Sen. Pat Steadman Seeks Reelection Bid on “Progressive Causes”
Sen. Pat Steadman is running for re-election on the platform of “progressive causes” from a perspective that is “fresh, fierce, and feisty,” according to his campaign website and Twitter page. He is seeking reelection to a second term in Senate District 31, a Democrat-leaning area that encompasses downtown and north-central Denver, as well as parts of Adams County. Steadman first joined the Colorado Senate in 2009 after being appointed by a Democratic committee to fill a mid-term vacancy.
Steadman’s main campaign backing has come from lawyers and lobbyists also supporting the liberal agenda. To date, Steadman has received nearly a third of his funding from these two industries. A lobbyist himself, an Steadman’s contributions and campaign finance reports show a pattern of monetary support from his former clients and colleagues. He previously lobbied on behalf of the Women’s Lobby of Colorado, which also happened to give him a political “A” rating. He represented groups like Housing Colorado and then received multiple donations from apartment and housing PACs.
Steadman is also no stranger to union cash. Unions like the American Federations of Teachers (AFT) from Castle Rock, the United Transportation Union (UTU), and the national AFSCME which Steadman once worked for as a union leader, have all contributed to his campaign. However, recent action from these unions reveal that they are out of touch and that their policies do not not resonate with Coloradans. The local AFT chapter in Douglas County that gave to Steadman is embroiled in a nasty fight with the local school board, the three union bosses of the United Transportation Union in Colorado make four times the amount of their average state worker, and the AFSCME money in support of Sen. Steadman was directly from Washington, D.C. as opposed to local, in-state giving.
Steadman’s cadre of special interest groups reflects the liberal agenda that he details on his website. The Public Education Committee, the Gill Foundation, and several health PACs rallying in support of Obamacare are included in this list. Steadman has also taken funds directly from three of the four liberal “horseman” players in the state: Pat Stryker, Tim Gill, and Ted Trimpa. And while the Senator worked to push legislation in the last session in favor of environmental energy groups against the oil and gas industries, he also accepted multiple earlier funds from the petroleum market.
In his past personal donations, Pat Steadman has regularly supported strong liberal groups such as the BlueFlower Fund, NARAL Pro-chi0ce, as well as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Democrats and Allies of JeffCo (GLTB of JeffCo). He received campaign funding from GLTB of JeffCo as well. Author of the Colorado Civil Unions Act in 2011, Steadman acts as the Senate figurehead of the gay rights movement in the state. In recent years he served as the Grand Marshal in the Denver Pride Parade and actively encouraged doubling the number of gay and lesbian legislators in the state. As a result, his campaign has received national funds and endorsement from sympathetic groups.
Pat Steadman faces off against Republican Brandon Kelley in the general election on November 6th. He ran unopposed in the primary.
Follow Kyle Forti on Twitter: @kyleforti