By Jennifer McRae

DENVER (CBS4)– Republican Sen. Cory Gardner conceded his seat in the U.S. Senate to Democratic challenger John Hickenlooper on Tuesday night. Hickenlooper was projected to be the winner shortly after the polls closed at 7 p.m.

Gardner gave his concession speech online, where he stressed that this is the time for Coloradans to come together, not be more divided.

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“A moment ago, I spoke to Sen.-elect John Hickenlooper on his victory tonight, to welcome him to the United States Senate and to make sure that he knows I will support him in this transition any way that I can, to make sure that it’s as smooth as possible, and we will assist him with any questions that he might have as he navigates this new role.”

Cory Gardner (credit: CBS)

Gardner also took a moment to highlight his accomplishments for his home state since he was elected to the Senate when he defeated Democrat Mark Udall. He also tried to reassure Coloradans that getting through the coronavirus pandemic will happen as long as we are united.

“In the midst of a global pandemic, we fought for the relief that Colorado desperately needed, making sure that we have the tests and the equipment that this state had to have in order to get through our pandemic together. And we will get through this pandemic together.”

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RELATED: Challenger John Hickenlooper Defeats Incumbent Cory Gardner In Colorado’s U.S. Senate Race

Before Gardner served as a senator, he was the U.S. Representative for Colorado’s 4th Congressional District from 2011 to 2015 and before that he was a state lawmaker.

Gardner ended his concession speech on a positive note, “To the people of Colorado. Thank you for this great honor to serve you. Better days are ahead of us. And let none of us forget that. God bless the great state of Colorado and these great United States of America.”

Hickenlooper spent eight years as the governor of Colorado after first bursting onto the political scene as Denver’s mayor. He then made a run for the Democratic nomination for president but dropped out in the early going amid poor polling numbers and decided to run for Senate instead.

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ELECTION RESULTS: See updated results from the 2020 general election in Colorado

Jennifer McRae