COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn was the only one of 10 Republican U.S. Senate hopefuls to make the party’s primary ballot through its state assembly Saturday, setting up a showdown with as many as four other candidates seeking the GOP nomination to unseat Sen. Michael Bennet.
Glenn’s win was a shock because State Sen. Tim Neville was expected to easily clear the 30 percent vote threshold necessary to make the Republican primary ballot through convention. Neville had the backing of the influential Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, a major force at state assemblies that drives more centrist candidates to instead gather petitions to end up on the primary ballot.
But Glenn, an African-American social conservative, gave a fiery speech that brought delegates to their feet and won the votes of more than two-thirds of the crowd. He kicked off by saying: “Listen up, Planned Parenthood. If there is any taxpayer funding going to the dismemberment of our babies, I will vote to defund you,” earning huge applause.
The cheers escalated as Glenn declared that “all lives matter” and slammed Bennet.
The four other candidates who submitted petitions to make the primary ballot are businessman Rob Blaha, former Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier, former Colorado State University athletic director Jack Graham and state Rep. John Keyser.
Republicans failed to recruit a top-tier candidate to challenge freshman senator Bennet, who is viewed as vulnerable. That led numerous lesser-known hopefuls to vie for the nomination. Coupled with the divisive Republican presidential battle, it has also dampened hopes among the GOP that it can oust Bennet in November.
– By NICHOLAS RICCARDI, AP Writer
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