Mike Garcia GOP

In this May 19, 2020, file photo, Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Calif., participates in a ceremonial swearing-in on Capitol Hill in Washington. Two years earlier, California Republican leaders conceded that the party had all but collapsed after Democrats swept seven GOP-held House seats, but in 2020 Garcia and other GOP nominees reclaimed four of those districts for the GOP, even as President Donald Trump lost the state in a landslide.

The California Republican who flipped one of the state's Democratic-held congressional seats for the first time in more than two decades last year is endorsing Eli Bremer's bid for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Michael Bennet.

U.S. Rep. Mike Garcia, a first-generation American citizen and a decorated Navy veteran, said he believes Bremer is the Republican best positioned to unseat Bennet in a state where the GOP has been on the ropes in recent years.

“Colorado Republicans are struggling in the same way California Republicans have struggled to win and hold seats. Our campaign and repeated wins in one of America’s toughest districts has shown that good Republicans can win if they present the right case to the voters.” Garcia said in a statement to Colorado Politics.

“Having a candidate with a compelling story who truly aligns with the interests of the voters is critical. From attending the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado to competing in the Olympics, which have their U.S. headquarters in Colorado, you won’t find anyone who is more 'Colorado' than Eli. He is the ideal candidate to win a U.S. Senate seat where recently Republicans have found success elusive.”

Bremer, a 2008 Olympian and former chairman of the El Paso County Republican Party, is one of eight Republicans running against Bennet, who is seeking a third full term in 2022.

Garcia won a special election in California's 25th Congressional District in May 2020 to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Democratic U.S. Rep. Katie Hill and was elected to a full term last fall. He was the first California Republican since 1998 to win a House seat previously held by a Democrat and is the first Hispanic Republican to represent the estate in Congress since 1883.

Bremer said Garcia is a model for Republicans facing uphill battles. 

“Mike Garcia clearly models how Republicans can win in difficult states and difficult districts,” Bremer said in a statement.

"He won through a compelling and unique personal story, hard work, and tenacity in his campaign. He personally represents the best of his district and is someone his constituents can trust and be proud to have represent them in Washington. Mike has given Republicans in blue states a blueprint of how to be successful, and I have leaned on his expertise and friendship throughout this campaign.”

Sabato's Crystal Ball, an election forecasting site run out of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, this week shifted Colorado's 2022 Senate election from Safe Democrat to Likely Democrat, citing Republican performance Tuesday in Virginia and New Jersey's off-year elections.

Democrats swept the last two elections in Colorado, with President Joe Biden carrying the state by 13.5 points and the party holding every statewide office except for a part-time at-large seat on the University of Colorado Board of Regents.

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