DENVER (CBS4/AP) – Colorado voters have decided former Gov. John Hickenlooper will face incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner in the U.S. Senate race this November.
Hickenlooper faced Andrew Romanoff, former State House Speaker, in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for Senate.
Hickenlooper, with widespread name recognition, had a series of missteps in the last few weeks of the campaign.
Hickenlooper defied a subpoena from the state’s independent ethics commission investigating private flights and travel perks he took as governor. The commission found Hickenlooper had violated the law by accepting one privately-funded flight and limousine trips.
Later, amid the protests over police violence against Black people, Hickenlooper garbled the meaning of the slogan “Black Lives Matter.” The following week, an African American Romanoff supporter tweeted a 6-year-old video of Hickenlooper jokingly comparing politicians to slaves being whipped to row “an ancient slave ship.”
Republicans have been openly rooting for Romanoff, fearing Hickenlooper’s money, moderate positions and popularity among Colorado’s general electorate. But Romanoff has argued that he has passion behind him and that Democrats won’t walk away from the Colorado seat, which is essential in their bid to regain control of the Senate.
“I just spoke to Andrew Romanoff. I know has been a hard week for Andrew, and I admire his strength and the strength of his beliefs. At this difficult time for him, he offered me his full support which I am honored to accept,” Hickenlooper said in a Facebook live announcement following his win.
He went onto thank his supporters and said he will need it to help face Gardner.
“It’s going to take all of us to beat Cory Gardner together,” he said. “I’ve never lost an election in this state, and I don’t intend to lose this one. There’s far too much at stake.”
Hickenlooper says he’s prepared for the Repubicans and President Donald Trump.
“We know what Donald Trump told us himself. Cory Gardner is with him 100% of the time.”
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)