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Challengers already lining up to oust Trump-loving Colorado senator

The former speaker of the Colorado House and a former state senator join a growing list of candidates looking to challenge vulnerable Sen. Cory Gardner in 2020.

By Dan Desai Martin - February 08, 2019
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO)

Democrats made sweeping gains across the country in the 2018 midterm elections, but the Senate remains in Republican hands — for now. And even though the 2020 election is more than 630 days away, several high-profile Coloradans are already jumping at the chance to flip one more Senate seat blue by ousting Republican Cory Gardner.

Former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff announced on Thursday morning that he will join a growing field of Democrats looking to challenge Gardner — who is likely to be one of the most vulnerable Republican senators in 2020, and who has even GOP officials worried about his re-election chances.

Romanoff spent eight years in the Colorado House, including four as speaker. In his announcement, he pledged to fight for progressive values on issues from the environment to health care to immigration.

“We’ve seen politicians do the bidding of billionaires, catering to their corporate benefactors while sticking the rest of us with the bill,” Romanoff said. “I’m running to change that.”

Romanoff’s progressive platform is in line with the views of Colorado voters — who recently elected Democrats to every major statewide office, kept control of the state House, and flipped control of the state Senate from red to blue.

Given this political reality, Gardner probably did himself no favors when he recently flip-flopped on his opposition to Trump’s fitness to be president.

In 2016, Gardner boldly declared that he could not and would not “support someone who brags about degrading and assaulting women” — referring to Trump, after the “Access Hollywood” video came out showing Trump gleefully bragging about being a sexual predator.

Yet less than three years later, Gardner has fully embraced Trump and endorsed his 2020 campaign.

Romanoff is not alone in seeking to challenge Gardner.

Earlier this week, former state Sen. Mike Johnson also announced his intention to run in the Democratic primary. In his announcement video, Johnson lambasted Gardner and Trump for their failure to take on critical issues like climate change and gun violence, and pointed out that the pair of Republicans also created new threats — from passing the GOP tax scam to trying to rip away health care from hard-working Coloradans.

In addition to Romanoff and Johnson, four other Democrats have already announced their candidacy against Gardner.

The voters of Colorado rejected the Gardner-Trump agenda in 2018 — and it looks like they’ll have a lot of other options in 2020 that could help end Republican control of the U.S. Senate.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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