Republican U.S. Senate candidate Eli Bremer unveiled a slew of endorsements from current and former state lawmakers on Monday as the crowded primary field of Democrat Michael Bennet's potential challengers move closer to the ballot.
“Eli has earned the support of many current and former Legislators because he is hardworking, shares our values, and most of all, a man of great integrity," said state Sen. Bob Gardner, R-Colorado Springs, in a joint statement released by Bremer's campaign on behalf of the 13 new endorsers. "These great qualities make him the candidate that can beat Michael Bennet and take back our Senate in November."
Added Gardner: "Eli's unparalleled work ethic, exceptional character and dedication are second to none. He has the support and momentum to carry us to victory. We are proud to join the many committed conservatives who know Eli is the only candidate who can take back Colorado for Republicans."
The Republicans who signed on to Gardner's statement declaring their support for Bremer are state Sen. Larry Liston and state Rep. Mary Bradfield, both of Colorado Springs, and 10 Gold Dome alumnae, former state Sens. Greg Brophy, Andy McElhany, Larry Crowder, Bernie Herpin, Ed Jones and Keith King; and former state Reps. Mark Barker, Tim Dore, Lois Landgraff, and Jim Wilson.
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A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Bremer competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics in the modern pentathlon and is a former chairman of the El Paso County Republican Party.
National election forecasters don't consider Colorado's U.S. Senate race competitive, but in late February the Cook Political Report shifted Colorado from 'Solid Democrat' to 'Likely Democrat,' suggesting that if the GOP nominates a strong candidate amid a worsening political climate for Democrats, the state could move into battleground territory.
Colorado Republicans held precinct caucuses last week, beginning the formal process of picking a nominee to face Bennet, who is seeking a third term. Candidates can make the June 28 primary ballot by taking the caucus and assembly route, culminating at the state assembly on April 9, or by submitting a sufficient number of petition signatures, which are due March 15.
Bremer is competing against six other Republican U.S. Senate candidates for spots in the primary: state Rep. Ron Hanks, Fort Collins real estate developer Gino Campana; construction company owner Joe O'Dea; former talk radio host and actress Deborah Flora, former congressional candidate Peter Yu and political science professor Greg Moore.
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“These lawmakers come from all over the state and represent different time periods of serving," Bremer said, noting that some served in "better times" under Colorado's last Republican governor in the early to mid-2000s.
“Winning in Colorado will require a massive team of supporters, and I’m humbled to continue earning the support of elected officials who have been fighting for conservative values in our state for years," Bremer said. "I look forward to taking back Colorado's Senate seat and working with our state legislators to make sure the federal government honors the role of our states and returns as much power to the states as possible. I firmly believe in federalism, and I intend to be a strong voice for local control of as many governmental efforts as possible.”
Bremer's newly named backers joined the four former legislative leaders who announced their endorsements last week: former Senate President Kevin Grantham, a Fremont County commissioner; former House Majority Leader Amy Stephens; former House Minority Leader and former El Paso County Commissioner Mark Waller; and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Blickensderfer.
COVER STORY | Crowded field of Bennet's GOP challengers moves toward primary ballot
Republican US Senate candidate Eli Bremer picks up endorsements from former legislative leaders
Bennet challenger Gino Campana announces statewide grassroots team
Former US Attorney Jason Dunn backs Bennet challenger Joe O'Dea