Sen. Michael Bennet is up for reelection. These are the candidates who hope to oust him

· Mar. 2, 2022, 3:08 pm
Eight declared Republican candidates to replace Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet gathered for a packed forum on Thursday night, Feb. 3, 2022 in the Fort Lupton Recreation Center in Weld County.

Update April 9, 2022: Only two GOP candidates qualified for the Senate ballot -- state Representative Ron Hanks and construction company owner Joe O'Dea. Our original story continues below:

A wide field of Republican candidates have jumped into Colorado’s U.S. Senate race so far, vying against each other to be the one to take on incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet in November. Bennet also faces a Democratic primary opponent.

Not all of these candidates are likely to eventually appear on the parties’ primary ballots. To get there, they have a few options. They can try to win the support of 30 percent or more of the delegates at their party’s state assembly, or they can gather at least 1,500 valid signatures from each of the state’s eight congressional districts. (Candidates can also try to get on both ways, but if they fail to win a minimum of support at the party assembly, they give up their chance to petition on.)

Here are the candidates who’ve entered the Senate race so far (ordered by when they officially entered the race).

The Republicans

Peter Yu: A business consultant who has worked in the past in marketing and management for HSBC Bank and Wyndam Worldwide, Yu grew up in Loveland and attended Fort Lewis College. Yu ran unsuccessfully against Joe Neguse in the 2018 House District Two race, coming away with 36 percent of the vote.

Eli Bremer: Bremer attended the US Air Force Academy and served 14 years in active and reserve duty. In 2008 he competed in the modern pentathlon at the Beijing Games and has stayed active in the Olympic scene, providing color commentary on NBC and managing an Olympic sponsorship organization. Bremer worked on President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and is a past chair of the El Paso County GOP.

Gino Campana: The founder and owner of a major residential construction company in northern Colorado, Campana was elected to the Fort Collins city council and has also served as chair of the Larimer County GOP. Campana was tapped by former President Trump in the final weeks of his term to serve on a board that helps dispose of excess federal property, but was never confirmed to the position. Campana has the second-largest fundraising advantage in the race, after loaning his campaign a half-million dollars.

Ron Hanks: Hanks is a first-term state lawyer, representing Fremont, Chaffee, Park and Custer counties in the Colorado House. Hanks retired in 2017 from a 32-year career in the Air Force, including numerous overseas deployments. He also worked in the oil industry in North Dakota. During his time in the legislature, he’s attracted controversy for racist comments and for attending the Jan. 6 rally in D.C. in support of then-President Trump, although he has said he did not enter the Capitol.

Joseph O’Dea: O’Dea grew up in Denver and attended Colorado State University before leaving to found his own construction company. He and his wife also own an entertainment venue near Mile High stadium. So far O’Dea has the largest war chest in the Republican field; donating more than a half-million dollars to his own campaign. He has submitted enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

Deborah Flora: Flora is a former radio host and founder of the nonprofit, Parents United Together, which opposes comprehensive sex education and how the history of racism is taught in some schools. She also helped organize a networking group for political conservatives in the film industry. Flora grew up in the Denver area and is a former Miss Colorado.

Gregory Moore: Moore is a professor of global studies and politics at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood. He has a Phd from DU’s Korbel School of International Studies and previously taught at a university in China for fourteen years. Moore currently lives in Evergreen.

The Democrats

Michael Bennet: Bennet, who was first appointed to his seat in 2009, is running for a third term. If he wins, he will become the state’s longest-serving senator in decades. In the Senate, Bennet has focused on expanding the Child Tax Credit, and also participated in several bipartisan working groups over the years. In 2020, he mounted an unsuccessful campaign for president.

Karen Breslin: Breslin is a political science professor at CU Denver, as well as a lawyer who specializes in animal welfare and environmental cases. She is also a former journalist who covered Congress and the Colorado statehouse for a specialty news service, the Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.

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