Now that the parties have chosen their nominees for the November election, the floodgates have begun to open on endorsements by politicians and organizations, including expressions of support that had been pending completion of the June 30 primary.
U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette — one of the few leading Colorado Democrats who held off taking sides in the Senate primary between former Gov. John Hickenlooper and former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff — threw her support behind Hickenlooper in a July 9 teleconference that took place in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing employers to opt out of providing free birth control coverage in their health insurance plans.
“We need John Hickenlooper as a partner in the Senate if we want to get Washington working for Coloradans. We have the votes in the House to pass legislation on reproductive health care, on wilderness, on climate change, on meaningful police reform — but then it goes nowhere, thanks to Mitch McConnell and Cory Gardner. We can't wait any longer. We need to flip the Senate and get things done, and I'm proud to endorse John Hickenlooper to vote our Colorado values," DeGette said.
Calling DeGette — a co-chair of the congressional Pro-Choice Caucus — a "fierce champion in Congress on health care access and reproductive freedom," Hickenlooper said: “Here’s the bottom line — President Trump and Senator Gardner will stop at nothing to undermine a health care system that covers 2.4 million Coloradans with pre-existing conditions and to limit access to birth control. It’s simple, an employer shouldn’t have the power to make decisions on the health care of their employees. In the Senate, I will fight tooth and nail to protect health care coverage which allows full access to birth control.”
Among the slew of other recent endorsements for Colorado candidates and ballot measures:
• The Colorado AFL-CIO, a state federation of 185 labor unions representing more than 180,000 union members, endorsed Hickenlooper on July 13, applauding the former governor's commitment "to fight for a better life for the people of Colorado who count on a paycheck to live."
“We have looked hard at the candidates for U.S. Senate in Colorado, and Colorado’s working people have concluded that John Hickenlooper is the best bet to win office and to make the changes we want for all of Colorado’s working people,” said Josette Jaramillo, a social worker, member of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees union and the Colorado AFL-CIO president.
“Working people across the state must have access to good jobs, fair pay, and the chance to join a union if we want one.”
“We have been impressed by the hard work exhibited by John’s campaign,” said Dennis Dougherty, the Colorado AFL-CIO's executive director. “He has put in the effort listening to working people in Colorado. Plus, he has never lost a race. Working families want a champion, which Cory Gardner has demonstrated he is not. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help ensure John Hickenlooper is Colorado’s next Senator.”
• The League of Women Voters of Colorado on July 6 formally endorsed Yes on National Popular Vote, the campaign opposed to a ballot referendum aimed at overturning a state law to award Colorado's electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote.
“In a democracy, elected officials represent and are accountable to the people," said Karen Sheek, the League's state president. "The League of Women Voters believes that voting is one of the most important ways we can participate in our democracy and that every vote should count equally. Since 1970 we have supported the national popular vote as the most democratic way to determine who will fill the two highest offices in our land: president and vice-president.”
• The Human Rights Campaign, a leading national LGBTQ civil rights organization, on July 15 endorsed Hickenlooper and five other Democratic candidates a spokesman called "crucial to establishing a pro-equality majority in the U.S. Senate."
“Despite support from 70% of the American public, Mitch McConnell has stood in the way of progress for LGBTQ people and refused to even allow a vote on the Equality Act,” said Alphonso David, HRC president. “Today’s endorsements mark the next step of HRC’s efforts to elect a pro-equality U.S. Senate and end McConnell’s tenure as majority leader. Each of these candidates are true allies of our movement and will work to ensure LGBTQ people are treated with the respect and dignity every human deserves. Together, united like never before, we can achieve the change our community needs.”
Hickenlooper said in a statement that he's been proud to work with the HRC in Colorado on issues such as marriage equality and looks forward to working with the group to advance a pro-equality agenda in the Senate.
"We’ve seen assault after assault from the Trump Administration on health care protections for trans individuals and crucial guidelines to protect LGBTQ students, and Senator Gardner has shamefully stood silently by. Enough is enough — it’s time to change Washington and fight for equality for all.”
The group also endorsed Democratic Senate nominees Sara Gideon in Maine, Theresa Greenfield in Iowa, MJ Hegar in Texas, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey in Massachusetts and Jon Ossoff in Georgia.
• End Citizens United and Let America Vote, sister organizations devoted to campaign finance reform and protecting the right to vote, on July 14 endorsed Democratic congressional candidate Diane Mitsch Bush, who is facing Republican nominee Lauren Boebert in the 3rd Congressional District.
“As county commissioner and a state representative, Diane Mitsch Bush has been a problem solver who's taken on tough fights throughout her career. Mitsch Bush knows that progress on critical issues impacting Coloradans, like affordable health care and cheaper prescription drugs, isn’t possible without comprehensive reform," said the group's president Tiffany Muller.
“In Congress, I will push for measures that build off of the For the People Act and DISCLOSE Act in order to get dark money out of politics and limit the influence of corporate special interests in Washington," said Mitsch Bush.
• The League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council announced their endorsements of U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, an Aurora Democrat seeking a second term in the suburban 6th Congressional District. on July 14.
“Protecting the environment and fighting climate change was a top priority for me from the day I was elected and continues to be one of the most important things I can fight for in Congress. I am proud to have the support of LCV, the Sierra Club and the NRDC as I continue to represent Colorado’s 6th District in Congress” Crow said in a statement.
“Public lands and a healthy environment are key to Colorado’s way of life. We must fight to preserve these spaces and create a bold plan to fight climate change if we want to leave a healthy planet for our children and grandchildren. I look forward to growing the green economy, transitioning America to clean energy and protecting Colorado public lands with the support of these environmental leaders.”