Sen. Udall amasses $2.5 million for 2014 re-election bid

U.S. Sen. Mark Udall,, D-Colo., facing his first statewide re-election test, has piled up $2.5 million in his campaign warchest.

In what a spokesman called “quite a successful first quarter” of 2013, Udall raised $1.5 million.

Udall has no announced Republican challenger, but Colorado Republican Party Chairman Ryan Call played down Udall’s money gathering.

“Sounds like he’s nervous, if you ask me,” Call said.

A couple potential candidates are being “very deliberative,” Call said, adding that he expected a Republican announcement within “two or three months.”

One person who won’t run is Rep. Scott Tipton. R-Colo., a second-term congressman whose 3rd District includes most of the Western Slope.

“I can just say no,” Tipton spokesman Josh Green said. “I can confirm he’s not running for the Senate.”

The GOP has “plenty of time” to find a candidate, Call said.

Udall has compiled a formidable record in his first five years in the Senate, spokesman Mike Saccone said, pointing to Udall’s support of ski areas, backing of efforts to upgrade the fleet of firefighting air tankers and leadership on clean-energy issues.

Udall also broke with Democrats to introduce a balanced-budget amendment, Saccone noted.

Call, however, said Udall “takes his campaign cash and marching orders” from the environmental left, citing Udall’s failure to back the Keystone XL pipeline.

Udall regularly outspent Republican opponents as a representative from the 2nd Congressional District, and in 2008 he outspent Republican Bob Schaffer, $12.8 million to $7.2 million.

While the Republicans look for a candidate to oppose Udall, they also have to find a candidate to run against Gov. John Hickenlooper, also a Democrat.

Some Western Slope Republicans have voiced interest in a bid for the governorship, Call said.

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