A seventh Republican has entered the 2022 GOP primary race for the chance to unseat U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.
Parker resident Deborah Flora threw her hat into the now-crowded ring Thursday, saying her business experience and nonprofit work qualify her to hold the seat.
She joins a slew of others in the race: state Rep. Ron Hanks of Penrose, former El Paso County Chairman and Olympian Eli Bremer, Fort Collins developer and former city councilor Gino Campana, former oil and gas executive Erik Aadland, Army veteran Juli Henry and one-time congressional candidate Peter Yu.
Flora is president and founder of Parents United America, a nonprofit group that advocates for parental rights.
She operates Lamplight Entertainment and Whet-Stone Media Group. Both are media production companies.
Hanks, who entered the race earlier this month, has been a controversial figure since joining the Legislature last year. His initial swearing in was delayed because he had attended the Jan. 6, 2020, rally in Washington, D.C.. Though he said he attended the rally, he said he was not part of the attempted insurrection and did not go inside the Capitol Building.
He also was the only elected Colorado official other than Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters to attend a voter-fraud conspiracy theory event in August hosted by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.
Bremer, who announced his bid in August, was chairman of the El Paso Republican Party from 2011 to 2013. He was at the center of a high-profile battle with the Colorado Republican Party and its then chairman, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, who had ordered Bremer to put a legislative candidate on the 2020 primary ballot who didn’t qualify at the county’s assembly.
Aadland entered the race last month. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, he is a Army combat veteran who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, retiring as a captain in 2011.
Campana, chairman of the Larimer County Republican Party, was appointed by then President Donald Trump to serve a six-year term on the Public Buildings Reform Board. He is a developer who served on the Fort Collins City Council in 2013.
Henry, who announced her bid in January, also is an Army veteran; Yu ran a failed bid for the 2nd Congressional District in 2018, losing to Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse.