Buck, Bennet win Colorado Senate nominations

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DENVER (AP) — Tea party favorite Ken Buck has defeated former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton to clinch Colorado’s Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate.

The vote Tuesday was seen as another blow to politicians with close connections to Washington. Norton was endorsed by GOP leadership and co-chaired John McCain’s presidential campaign two years ago in Colorado.

Buck, a Weld County prosecutor, was little known before he began courting tea party groups more than a year ago. He trailed Norton in fundraising but used his law enforcement credentials in vowing to crack down on “criminals” at home and in Washington.

Buck stumbled recently after being caught on tape deriding tea party supporters and telling a voter to choose him “because I do not wear high heels.”

He now faces Sen. Michael Bennet in November.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

DENVER (AP) — Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet has fended off a primary challenge from a rival who waged a relentless anti-establishment campaign.

Bennet was appointed last year and backed by the White House after predecessor Ken Salazar became Interior Secretary.

Bennet defeated former state Rep. Andrew Romanoff, who was backed by former President Bill Clinton. He will face either Ken Buck or Jane Norton in November in what will be a key race in the battle for control of Congress.

Bennet’s appointment to the Senate angered many Colorado Democrats because he had never held public office before. Bennet was superintendent of Denver Public Schools at the time.