Coffman makes NRCC’s Patriot program, will get extra help

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Congressman Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, in his new district office in February.

DENVER — Republican Congressman Mike Coffman, possibly the most vulnerable congressional incumbent in the country, will be getting special help from the National Republican Congressional Committee going forward, FOX31 Denver is first to report.

Coffman, R-Aurora, has qualified for the NRCC’s Patriot Program, the group announced Monday morning.

It’s hardly a surprise to anyone given the competitiveness of the race between Coffman and Democrat Andrew Romanoff, the former statehouse Speaker, who both raised just more than $500,000 in the year’s first fundraising quarter.

Through a number of member-based communications, fundraising and strategy goals established at the beginning of the cycle, the program helps to ensure that its GOP members are ready to run well-funded and organized campaigns against their Democratic opponents.

Democrats need to win 17 seats in order to take back a House majority in 2006, which would allow President Obama, frustrated by his inability to get anything at all through a divided Congress, to pursue a bolder agenda in his final two years in office.

Winning Coffman’s seat is critical to that effort.

When he ran to succeed Tom Tancredo in 2008, Coffman probably never imagined he’d be in the position of having to defend his seat from a Democratic challenger; but what was a safe Republican seat was re-drawn into a competitive toss-up last year just before Coffman narrowly survived a challenge from the lesser known Joe Miklosi, a former Democratic state representative.

Part of the early offensive against Romanoff — and it is early; many incumbents don’t even have declared challengers for 2014 yet — also includes a new interactive digital ad campaign from the NRCC.

The group has launched web ads running on local websites linking voters to information about Romanoff.

“Andrew Romanoff is known for his support for one of Colorado’s largest tax hikes in history and his anti-Hispanic voting record,” said NRCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek. “Romanoff’s reckless agenda, along with his ties to Nancy Pelosi and Washington special interests, should be a red flag for Colorado’s hard-working families.”

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rolled out its first online ads against Coffman in February.

Coffman himself has already begun softening many of his hard-line conservative positions, embraced immigration reform and even sponsored legislation with the Democratic sponsor of the DREAM Act that would allow non-citizens to serve in the U.S. military.