DENVER (CBS4)– Congressman Cory Gardner put Colorado’s Senate race on the national radar.

Election day is still six months away but the race for U.S. Senate in Colorado is already heating up and it’s likely to be a close one.

Gardner is running against incumbent Democrat Sen. Mark Udall in what is expected to be one of the biggest, one of the most expensive and most watched senate races in the country.

Rep. Cory Gardner (credit: CBS)

Rep. Cory Gardner (credit: CBS)

It’s one of six races around the U.S. that should decide the balance of power.

RELATED: Udall, Gardner About Even In Colorado Senate Race

Now Gardner’s record is under scrutiny from immigration to abortion.

On immigration, Gardner opposed in-state tuition for illegal immigrants and amnesty.

“The DREAM Act alone isn’t going to solve our immigration challenges. That’s why we have to look at border security, a guest worker program, E-verify and fixes to visas,” said Gardner. “What to do with people without documentation. There are between 11 and 12 million people here without documentation.”

When asked if they should be sent back to where ever they came from, Gardner replied, “I don’t think you can do that. I don’t think that’s what will happen or should happen.”

On abortion, Gardner has voted for bills with and without exceptions for rape and incest. He also sponsored the “Life Begins At Conception Act” and once supported Personhood in Colorado, something he no longer supports.

“In the State of Colorado, the Personhood Initiative I do not support,” said Gardner. “I came to that opinion because of a number of issues including the fact that it would ban common forms of contraception.”

Gardner is also steadfast in his opposition to Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress. He also opposes the expansion of Medicaid.

“If we’re going to and we should have, an obligation to protect the most sick and vulnerable in society,” said Gardner. “But if we put in place solutions that will bankrupt the state, solutions that will bankrupt the country, then we haven’t helped anyone. We’ve hurt people.”

His position on gay rights has evolved like many on both sides of the aisle. Seven years ago in the state House he opposed a bill allowing gay couples to adopt and also voted against adding sexual orientation to state anti-discrimination laws.

“If a family wants to have children they should have children,” said Gardner.

When asked if that was regardless of sexual orientation, Gardner replied, “I think they should have children.”

When asked about businesses denying service to people simply because they are gay, Gardner replied, “I don’t think we should have discrimination in this country but people also have beliefs, issues, they may be, from a religious standpoint be concerned about.”

When asked how he would balance that, Gardner replied, “We have to protect people’s religious liberties or religious freedoms but make sure we’re not allowing that to turn into some kind of hidden discrimination.”

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