Election 2020 Hickenlooper ad

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate John Hickenlooper appears in a September 2020 campaign ad.

Democrat John Hickenlooper pulled in more newspaper endorsements for his U.S. Senate campaign as Colorado voters began returning ballots in droves, including from two editorial boards that endorsed Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner when he won the seat in 2014.

The Pueblo Chieftain said it was supporting Hickenlooper in part because "Gardner has stayed silent" on a litany of President Donald Trump's failures, leaving the editorial board concerned that if Gardner and Trump win second terms, "Gardner will continue to be one of the many enablers of more chaos that undoubtedly will ensue."

"In evaluating the tenure of US Sen. Cory Gardner, there’s no escaping the fact that he has stood by silently as President Donald Trump and his ever-changing cast of supporters have incompetently dealt with the COVID-19 crisis, treated human beings like animals at the southern border, provided legitimacy to repugnant and dangerous racists, and abandoned common decency, creating an atmosphere in which political opponents are called names and diminished — no matter their credentials and contributions to this nation," the Chieftain says.

The paper gives Gardner credit for winning long-sought funding for the Lower Arkansas River Conduit but claims Southern Colorado hasn't seen much of the senator until this year.

In contrast, the Chieftain writes, "Hickenlooper was governor for eight years, and his legacy was one of building an incredibly strong economy, improving our highways and supporting a progressive agenda. ... The rebuilding of America is going to take leaders who can work with each other, not blindly follow any party or any leader. For that basic reason, we urge Coloradans to vote for John Hickenlooper for the U.S. Senate."

The Greeley Tribune flipped from endorsing Gardner in the last election to backing Hickenlooper this year, saying the Democrat "provides us with the best chance at better representation in Washington.”

"The red flag for Gardner isn’t an accusation of malfeasance, but rather a disturbing pattern of behavior," the Tribune says. "In his time as Senator, Gardner has not adequately made himself available for his constituents. He doesn’t keep hours at his Colorado offices, and while he appears at events that might offer voters a smile and a photo op from their Senator, he doesn’t participate in town-hall style events that grant those voters real access."

Gardner's "failure to provide that accountability," the paper says, "represents to us a failure at the most basic level of public service."

Acknowledging that both candidates are strong and neither is perfect, The Tribune concludes: "Gov. Hickenlooper, for his part, has a history of providing that sort of availability to voters. In fact, it played a notable role in helping establish the positive dynamic that was present during his first term as governor."

The Denver Post is the other major paper that switched to backing Hickenlooper this year after the paper's editorial board retracted its original endorsement last year, saying it had made a mistake endorsing Gardner in 2014.

The Vail Daily also got behind Hickenlooper, saying, “Put simply, Hickenlooper will be the senator that Cory Gardner promised to be — the guy who’ll break from his party and be an independent voice when it’s the right thing to do for his constituents”

The paper's editorial board concluded: "If you’re tired of the fake ads, the fake bills, the empty promises and zero-sum politics, then the choice is clear: Vote for John Hickenlooper."

The political action committee of the National Federation of Independent Business, which bills itself as the nation’s top advocacy organization for small business, endorsed Republican congressional candidate Lauren Boebert in Colorado's 3rd Congressional District.

“As a small business owner, Lauren Boebert understands the issues small businesses are facing, especially during these unprecedented times,” said Tony Gagliardi, NFIB’s Colorado state director, in release. “She is committed to reducing the regulatory burden for small business owners and will be a reliable ally for small businesses everywhere. We are pleased to endorse Lauren Boebert for election to Congress on behalf of small businesses in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District.”

Boebert, owner of Shooters Grill in Rifle, is running against Democratic former state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush for the Western Slope-based district currently held by Republican Scott Tipton, who lost the June primary to Boebert.

NFIB's FedPAC made the endorsement, which comes with support from small businesses that belong to the group in the district.

The Pueblo Chieftain and Durango Herald both endorsed Diane Mitsch Bush, citing the Democrat's record as a bipartisan lawmaker with experience bringing Coloradans together.

Mitsch Bush, the Chieftain said, has “a reputation as someone who could be trusted, who often appeared as a co-signer to bipartisan bills that had been hammered out during negotiations with Democratic and Republican lawmakers.”

The Herald said the Democrat "has not just had to negotiate within the Democratic Party to achieve the desired outcomes for her constituents, but across the aisle, often between rural and urban interests in Colorado. Those experiences, identifying the middle and bringing both sides together, is what D.C. needs."

Julián Castro, the former housing secretary and Democratic presidential hopeful, endorsed Jillian Freeland, the Democrat challenging U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn in the heavily Republican 5th Congressional District.

"I'm proud to endorse Jillian because she will fight to expand health care, create good paying jobs, invest in small businesses, and help Colorado families recover from the coronavirus," Castro said in a statement. "That’s the kind of leadership we need now more than ever."

Added Castro: "Jillian will bring much needed experience and a forward-thinking approach to Congress — that’s why I’m asking you to join me in supporting her campaign in the final few weeks."

Seeking his eighth term, Lamborn won the backing of Citizens Against Government Waste Political Action Committee, a non-partisan organization with more than 1 million members nationwide devoted to eliminating waste, mismanagement and inefficiency in government.

"Congratulations Congressman Doug Lamborn!" said Cody Leach, the group's federal government affairs associate, in a statement released by the Lamborn campaign. "It is my privilege to inform you that the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste Political Action Committee has officially endorsed your 2020 campaign."

The political action committee run by Pete Buttigieg, another former Democratic presidential candidate and the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., endorsed state Rep. Brianna Titone, D-Arvada, in its latest round of endorsements.

Titone, Colorado's first transgender lawmaker, is running for a second term against Republican Vicki Pyne, who lost to Titone in 2018.

Win the Era, Buttigieg's PAC, endorsed 47 candidates for state and local offices in an attempt to "build the bench of the Democratic Party and flip state houses across the country, while also breaking barriers for political representation," according to a release.

“We need to send Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House, but we also need to elect good leaders at the state and local level," Buttigieg said. "That’s what this endorsement slate is about: making sure that we have forward-thinking, dynamic leaders at every level of our government who will deliver solutions to the biggest challenges we face,” said Pete Buttigieg.

“These 47 candidates are generational leaders, diverse and reflective of the country and communities they are seeking to serve. I’ll be urging our network at Win The Era to join me in supporting exciting candidates up and down the ballot.”

Amy Padden, the Democrat district attorney candidate in the 18th Judicial District, has won endorsements from members of the state's Democratic congressional delegation.

ENDORSEMENT WATCH | Construction workers union backs Hickenlooper in US Senate race

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette, Joe Neguse and Jason Crow are supporting Padden, who is running against Republican John Kellner for the open seat. U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, the other Democrat representing Colorado in Washington, had previously endorsed Padden.

The district covers Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties. Incumbent DA George Brauchler, a Republican, is term-limited.

Bennet said in a statement that he was backing Padden because she can make the community safer and lead on criminal justice reform.

Said Crow: “Amy has the skills, character, and integrity to be the next district attorney for the 18th Judicial District. She understands the community and has committed to the reforms that are long overdue. Amy will make our community safer and ensure everyone is treated equally.”

DeGette said Padden has been a community leader and has the right experience to keep Coloradans safe "and to lead the 18th JD in a new direction.”

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