Sen. Udall kicks off 2014 re-election bid

Democratic luminaries turn out for his $1,000-a-plate fundraiser

Sen. Mark Udall

No sooner does one campaign season end, another one begins.

U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., officially kicked off his re-election bid for the U.S. Senate on Friday with a $1,000-a-head fundraising event in Denver that featured a who’s who of Colorado Democrats.

The event included drinks and dinner at the posh Kevin Taylor’s at the Opera House, the signature restaurant of the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

It included one sitting governor and two former governors, three members of Congress and dozens of such well-heeled Democrats as Tim Gill and Pat Stryker.

Todd Park Mohr of Big Head Todd and the Monsters provided the musical entertainment for the evening.

It was the first chance for Colorado’s other senator, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, to act in his new role as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the party’s largest organization designed to help Democrats get elected to the U.S. Senate.

Though not related to Udall’s announcement, the first ads of the campaign also ran last week, primarily in Front Range television markets.

They were mostly positive television commercials paid for by the American Petroleum Institute. The ads were part of a national campaign targeting Udall and six other Democratic senators running for re-election in 2014 against raising taxes on energy companies, such as the Simpson-Bowles bipartisan commission’s recommendation of a 15-cent-a-gallon hike in the nation’s gasoline tax to fund more transportation projects.

Udall is an outspoken supporter of the commission’s recommendations. He also has repeatedly called on Congress not to allow the wind production tax credit to expire at the end of the year.

To date, no Republican has announced plans to challenge Udall, though some names that have come up include former U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez and current U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, the Republican representative for the 6th Congressional District.

Udall, 62, is completing his first six-year term in the U.S. Senate after serving 10 years in the U.S. House.


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