DENVER (AP) – Greg Lopez, a Republican and former director of the Colorado office of the Small Business Administration, is running for U.S. Senate in a longshot bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.
Lopez announced his plans to The Denver Post on Monday. His only time in elected office was as mayor of the Denver suburb of Parker and he has no established political base, but as a bilingual Air Force veteran and businessman he hopes he can catch fire in a wide-open Republican field and unseat Bennet.
“I am not your typical Republican rich Ivy League lawyer,” Lopez said in an interview Tuesday. “If you look at my profile and Sen. Bennet’s profile you’d think Sen. Bennet is a Republican and I’m a Democrat.”
Since Rep. Mike Coffman declined to challenge Bennet earlier this year, Republicans have scrambled to find a candidate. Names currently being floated include Rep. Scott Tipton, District Attorney George Brauchler, who is prosecuting the Colorado theater shooting trial and state Senate President Bill Cadman. Republican El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn has already announced.
Lopez said he has not hired any campaign staff, but has been talking to political friends in Colorado and Washington.
He said he supports letting people who are in the country illegally stay in the United States and that “the jury is out” on gay marriage despite the recent Supreme Court ruling making it the law of the land. He also said he did not know enough about a mainstay of Colorado Republican politics, repeated ballot measures to define a fertilized egg as a legal person, to have a stance on it.
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