21]

2014 U.S. House election[edit]

Romanoff ran for the United States House of Representatives in 2014. He lost to incumbent Republican Mike Coffman 42.99% to 51.90% [22] in the general election for the right to represent Colorado's 6th congressional district.[1] Romanoff relocated to Aurora, Colorado, located within the 6th district, in 2013 in order to establish residency for his 2014 election bid.[23] The district became significantly more hospitable to Democratic candidates after 2011, when it was redrawn to include nearly as many Democratic and unaffiliated voters as Republican voters.[24]

In May 2014 Howard Dean endorsed Romanoff and spoke at one of Romanoff's campaign fundraising events.[25] Despite committing to reject contributions from political action committees and special interest groups, the Colorado Observer reported in August 2013 that Romanoff received a plurality of his second quarter fundraising from the legal industry, as well as donations from lobbyists, including ACT Blue, a Massachusetts PAC that aggregates online donations.[26]

On October 8, 2014, the Aurora Sentinel endorsed Romanoff.[27] On October 10, Politico reported that national Democrats are canceling more than a $1 million in campaign ads in support of Romanoff, "a sign of waning confidence in his prospects."[28]

Political positions[edit]

Romanoff has stated his support for the Affordable Care Act.[29] He has declined to state how he feels about the Keystone Pipeline until a delayed State Department review is complete.[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Lee, Curtis (2014-04-09). "Andrew Romanoff puts up lofty Q1 fundraising totals, outpaces Rep. Mike Coffman". Denver Post. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  2. ^ a b Brown, Jennifer (2008-06-06). "Romanoff: A serious goody-two-shoes". Denver Post. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  3. ^ a b Husted, Bill (2010-09-16). "Zorro at side, Romanoff packs up his life, losses". Denver Post. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  4. ^ Bartels, Lynn (2009-09-17). "Romanoff launches Senate bid: "Colorado is my cause"". The Denver Post. Archived from the original on 14 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
  5. ^ "U.S. Senate race: Andrew Romanoff". Broomfield Enterprise. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  6. ^ Luning, Ernest (February 11, 2013). "Romanoff's primary path becomes more certain". Colorado Statesman. Archived from the original on May 27, 2014. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  7. ^ Michael Booth, Romanoff to fight world poverty as senior adviser to Lakewood nonprofit, October 6, 2010, The Denver Post
  8. ^ a b Balz, Dan (2010-04-04). "In Colorado, a former rising star is as welcome as space junk". Washington Post. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  9. ^ Stokols, Eli (June 2, 2014). "Coffman hits Romanoff on immigration with Ulibarri quote". KDVR. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  10. ^ Osher, Christopher N.; Crummy, Karen E. (December 15, 2008). "Sources: Salazar accepts Interior spot". Denver Post. Archived from the original on 17 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-16.
  11. ^ Ingold, John; Fender, Jessica (March 16, 2010). "Sources: Romanoff prevails in Dem caucuses". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2010-07-07.
  12. ^ Osher, Christopher N.; Crummy, Karen E. (December 15, 2008). "Sources: Romanoff prevails at Dem Caucuses". Denver Post. Retrieved 2010-07-07.
  13. ^ "Sources: Romanoff, Buck win Colorado Assembly Races". Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-07-07.
  14. ^ Bartels, Lynn (September 17, 2009). "Sources: Romanoff launches Senate bid: "Colorado is my cause"". Denver Post. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  15. ^ Sherry, Allison (June 29, 2010). "Bill Clinton snubs Bennet and endorses Romanoff". Denver Post. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  16. ^ Kraushaar, Josh (Sep 17, 2009). "Obama Endorses Bennett". Politico. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  17. ^ Riley, Michael. D.C. job alleged as attempt to deter Romanoff, Denver Post, September 27, 2009.
  18. ^ Littwin, Mike. Littwin: Romanoff won't answer why he won't answer, Denver Post, May 30, 2010.
  19. ^ Elliott, Philip. Senate candidate says White House discussed 3 jobs, Washington Post, June 3, 2010.[dead link]
  20. ^ "Sen. Candidate Says White House Discussed 3 Jobs". CBS News. June 2, 2010. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  21. ^ Stokols, Eli (June 11, 2010). "Bennet confirms knowledge of White House contact with Romanoff". KDVR. Archived from the original on August 17, 2011. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  22. ^
  23. ^ Zelinger, Marshall (Feb 4, 2013). "Andrew Romanoff establishes residency in Congressional District Six to challenge Rep. Mike Coffman". ABC News. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  24. ^ Lee, Kurtis (Jan 15, 2013). "Andrew Romanoff indicates he might challenge Mike Coffman in Congress". Denver Post. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  25. ^ Luning, Ernest (2014-05-16). "Former prez candidate Dean stumps for Romanoff". Colorado Statesman. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  26. ^ "Romanoff Under Fire Again for Sidestepping PAC Money Pledge". Colorado Observer. August 9, 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  27. ^ "ENDORSEMENT: Romanoff already represents CD6 voters, send him to Congress to do the job". Aurora Sentinel. 8 Oct 2014. Retrieved 11 Oct 2014.
  28. ^ Isenstadt, Alex (Oct 10, 2014). "DCCC pulls $1M in ads for Andrew Romanoff". Politico. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
  29. ^ Lee, Kurtis (March 26, 2014). "Rep. Mike Coffman, Sen. Marco Rubio press Andrew Romanoff on Obamacare". Denver Post. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  30. ^ Murray, John (July 25, 2014). "Democrat Andrew Romanoff says he's awaiting results of Keystone XL pipeline review". Denver Post. Retrieved 6 August 2014.

External links[edit]

Colorado House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ken Gordon
Member of the Colorado House of Representatives
from the 6th district

Succeeded by
Lois Court
Political offices
Preceded by
Lola Spradley
Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Terrance Carroll