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Diane Mitsch Bush, Democratic candidate for the 3rd Congressional District

Brady PAC, the political action committee associated with Brady, the nation's largest gun-violence prevention organization, this week threw its support behind Diane Mitsch Bush, the Democratic nominee for the open 3rd Congressional District seat.

Brian Lemek, the PAC's executive director, compared Mitsch Bush to the organization's namesake, James Brady, the White House press secretary who was shot during the 1981 attempt to assassinate President Ronald Reagan.

"Much like Jim Brady, Diane Mitsch Bush knows how to reach across the aisle to get things done, and has been praised for her work by both conservatives and progressives alike," Lemek said in a statement to Colorado Politics. "She doesn't call people she doesn't agree with 'lunatics,' and she knows that the best way forward is together. That's why she will be an incredible representative for the people of Western Colorado and why we are honored to endorse her for Congress."

Lemek's statement was throwing some shade at Mitsch Bush's Republican opponent, gun rights activist and restaurant owner Lauren Boebert, whose Shooters Grill boasts an armed wait staff. Boebert said in an ad run during her primary campaign against U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton that she wanted to go to Washington to "help President Trump build the wall, drain the swamp and stand up to all the left-wing lunatics."

Brady PAC, which a spokeswoman said plans to spend heavily in the congressional race, cited additional reasons for endorsing Mitsch Bush, a former state representative and county commissioner.

"We're proud to support Diane Mitsch Bush because she is not only a strong candidate, but a long time public servant," Lemek said.

"She is someone who has been working on solutions for Coloradans for many years and will bring that experience and perspective to Washington. She will focus on things that affect Coloradans every day like water resource issues, upholding the ACA, protecting small farmers, investing in rural schools, and keeping jobs here in America. All of this works together, and when people have opportunity for education and advancement, the chances for gun violence goes down and opportunities for prosperity go up."

Cobalt Advocates, the Colorado-based abortion rights organization that used to be known as NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, formally endorsed Democratic U.S. Senate nominee John Hickenlooper this week, citing the former two-term governor's record signing gun control legislation and implementing the Affordable Care Act, including expanding Medicaid to cover more than 400,000 Colorado residents.

"We need a reproductive rights advocate like John Hickenlooper who will vote our Colorado values in the U. S. Senate," said Cobalt President Karen Middleton in a statement. “We are proud to endorse John Hickenlooper because of his long-standing commitment to reproductive rights and abortion access. He prioritized Colorado’s wildly successful and innovative program expanding access to long acting reversible contraception, and those efforts are widely regarded as a national model. He also made it clear that he believes in advocating for each person’s ability to control their reproductive health care."

Added Middleton: "We are confident that John Hickenlooper will take us forward, not backwards on abortion and reproductive rights — including Supreme Court and judicial confirmations. And we look forward to working with him in the next Congress to advance pro-active reproductive rights legislation.”

Hickenlooper is challenging Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, who is seeking a second term.

TogetherFUND PAC, run by former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, endorsed Hickenlooper this week, along with the two Democrats running for Senate seats in Georgia, Rev. Ralph Warnock and Jon Ossoff.

“Serving as a fellow governor with John Hickenlooper was an absolute delight. He could be counted on for fresh ideas, an insatiable appetite for solving problems, an eagerness to collaborate with others, and a clear understanding of whom he served. His public career is, in fact, defined by taking on special interests and delivering for all the people of Colorado," Patrick said in a statement.

“John will bring people together from every background to work to solve the multiple crises facing this nation. He will work with other Democrats and Republicans alike toward a better future for all Americans. He will think about and work for the benefit of the next generation, not just the next election. His servant leadership and generational responsibility is exactly what America needs.”

EMILY’s List, the national organization devoted to helping Democratic women win elections, endorsed 14 legislative candidates, adding to the 11 it endorsed earlier this year.

"Since women helped Democrats take back the state Senate last cycle, Colorado has been at the forefront of progressive change with lawmakers taking decisive action on critical bills to support working families, protect small businesses, and address police brutality," said Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY's List.

"These 14 women have long been committed to serving their communities and will be instrumental in the fight for a fairer, safer, and more inclusive Colorado once elected in November. They belong in Denver and EMILY’s List looks forward to supporting them on the campaign trail.”

The endorsed Senate candidates include state Sen. Joann Ginal in Senate District 14, state Rep. Janet Buckner in Senate District 28 and Paula Dickerson in Senate District 25.

House incumbents backed by EMILY's List include state Reps. Monica Duran in House District 24, Shannon Bird in House District 35, Daneya Esgar in House District 46, Bri Buentello in House District 47 and Cathy Kipp in House District 52.

House candidates receiving the group's stamp of approval are Jennifer Bacon in House District 7, Karen McCormick in House District 11, Tracey Bernett in House District 12, Judy Amabile in House District 13, Lindsey Daugherty in House District 29 and Iman Jodeh in House District 41.

ENDORSEMENT WATCH | Small business group endorses Gardner's re-election bid
ENDORSEMENT WATCH | Citing Senate's inaction on House-passed bills, DeGette gets behind Hickenlooper

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