Politics

Cory Gardner: Glenn Can Make Colorado Race Competitive

The junior senator acknowledged Darryl Glenn needs more money

Sen. Cory Gardner, seen here in Iowa in January, thinks Darryl Glenn can Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet's re-election competitive. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Sen. Cory Gardner said Wednesday that his party's unexpected nominee for the other Senate seat in his home state shouldn't be written off.  

El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, a conservative who has promised not to vote for Mitch McConnell for majority leader, won a five-way primary Tuesday night with 38 percent of the vote.  

"The fact is, Darryl Glenn keeps winning when nobody expected him to, and so I think that bodes well for November," Gardner told Roll Call. "I think Colorado is tired of the direction Washington's been heading and this will be a competitive race."  

Glenn was the only candidate to win a spot on the ballot at the state party's convention, usually a gathering of conservative activists. He got a $500,000 boost from Senate Conservatives Fund, as well as backing from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin. In recent days, he also picked up endorsements from Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Ben Sasse of Nebraska.   

But Glenn, who made it through the primaries with an all-volunteer staff , has nowhere near the resources of incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, who has nearly $6 million in the bank. Glenn ended the pre-primary reporting period with just $50,000.   

Gardner conceded that Glenn's paltry fundraising through the Republican primary is an immediate concern.  

"It's a real question that's going to have to be addressed by actions, not by statements, so time will tell whether that can recover. But, I think he's gotten a lot of grassroots support, and people around the country will take notice," Gardner said.  

Republicans had long been searching for another candidate like Gardner to get in the primary and clear the field. Glenn was far from establishment Republicans' pick, and the party had trouble recruiting a competitive candidate after several of their top picks passed on the race.   

Simone Pathe contributed to this report. 

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