Former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff is the latest Democrat to enter the 2020 competition to challenge U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner.
“My campaign, like my career, is grounded in the people of Colorado,” Romanoff said in a statement announcing his candidacy. “I know firsthand what women and men of goodwill can achieve when united by a common purpose.”
The Ohio native, who once planned on a career in journalism, joins a growing list of Democrats vying to take on Gardner, pegged as one of the most vulnerable Senate Republicans. Former state Sen. Mike Johnston announced at the end of January, and Lorena Garcia, Trish Zornioand Keith Pottratz have all launched campaigns.
Romanoff took a progressive stance on a variety of issues in his announcement, including Medicare for all, immigration reform and renewable energy. He also mentioned the Green New Deal to replace fossils fuels that’s being pushed by his former aide, U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Boulder.
“There was a time when Colorado Democrats would hesitate before putting their names behind fringe proposals that would uproot massive parts of the economy,” Colorado’s Republican National Committee spokesman Kyle Kohli said in a statement. “Romanoff’s decision to campaign on the Green New Deal, government-run healthcare, and crushing middle class tax increases shows those days are over.”
Romanoff’s re-entry into politics comes after four years leading Mental Health Colorado, an influential advocacy group in the state. It’s a job he can’t keep now that he’s running for political office. Romanoff told The Denver Post he’s not focused on finding a new day job.
“I’m going to focus on traveling across the state to build support,” Romanoff said. “I told my dog we are going to have to cut back on kibble.”
It’s a risky move given the number of Democrats expected to enter the race between now and the spring of 2020. Another former House speaker, Crisanta Duran, is expected to enter the race as well.
Romanoff previously lost a U.S. Senate Democratic primary to Michael Bennet, who now holds the seat, and unsuccessfully challenged then-U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman in the 6th Congressional District.
The Colorado Republican Party was quick to poke fun at Romanoff’s announcement by characterizing the Democratic primary race as the “reunion of failed candidates.” Both Romanoff and Mike Johnston, who announced his candidacy last week, have lost statewide primary races.
Romanoff brushed off concerns about his past campaigns and talked up his legislative credentials, pointing to laws he authored at the Colorado Statehouse to expand affordable housing and counter domestic violence. He also worked with Republicans in 2005 to pass a statewide ballot measure that lifted some of Colorado’s strict tax laws for five years.
Read the original article from The Devner Post
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