Highlights from The Colorado Sun/CBS4 debate between the two Republicans running for U.S. Senate

State Rep. Ron Hanks wouldn’t commit to accepting the primary election results. Denver businessman Joe O’Dea says he wouldn’t repeal Obamacare and refused to define what is an early-term and late-term abortion.

Shannon Najmabadi, Jesse Paul and Brammhi Balarajan
The Colorado Sun

State Rep. Ron Hanks, who baselessly claims Donald Trump was the true winner of the 2020 presidential election, wouldn’t commit to accepting the results of the Republican U.S. Senate primary next week if he loses to his opponent, construction company owner Joe O’Dea.

“We obviously have to see what we will see here,” he said during a debate Monday evening hosted by The Colorado Sun and CBS4.

But Hanks declined to support indicted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, a Republican who is one of Colorado’s loudest supporters of conspiracies about the outcome of the last presidential election, in her bid to become Colorado’s next secretary of state. When asked if he is voting for Peters or one of her two primary opponents, Hanks said “at this point, I’ll leave that private.”

Hanks, a Fremont County resident who worked in oil and gas and served in the military, is competing against O’Dea, a first-time candidate who owns a Denver construction company, for the chance to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet in November. The debate, held on Monday, June 20 at The Sun’s downtown Denver office, was rescheduled from last week after Hanks was prohibited from entering the CBS Denver building because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19. CBS News has a policy requiring that visitors to its buildings be vaccinated.

O’Dea, who does not challenge the 2020 presidential election outcome, said he would accept the U.S. Senate primary election results and that he will vote for former Jefferson County Clerk Pam Anderson, who doesn’t deny the 2020 outcome, in the GOP primary for secretary of state.


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