Hickenlooper outdoor recreation

In this undated file photo, then-Gov. John Hickenlooper fishes in the Cache la Poudre River in Larimer County.

The Colorado chapter of the Sierra Club, which bills itself as the nation's largest grassroots environmental group, said it was endorsing Democratic U.S. Senate nominee John Hickenlooper on Aug. 4, praising the former governor's work to protect public lands.

"Colorado deserves a senator who will prioritize public lands and conservation from day one, not just when it is politically convenient," said chapter director Emily Gedeon.

The chapter announced its endorsement the same day President Donald Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act, landmark conservation legislation helmed by Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, Hickenlooper's opponent.

"Our 100,000 members and supporters across Colorado look forward to having a representative in the Senate who we can work with to build a strong, inclusive clean energy economy and who will speak up for key environmental protections.”

Citing Hickenlooper's commitment to reaching a 100% renewable energy economy, Gedeon said Gardner has "spent his time in office siding with Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell to undermine efforts to combat climate change, installing fossil fuel lobbyists at the helm of the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Interior, and slashing budgets for environmental protection and land and water conservation."

“Working shoulder to shoulder with the Sierra Club when I was governor, we led the country and passed 'gold standard' environmental protections to protect Colorado’s public lands, clean air, and clean water,” Hickenlooper said in a statement.

“But with Cory Gardner’s support, President Trump has rolled back many of those same types of environmental protections. I’m proud to have the Sierra Club’s support in this race and look forward to working with them again, as Senator, to take on climate change and fight for our public lands.”

The Colorado political action committee of the National Federation of Independent Business unveiled its legislative endorsements on Aug. 4, supporting 34 GOP incumbents and candidates based on voting records and questionnaires.

While the group's stamps of approval went only to Republicans, its state director noted that three Democrats have been supportive of NFIB's agenda.

“The NFIB endorsements clearly indicate which legislators truly believe in and support small businesses and those who simply talk a good game,” said Tony Gagliardi. “We do our best to work with both sides of the aisle and to support all legislators. Simply running an amendment or having a conversation with a lobbyist is not going to get one our endorsements. I will give credit to Sen. Chris Hansen and Reps. Leslie Herod and Tracy Kraft-Tharp who were very open to working with NFIB on key amendments and issues however short they may have come up in their overall voting records. Our voting record is based entirely on results, often harsh but always fair.”

In order to win an NFIB endorsement, Gagliardi noted, sitting lawmakers must vote with the group at least 70% of the time.

Recipients of the group's backing include state Sens. Jim Smallwood, Bob Rankin, Bob Gardner and Kevin Priola, as well as Senate candidates state Rep. Larry Liston and Barbara Kirkmeyer, Suzanne Staiert, Doug Townsend and Cleave Simpson.

In House races, the group is supporting state Reps. Shane Sandridge, Dave Williams, Tim Geitner, Terri Carver, Colin Larson, Richard Champion, Mark Baisley, Kevin Van Winkle, Kim Ransom, Patrick Neville, Hugh McKean, Matt Soper, Janice Rich, Rob Bockenfeld, Perry Will, Marc Catlin, Richard Holtof and Rod Pelton.

House hopefuls backed by the group include Andres Pico, Donald Rosier, Vicki Pyne, Tony Caputo, Tony Van Beber, Ron Hanks and Dan Woog.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and his partner, first gentleman Marlon Reis, threw their support behind Democrat Sally Boccella in the open Senate District 23 race against Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer.

"Sally has been an active community leader, and she is connected to the people in Larimer, Weld and Broomfield. Once elected, Sally will be a thoughtful and effective legislator who will bring people together," Polis said in a statement.

Reis, a prominent animal-rights activist, called Boccella "an advocate for all Coloradans, and like myself is also an advocate for animals," adding that he "look[s] forward to all the great work Sally will do to improve the lives of Coloradans."

Said Boccella: “I admire their commitment to service, they have been an inspiration for my passion to continue to bring people together on issues of importance with their elected officials. I look forward to taking those values to the Capitol.”

U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, an Arvada Democrat, formally endorsed Alexis King, the Democratic district attorney candidate running in the 1st Judicial District, which covers Jefferson and Gilpin counties.

"Alexis King has a passion and experience to Jeffco DA’s office needs," Perlmutter said in a statement. "Her experience prosecuting tough cases, running major units and advocating for victims will make her an excellent district attorney."

King, a former deputy district attorney in the office she hopes to lead, faces GOP candidate Matthew Durkin, who has the support of the term-limited DA, Republican Pete Weir.

"The challenges confronting our criminal justice system are unprecedented," said Weir in a statement. "These challenges demand extraordinary leadership from a district attorney: a leader with the experience, expertise and vision to earn the trust of our community and ensure the safety of the public. Matthew Durkin is that leader and he is the clear choice for DA."

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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