Despite recent announcements by several GOP candidates to bow out of the race for the U.S. Senate, Colorado District 8 Sen. Randy Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs, said Wednesday he has no intention of handing over the Republican primary to U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, a native of Yuma.
Gardner last month announced his intention to run for Senate. In the days immediately following his announcement, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck and Colorado District 19 Rep. Amy Stephens, of Monument, bowed out of the race.
On Wednesday, District 10 State Sen. Owen Hill, of El Paso, was the latest Republican candidate to announce he would no longer pursue the U.S. Senate, saying Gardner has the best chance of unseating incumbent Democrat Mark Udall.
“In light of the announcement by Sen. Hill, I would like to make it perfectly clear that I am still running for U.S. Senate to represent the people of Colorado,” Baumgardner said in a statement. “(Sen. Hill and I) agree that the people of Colorado should have the right to choose their leaders.
“The democratic process should be played out in the assembly process. I owe my supporters my full participation.”
Although Buck bowed out of the U.S. Senate race, he has since announced his intention to run in the 4th Congressional District of Colorado, a seat now left vacant by Gardner.
Hill chastised Gardner and Buck for cutting “backroom deals” in the aftermath of their respective announcements.
The Greeley Tribune contributed to this report.