As a growing field of Democrats jostle each other to run against U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff has released a list of more than 250 former and current Democratic officials who are endorsing him.
Tuesday’s list shows all three Pueblo County commissioners — Terry Hart, Garrison Ortiz and Chris Wiseman — as supporters, as well as City Council President Dennis Flores and Councilman Chris Nicoll.
Sheriff Kirk Taylor is also backing Romanoff, as is county Clerk Gilbert “Bo” Ortiz and Treasurer Del Olivas.
Also on the list is former state Sen. Abel Tapia, D-Pueblo, former Commissioner Lianne “Buffie” McFadyen and former U.S. Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo.
State Rep. Don Valdez, of House District 62, is also on it.
Those are just supporters in the Pueblo region. The list includes officials from all over the state.
“This is what a grassroots campaign looks like,” Romanoff said in a statement Tuesday.
Gardner is often listed as the most vulnerable Republican senator up for election next year, given the strong showing of Democrats last November, where they captured all the top state offices and both chambers of the General Assembly.
Right now, Romanoff might have an edge in name recognition among the Democrats running. Only former state Sen. Mike Johnston has had a statewide profile, having just run for governor last year.
Romanoff was a Denver state legislator for nine years, including four as a high-profile House speaker. He was widely expected to be named U.S. senator when Sen. Ken Salazar was picked by President Barack Obama to head the Interior Department in 2009.
But then-Gov. Bill Ritter surprised many Democrats by picking Bennet instead, who was superintendent of Denver Public Schools at the time.
Even so, Bennet beat Romanoff in the 2010 Democratic primary to keep his Senate seat. And Romanoff later lost a challenge to U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., in 2014.
Since then, he was executive director of Mental Health Colorado, a nonprofit advocacy group. He only recently stepped down from that job to start his campaign to challenge Gardner next year.
Other declared Democrats in the Senate race are not well-known: Lorena Garcia, Trish Zornio, Keith Pottratz, and Dustin Leitzel. Others, such as U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., have signaled they might join the race.
Read the original article from La Junta Tribune-Democrat
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