DENVER (CBS4) – Republican Rep. Cory Gardner has officially announced he will be running for Senate.

“I announce my intention to run for the United States Senate,” said Gardner on Saturday.

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With those words, Gardner has committed to a nine-month battle for the Senate seat of Sen. Mark Udall, assuming he wins the Republican statewide primary in June.

“Mark Udall broke his promise to Colorado,” said Gardner.

In front of a crowd of about 300 people at a Denver lumber yard the Republican congressman promised to stand up to President Obama, focus on economic growth and responsible energy development.

“We will stop the government takeover of health care,” said Gardner.

Udall was in Colorado in Left Hand Canyon on Saturday, where he said flood recovery is far from over.

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“We’ve got a lot of work to do in the next 50 to 80 days to ensure that we don’t have another round of flooding,” said Udall.

The Democratic senator said he welcomes a competitive race, but was quick to point out that he worked hard to secure flood recovery funds and said Gardner voted in favor of the government shutdown.

“When that shutdown occurred, the recovery efforts were stopped almost overnight,” said Udall.

While both candidates say they will lead Colorado into a better tomorrow, it will be decided in the next nine months if the people re-elect the Democratic incumbent or a Republican challenger.

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“This is a fight for our families, for our future, for the direction of this nation,” said Gardner.

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Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck dropped out of the Senate race to make room for Gardner. He said he will run for Gardner’s congressional seat on the Republican ticket.