Health care, jobs among Gardner’s top priorities for Colorado Senate seat

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Photo: Courtesy of US Congress
<p>Representative Cory Gardner (R-CO)</p>
Photo: Republican Cory Gardner (AP Photo)
Republican Cory Gardner, right, makes a point as Democratic opponent Mark Udall listens during their debate for the Colorado U.S. Senate at Memorial Hall on Oct. 9, 2014 in Pueblo, Colo.

Editor's Note: Earlier this month, “Colorado Matters” interviewed Sen. Mark Udall. Rep. Cory Gardner’s campaign did not respond to repeated requests for an interview.

Republican Cory Gardner is running a very competitive campaign to unseat incumbent Sen. Mark Udall. Gardner currently represents Colorado’s 4th District as a congressman, and if he wins, his party could gain control of the U.S. Senate.

The Affordable Care Act

A central issue to Gardner’s campaign is the Affordable Care Act; he has voted more than 50 times to repeal or otherwise change the legislation. On his website, Gardner promises that if Obamacare were repealed, he would lead efforts to limit medical malpractices in order to lower the cost of insurance.

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At The Denver Post debate earlier this month, Gardner said, "Look, I believe we have to do something instead of going back to what we had in place before the Affordable Care Act to address people with needs, including those people on Medicaid. To make sure we provide insurance for people with pre-existing conditions. To make sure that we address the issues of tort reform. That we have health savings accounts that can meet all the needs of the people."

Business issues

Gardner has support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for his pro-business stance. He has also worked to appeal to oil and gas interests. For instance, Gardner sponsored bills intended to hasten the permitting process for drilling projects in Alaska and to increase access to domestic land for oil production.

During his campaign, Gardner has voiced support for the Keystone XL pipeline, though the proposed route does not go through Colorado.

Climate change

While Mark Udall has said climate change is caused by humans, Gardner has been harder to pin down. During The Denver Post debate, Gardner resisted giving a straight yes or no answer, and instead said, “Yes, the climate is changing. I’ve said that all along but I disagree to the extent that man is causing it. And I refuse to destroy our economy.”


In July of 2013, Cory Gardner added his name as a cosponsor to House bill 1091, which is also known as the Life at Conception Act. According to the official congressional record, Gardner’s name is still on it.

But last month, Gardner told Fox 31 reporter Eli Stokols that "there is no federal personhood bill.” During The Denver Post debate, Gardner said, “The federal act which you are referring to is simply a statement that I support life.”