Election 2020 Biden Harris

In this Aug. 12, 2020, file photo Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., arrive to speak at a news conference at Alexis Dupont High School in Wilmington, Del. 

Cobalt Advocates, the abortion-rights organization, announced it was endorsing Democrats Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Aug. 13, the Colorado group's first-ever endorsement in the presidential race.

“This is an exciting step forward in the expansion of our political program," said Karen Middleton, Cobalt's president and a former state lawmaker. "We need to elect them to protect abortion access and reproductive rights for Coloradans and for all Americans.”

The group, which broke off from the national NARAL Pro-Choice America last year and re-branded itself, cited Biden and Harris' records and several policy statements, including co-sponsoring the Women’s Health Protection Act, calling for an end to the global gag rule on abortion access, a commitment to pay equity and closing the gender gap on wage and support for 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.

Added Middleton: “In such a critical election year, we must elect a pro-abortion rights administration to lead the country forward and ensure a pro-choice majority on the Supreme Court."

A spokeswoman said the group's previous incarnation, NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, has made endorsements for president over the year, but this is the first time the state entity has expressed a preference.

Cobalt Advocate counts more than 70,000 members.

The League of Conservation Voters Action Fund, which supports candidates it considered friendly to the environment, said Aug. 19 it is endorsing Democratic U.S. Senate candidate John Hickenlooper, pointing to the former two-term governor's record in office and campaign priorities.

The group also criticized U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, Hickenlooper's opponent, citing what it termed the Republican's "abysmal" 11% lifetime score on legislation LCV considers critical.

“Governor John Hickenlooper took action to make Colorado a leader in tackling the climate crisis, including reducing methane pollution and joining the U.S. Climate Alliance after President Trump’s disastrous decision to pull us out of the Paris Climate Agreement — while Cory Gardner tried to undermine Colorado’s progress,” said Tiernan Sittenfeld, LCV Action Fund's senior vice president of government affairs.

“When Governor Hickenlooper was working to protect Coloradans’ clean air, clean water and beautiful public lands, Cory Gardner was doing the dirty work for Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell and their extreme pro-polluter agenda. No matter what Gardner’s ads say now, the choice is clear. We are proud to endorse John Hickenlooper for the U.S. Senate because he will fight for Colorado’s families and environment.”

Kelly Nordini, executive director of Conservation Colorado, blasted Gardner for claiming the mantle of environmental advocate only when it's time to face voters.

“Colorado deserves a senator who will take bold, just climate action based on science and work to protect our precious public lands, clean air and water,” she said. “Coloradans won’t be fooled by Cory Gardner’s cynical election year ploys — he has consistently sold out our air, water and public lands and refuses to support the CORE Act. Governor John Hickenlooper is the only candidate with the vision and the commitment to fight to protect the Colorado we all love.”

Gardner has lately been celebrating Trump's signature last month on landmark legislation he helped steer that provides permanent funding for th Land and Water Conservation Fund — an achievement lauded by Conservation Colorado and other environmental groups.

Hickenlooper said in a statement that under his administration, "[W]e showed the nation how we can tackle climate change by passing gold-standard methane regulations and replacing coal-fired power plants with wind and solar. Working hand in hand with LCV Action Fund and a growing coalition of Colorado conservation advocates, we'll bring even more urgency to Washington to take real action on climate change, protect our public lands, and build a just and equitable clean energy economy that works for everyone instead of just the special interests.”

Over the last 30 years, LCV Action Fund has helped elect or re-elect 90 U.S. senators and 450 House members, the group said.

The Black Economic Alliance PAC, a nonpartisan group that supports candidates who work to improve work, wage and wealth for members of the Black community, endorsed seven Democratic U.S. Senate candidates on Aug. 13, including Hickenlooper.

“In order to truly turn the tide for Black Americans in this country, we need to support candidates that are willing to do the hard work necessary to create change,” said David Clunie, the Black Economic Alliance's executive director.

“These candidates are dedicated to driving economic opportunity and equity for Black Americans. The Black Economic Alliance PAC supports these candidates and their efforts to dismantle a system of policies that have widened the wealth gap between Black Americans and their counterparts and to rebuild an inclusive economy that lifts up all Americans. This is a watershed moment in our nation’s history, and we need to ensure that the right leadership is in place to make fundamental, lasting change.”

In addition to Hickenlooper, the candidates receiving the group's endorsement are incumbent U.S. Sens. Doug Jones of Alabama, Gary Peters of Michigan and Mark Warner of Virginia, and challengers Cal Cunningham of North Carolina and Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, both of Georgia.

"We all know, far too well, the disastrous impacts the United States’ long history of racism, segregation, and legalized oppression has had on Black communities," Hickenlooper said. "Working shoulder to shoulder with the BEA, we’ll fight to improve wages, protect and expand health insurance, and build an equitable economic future for Colorado's Black communities and Black businesses."

U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, an Aurora Democrat seeking his second term, has been endorsed by all three of the leading pro-abortion political organizations that operate in Colorado — Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America and Cobalt Advocates.

“In the past four years, we have repeatedly seen reproductive rights come under attack from the Trump administration” said Crow. “I will continue to stand up and fight for access to reliable and affordable healthcare for all Americans. I’m grateful for the support of these groups and look forward to continuing to work with them to protect reproductive rights and ensure equal access to healthcare in the years to come.”

Crow said in a release the he believes the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision "is the law of the land." His campaign points to his co-sponsorhip of the Protect Access to Birth Control Act, which would counter the Trump administration’s efforts to permit exemptions to requirements that employers cover birth control, and the Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act, which would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide women veterans with no-cost contraceptive care.

He's also added his name to the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would prohibit laws that impose restrictions on access to abortion services, and has been working to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which bars the use of federal funds to pay for abortions in most cases.

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBQ civil rights organization, has made its endorsements in Colorado legislative races.

“With LGBTQ protections under threat by the Trump administration and in statehouses across the country, now is not the time to let up,” said HRC Deputy Campaigns Director Hope Jackson. “We need to ensure the Colorado General Assembly remains a friend to the LGBTQ community and a national leader in advancing equality. Between now and November, we are laser focused on mobilizing the 200,000 LGBTQ Coloradans and 1.4 million Equality Voters throughout the state to ensure these and other pro-equality candidates up and down the ballot are elected.”

The dozen candidates receiving the group's support, all Democrats, are state Sens. Rachel Zenzinger and Jeff Bridges; Senate hopefuls Karl Hanlon and Chris Kolker; state Reps. Lisa Cutter, Brianna Titone, Lindsey Daugherty, Dafna Michaelson Jenet, Tom Sullivan, Bri Buentello and Barbara Hall McLachlan; and House hopeful David Ortiz.

HRC said in a release that it counts Colorado among in its second tier of competitive states, where 26 staffers are at work supporting the group's 3.2 million members nationwide.

ENDORSEMENT WATCH | Sierra Club endorses Hickenlooper's US Senate campaign
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ENDORSEMENT WATCH | Small business group endorses Gardner's re-election bid

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