Baumgardner: Not leaving race for Udall’s Senate seat

Randy Baumgardner

DENVER — GOP candidates for U.S. Senate may come and go, but there’s one who’s reminding his supporters that he’s still in it.

State Sen. Randy Baumgardner, a Hot Sulphur Springs Republican whose district includes Garfield County, sent out an email message to supporters late Tuesday to tell them he won’t be chased out of the primary race like all the others.

After U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, a Republican from the Eastern Plains town of Yuma, jumped in to what then was a crowded field late last month, everyone else — except Baumgardner — jumped out.

The latest was Baumgardner’s colleague in the Colorado Senate, Sen. Owen Hill, who said Tuesday that the party needs to unify in order to defeat the incumbent, U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat.

Baumgardner, however, said he prefers to let GOP voters decide who should face Udall.

“Senator Hill and I are like-minded in our attempts to help Colorado and push back against the Democrats’ overreach when working in the state Senate,” Baumgardner said in his message. “We hold many of the same ideals and positions, especially when it comes to the Constitution and limited federal government. We also agree that the people of Colorado should have the right to choose their leaders.”

Gardner’s entry into the race immediately chased out two others, Weld County prosecutor Ken Buck and state Rep. Amy Stephens, who both immediately endorsed the congressman in the race.

Hill, who initially called Gardner’s entry “corruption” and a “back-room deal,” said he would wait until the party’s April state assembly before choosing who to support. Baumgardner said he will remain in the race until at least then.

A Public Policy Polling analysis of the U.S. Senate race released on Tuesday showed that Gardner was virtually tied with Udall 42 percent to 40 percent should the two face each other in a general election.

That same poll said Udall was the clear winner in match-ups against Hill and Baumgardner, 43-38 and 44-37, respectively.


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