CongressElection 2018Hot Sheet

ENDORSEMENT WATCH | Support for candidates piles up as primary ballots drop

Author: Ernest Luning - June 6, 2018 - Updated: June 6, 2018

Joint Budget CommitteeLooking up inside the dome at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. (gnagel via iStock)

Candidates in the June 26 primary election continue to receive endorsements from politicians and organizations even as ballots arrive in voters’ mailboxes this week and the campaigns near the finish line.

Here are some of the Colorado candidate endorsements announced in recent days:

• Citing his “proven record of leadership on our Second Amendment freedoms,” the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund endorsed U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, the Colorado Springs Republican who is facing four challengers in the primary.

Lamborn received an “A” rating from the powerful group, which noted his support for the Concealed Carry Reciprocity legislation and opposition to the Democratic-led gun control agenda, including establishment of a universal background check system.

Lamborn also received an endorsement from the conservative FreedomWorks PAC — motto: “”Lower Taxes. Less Government. More Freedom.” — which has given the incumbent a 94-percent score over his six terms in Congress.

“Congressman Doug Lamborn is a principled defender of liberty who always fights for your conservative values,” FreedomWorks said in a statement. “He helps strengthen the ranks of true conservatives in the House of Representatives who fight for less government, lower taxes, and more economic freedom.”

• Former U.S. Sen. Mark Udall endorsed fellow Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush, one of three Democrats running for the chance to take on Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton in the 3rd Congressional District.

Udall said one reason he supports Mitsch Bush is because it’s important to elect someone who can legislate effectively in the era of the Trump administration. Mitsch Bush is a former Routt County commissioner and state representative from Steamboat Springs.

“As a senator and congressman from our great state, I know how difficult it is to balance the interests of a diverse set of constituents,” Udall said in a  statement.

“Diane has proven to voters that she is their progressive champion and has an incredible ability to unite competing factions for positive change. It’ll take unwavering commitment, integrity, and an understanding of the way forward to undo the damage caused by the Trump administration. Diane is honest, trustworthy, and dedicated to public service — a breath of fresh air for the people of the 3rd Congressional District.”

• U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, an Arvada Democrat, threw his support this week behind Karen McCormick, one of two Democrats seeking the nomination for the seat held by Republican U.S. Rep. Ken Buck.

“As a small business owner who grew up in a military family, she is someone who understands public service and understands that we need an economy that works for everyone,” Perlmutter said in a statement. “The people of the 4th Congressional District will be well-served by Karen. She will put their needs first. I look forward to Karen joining me in Congress.”

• John Andrews, a former president of the Colorado Senate and the 1990 Republican nominee for governor, endorsed State Treasurer Walker Stapleton in the four-way primary for governor.

Noting that he considers any one of the Republican contenders “far better suited to lead Colorado” than any of the four Democrats running, Andrews said he picked Stapleton because he’s a two-term state treasurer — like Bill Owens, the only other Republican to win the governor’s race in more than four decades — and is a “proven conservative change agent.”

“I wasn’t for Walker in his first race, 2010,” Andrews said in an email to his Backbone Radio mailing list. “He has won me over as a strong campaigner and a good steward of his executive duties. He’s ready to be our next governor. And I like it that he likes President Trump, don’t you?”

• Two organizations that support abortion rights are supporting five Democratic women running for state Senate seats.

Saying they expect the candidates to flip control of the Senate to Democrats, Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado and NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado endorsed state Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail, who is running for re-election in Senate District 5; state Rep. Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, who is running for the open Senate District 20 seat; state Rep. Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood, who is running for the open Senate District 22 seat; Tammy Story, who is challenging Republican state Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton, in Senate District 16; and state Rep. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, who is challenging state Sen. Beth Martinez-Humenik, R-Thornton, in Senate District 24.

• The Republican Liberty Caucus of Colorado, a group that says it represents the libertarian wing of the GOP, endorsed state Rep. Justin Everett, R-Littleton, in the three-way primary for state treasurer.

“Justin has been a consistent voice for free markets and limited government as a state representative for the past five years,” said Sue Moore, the group’s chair and a former chair of the Denver County Republican Party. She noted that Everett received the caucus’s Barry Goldwater Award in 2013 and has consistently racked up top marks from Principles of Liberty and the Colorado Union of Taxpayers for his voting record in the Legislature.

Moore added: “We’re confident he’ll continue to be a loud and proud voice for fiscal conservatism in his new role as Colorado state treasurer.”

The group said it won’t be making an endorsement in the governor’s race.

“Our standards are quite high, and we don’t endorse unless we find a candidate that has consistently upheld our principles,” Moore said in a statement. “While we like certain aspects of each candidate, there wasn’t one that stood out for us and warranted an endorsement.”

• A local chapter of the Sierra Club, the country’s largest environmental advocacy organization, endorsed state Rep. Mike Foote, D-Lafayette, in his primary run against Boulder District Attorney Michael Dougherty, who was appointed to the seat earlier this year.

“Mike Foote has been a tremendous champion for the environment as a legislator,” said Kirk Cunningham, conservation chair of the Indian Peaks Group of the Sierra Club, in a statement. “He’s brought that passion into the race for Boulder County district attorney. Mike has new ideas for how the Boulder County DA’s office can take an active role in environmental protection, including continuing to fight fracking and oil and gas development.”

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.