Politics

Cory Gardner Already Has A 2020 Challenger For US Senate Seat

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Evie Fordham Politics and Health Care Reporter

Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner now has at least one Democratic challenger for 2020 — a nonprofit director who announced her campaign Tuesday and said she will focus on “economic equity for all.”

Lorena Garcia, 36, runs the Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition and, like Colorado’s Democratic Gov.-elect Jared Polis, is openly gay. Garcia has been married to her wife for seven years, according to her campaign news release published by the Colorado Springs Independent.

“I am honored to announce my candidacy for U.S. Senate in 2020 for Colorado. It is time to unseat Sen. Cory Gardner. We need real voices and sleess [sic] leaders to help us restore America for working families,” Garcia wrote on Twitter Tuesday. (RELATED: Why Are Stacey Abrams And Andrew Gillum Opposing A North Carolina Judicial Nominee?)

Garcia is a self-proclaimed “progressive Dem” and has never been elected to public office before, reported The Denver Post. The nonprofit she runs was founded by her father and “helps Latino students by educating their parents, teachers and other caregivers,” according to The Denver Post.

Garcia expects a crowded field of Democratic contenders, she told The Denver Post. Several candidates including Democratic Colorado Rep. Ed Perlmutter and Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper are expected to throw their hats in the ring.

The race is expected to be expensive because the Democratic Party will likely target Gardner, reported The Denver Post.

Gardner, 44, has represented Colorado since 2015. Several of Gardner’s family members were doxxed in October because he voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

He endorsed Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the 2016 presidential election, according to Ballotpedia. He called on President Donald Trump to withdraw from the race after a 2005 recording of Trump making lewd comments about a woman was published in October 2016.

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner arrives at the U.S. Capitol for a closed briefing August 22, 2018 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty Images

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner arrives at the U.S. Capitol for a closed briefing Aug. 22, 2018 in Washington, D.C. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Gardner’s 2014 platform included taking an “innovative” approach to education rather than ratcheting up federal funding, energy independence and “cutting government and cutting spending.” Gardner defeated former incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall by more than two points in that race, according to The New York Times.

If Gardner loses in 2020, his Democratic challenger would join senior Democratic Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet in Washington, D.C.

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