Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has ousted incumbent Republican Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, in a closely watched race. Hickenlooper is a well-known figure in the state. Fox and NBC News are among those networks who are projecting that Hickenlooper will flip the seat and defeat Gardner.
Fox News reported that Gardner was considered vulnerable because he’s a first-term senator and Colorado has trended blue, away from President Donald Trump. Gardner is a former congressman but Hickenlooper is the former governor, making this a battle of political heavyweights.
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Democrats are hoping to flip control of the U.S. Senate. Gardner is the incumbent. They need four seats, and three if Joe Biden wins the presidency. Democrats believed Colorado is one of the key Senate races they have a chance to flip in their bid to seize control of the Senate body. They were right about that. You can track the control of the U.S. Senate results nationwide here.
Here’s what you need to know:
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Colorado Has Trended Blue, Which Hurt Gardner
According to The Denver Post, Gardner was in Colorado’s General Assembly and U.S. House before he became a senator in 2014 on the basis of “anti-Obama sentiment.”
He defeated Senator Mark Udall. However, the newspaper reports that there is growing “anti-Trump sentiment” in Colorado, which is becoming a more reliably blue state.
This means that Gardner is considered an underdog in the race, the newspaper reports.
“Hickenlooper (Democratic Party) was the Governor of Colorado. He assumed office on January 11, 2011. He left office on January 1, 2019,” according to Ballotpedia. He also served as the previous mayor of the City of Denver.
“John started out as a geologist, but after being laid off, he considered a variety of career options. Ultimately, he decided to open a restaurant in Lower Downtown, a then-neglected warehouse district in Denver. The result was Colorado’s first brewpub and a big hit. He started seven more small businesses and employed hundreds of Coloradans,” Hickenlooper’s website says.
“In 2010, John ran for Governor and helped to move Colorado from ranking 40th in job creation to leading by example as the number one economy in the nation. John brought people together across the aisle and across the state to get things done, from passing pioneering anti-pollution climate change measures and landmark gun safety laws to expanding Medicaid to nearly 400,000 Coloradans.”
Gardner’s website says, “Senator Cory Gardner is a fifth-generation Coloradan who was born and raised in Yuma, a small town on the Eastern Plains of Colorado where his family has owned a farm implement dealership for over a century. He lives in the same house his great-grandparents lived in. Cory graduated summa cum laude from Colorado State University and received his law degree from the University of Colorado Boulder. After working at his family implement business and the National Corn Growers Association, Cory took a position as a Legislative Assistant for Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO) and quickly advanced to his Legislative Director.”