After a close battle to unseat Republican incumbent Marilyn Musgrave, Angie Paccione is left searching for a job and pondering a run for a 2008 spot in Congress.
Musgrave won the vote for Colorado’s 4th Congressional District in November by a margin of only 2.5 percent, leaving Paccione in striking distance for another campaign run.
“Recognition of my name is 85 to 93 percent,” Paccione said. “Which is a great foundation.”
The ex-Stanford basketball player also pointed out that her campaign set the record for the most money any Democrat has ever raised in the 4th District, totaling about $2 million, coming from national and local support. Her campaign gained twice as many votes in Larimer County as Democrat Stan Matsunaka in 2004 and three times as many in Longmont.
One thing Paccione would do differently in a second run is get in front of more voters, she says. Much of her campaign centered in the small, rural communities in eastern Colorado, limiting her exposure.
“I am certain that if you get a chance to hear, see, or talk to me about my vision, you would vote for me,” she said.
Her supporters say Paccione would be well received as a candidate in 2008.
“I know we have always stood by Angie. She was such a strong supporter of CSU as a student and professor,” said Ellen Steiner, president of the CSU Young Democrats. “She has a great campaign and I would love to see her run and win. We need someone like her in office.”
Republican students seem unfazed by the prospect of a second run from Paccione.
“I don’t see a problem with it,” said Shawn Murry, a Republican open-option sophomore. “I probably would not vote for her.”
Paccione says there are no hard feelings between herself and Musgrave despite the election onslaught of personal campaign ads.
“She’s already voting the same way she did in the past, which is disappointing and a motivation for me to run again,” Paccione said.
Regardless of the election results, Paccione is pleased with the Democratic majority outcome.
“We may not have won this particular race, but this campaign was part of a much larger picture, one in which we have won indeed,” she posted on her Web site, www.Angie2006.com.
Paccione is also pleased by the actions Democrats have taken in Washington, D.C.
“It is a delight to see an agenda start to take shape. Things have been waiting and wanting for so long and action has been taken within the first week,” she added. “That’s leadership.”
Paccione says she is very excited about the Democratic National Convention coming to Denver in late August of 2008.
“It’s a great decision on the part of the national party,” she said. “Colorado exemplifies what is happening in the West. (It) has become a very centrist and Democratic-leaning state.”
Paccione went on to say that she will try to become a delegate at the convention but does not feel that the convention will have an impact on whether or not she runs in 2008.
“It would be a great platform,” she said. “But with the last campaign, I do not think I could get much more name recognition.”
The former CSU assistant professor is undecided about her next career move.
“It’s a real opportunity to do what I’ve done well or to explore something new,” she said.
But after 18 months of campaigning without a break, Paccione said the first thing she did was to go on vacation.
“I went with Dick Cheney to an undisclosed location,” she joked.
Paccione also wished to express how thrilled she was with the support from CSU.
“Thank you to all the students who not only supported me but also volunteered their time to work on the campaign.” she said. “It was truly tremendous.”
Staff writer James Holt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.