Former House Majority Leader Alice Madden Drops Out Of Colorado Senate Race

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Alice Madden, a former Colorado House majority leader, at a picnic-style candidate forum hosted by Indivisible Denver hosted for Democrats running to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner in 2020 at Barnum Park on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

The field of Democrats vying to become to challenge Republican Sen. Cory Gardner next year just became one person smaller.

Former state House Majority Leader Alice Madden dropped out of the primary race Friday.

Madden told CPR News that her campaign wasn't gaining the support needed from unions and progressive women's groups. She also has a surgery planned for next week that would've kept her off the campaign trail for awhile.

Former Gov. John Hickenlooper's entrance into the race has spurred the winnowing of the field, including former state Sen. Mike Johnston's exit in September. During his first five weeks in the race, Hickenlooper raised more than $2 million dollars and locked up the support of the national committee working to elect Democratic Senators.

Madden said Hickenlooper joining the field was a major reason she dropped out. "I saw my avenues to victory sort of closing in. Plus of course he's raised a lot of money and has high name recognition. And for me it didn't seem like the best decision to keep in the race."

Madden and most of the other women in the Democratic primary race sent a letter to the DSCC complaining about its swift endorsement of Hickenlooper.

She served in the Colorado House from 2001 to 2009, including as Majority Leader from 2005 onward. After her time in at the state Capitol, she worked as a climate adviser to former Gov. Bill Ritter and in the U.S. Department of Energy.