Randy Baumgardner, a Colorado state senator and rancher, is on Capitol Hill today meeting with various organizations as he gets set to formally kick off his campaign against Democratic Sen. Mark Udall on Friday.
Baumgardner, likely a long-shot candidate at this point, has not reached out to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and has no meetings scheduled there, according to a GOP source. But he was spotted on the other side of the Hill at the National Republican Congressional Committee headquarters.
A GOP source said the mustachioed Republican was not there to discuss running for the House. Baumgardner lives in GOP Rep. Scott Tipton's 3rd District, and Tipton is expected to seek re-election.
In a brief phone interview, Baumgardner said he is definitely running for Senate and was meeting with "several entities" while in town, including The Heritage Foundation, as well as mining, oil and gas groups. He had a phone meeting scheduled today with an aide to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, as well as a meeting with the Republican National Committee, Baumgardner said.
"We’re just doing a lot of talking," said Baumgardner, adding that he was not sure if he had any fundraisers scheduled while in town.
Baumgardner became the first GOP elected official to enter the race against Udall over the weekend, but he's already got company. Fellow freshman state Sen. Owen Hill, an Air Force Academy graduate, announced his candidacy on Monday.
The GOP field is likely to grow, though the race is currently rated Safe Democrat by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
Udall reportedly raised $1.3 million in the second quarter after finishing the first three months of the year with more than $2.5 million in cash on hand.