Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 20, 2014

Gardner Decision Shakes Up Colorado Senate Race

In a surprise decision, Republican Rep. Cory Gardner has decided to jump into the Colorado Senate race against incumbent Democrat Mark Udall. While there are other Republicans running already, Gardner gives the GOP an upper-tier candidate in a race that has not been considered competitive until now. The news was first reported by the Denver Post.

Gardner is considered a rising star with the Republican ranks, but also a member who is somewhat risk averse. Up to this point, it appeared that Gardner was not willing to give up his safe 4th District seat for a long-shot run against Udall in a very competitive state.

But with public polling showing Udall in a tight contest against lower-tier foes such as 2010 GOP Ken Buck and the national environment still trending against Democrats, Gardner must have thought this was the time to run.

State Sens. Owen Hill and Randy Baumgardner and state Rep. Amy Stephens were already running, along with Buck, before Gardner’s decision. The filing deadline is March 31.

Gardner’s decision would also open up his House seat. But Mitt Romney won the 4th District with 58 percent in 2012 and John McCain won it with 56 percent in 2008, so it would not start as a great Democratic opportunity.

There is no guarantee that Gardner will be the GOP’s Senate nominee, but this race should no longer be considered Safe for the Democrats. We’re changing the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating of Colorado’s Senate race to Democrat Favored, but it could get much more competitive very quickly.

  • Benjamin D Marvin-Vanderryn

    I don’t understand this decision. From a practical standpoint, Ken Buck looks like a much stronger challenger to Udall than any of the challengers to Gov. Hickenlooper. I’m not even sure Gardner will emerge from the Republican primary in the Senate race, whereas if he ran for governor he could have a much clearer shot to be the GOP nominee.

    • VirginianVoter

      I’m not sure if you saw the updated news – but Buck backed down, and is running for Gardner’s seat. Stephens also dropped out.

    • teapartyidiots

      Hickenlooper is fine, especially if they nominate Tancredo.

  • Francisco Ringoli

    Those who harbor nefarious intentions tend to subvert freedom by insisting that the temporary views of fleeting majorities justify charting courses opposed to morality, liberty, and prosperity.

    • Lee

      Sounds like someone needs to watch less Fox News. lol

      • minowe

        YOU sound like someone who needs to watch more Fox News. lol
        (In truth, MSNBC isn’t really all that fair and balanced.)

        • teapartyidiots

          I don’t watch either (well, Maddow and Morning Joe occasionally, and Shep Smith occasionally). BBC America and Al Jazeera America all the way. All Things Considered as well.

          • minowe

            Ah, even better. Maddow has obviously informed your opinion of the TEA Party. BBC isn’t all that crazy about anything conservative. Al Jazeera has filled in the rest.

            Congrats. You have successfully avoided anything either fair or balanced. YOU are the average American voter.

          • teapartyidiots

            Because I don’t only watch Fox I’m uninformed? OK.

          • minowe

            Are you implying that “the average American voter” is uninformed? Eh, I guess I might have to agree with you on that.

            You HAVE managed to avoid the more informative parts of Fox News, and I’m not referring to the obviously right-leaning Sean Hannity, who doesn’t pretend to be “fair and balanced,” even though he does have liberals on his show.

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