Endorsements are starting to file up from politicians and organizations for candidates and ballot measures as the November election fast approaches. Ballots are set to go out in just over 11 weeks.
Pointing out that the Yuma Republican's family are longtime members of the small business advocacy organization, the National Federation of Independent Business's federal political action committee threw its support behind U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner's bid for a second term in a virtual event held on July 16.
“His family’s business is a longtime NFIB member and we know Sen. Cory Gardner understands the challenges our members face every day,” said Tony Gagliardi, NFIB’s Colorado state director, referring to Farmers Implement Co., the 105-year-old farm equipment company in Yuma owned by Gardner's family.
“He has been a leader on key small business issues, such as repealing the small business health insurance tax, which unnecessarily increased health insurance premiums for small businesses. Senator Gardner and his team have always reached out to us and our members, and we look forward to continuing to work with him in the Senate."
“Small businesses need more champions like Cory Gardner in Congress,” said NFIB National Political Director Sharon Sussin. “He is a proven and dedicated supporter of small businesses, and our members are proud to have him be their voice in Washington."
Gardner is facing a challenge from John Hickenlooper, who grew the state's first brewpub into a restaurant empire before the Democrat served two terms as mayor and two terms as governor.
The nonpartisan, member-driven NFIB has been advocating for small and independent business owners at the nation's capital and in all 50 states for more than 75 years, a spokesman noted.
Other recent endorsement announcements include:
• Cobalt Advocates, the political arm of the Colorado organization that supports access to abortion and reproductive rights and was formerly known as NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, has endorsed U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette, Ed Perlmutter and Joe Neguse, three of the state's Democratic incumbents seeking a return to Congress, in the 53-year-old nonprofit's inaugural round of federal endorsements.
"Congresswoman DeGette has been a tireless leader on abortion access and reproductive rights throughout her public service career, both here in Colorado and nationwide," said Karen Middleton, the group's president. "As the senior member of the Colorado delegation and as co-chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus, it is critical she continues to represent us in Congress and vote our Colorado values."
DeGette represents the 1st Congressional District and is seeking her 13th term.
Endorsing Perlmutter, Middleton called the 7th Congressional District representative "a champion for his district and for reproductive rights." She added, “He is truly a team player when it comes to fighting for the things Coloradans care about, including reproductive health care and abortion access."
Neguse, a former University of Colorado regent serving his first term representing the 2nd Congressional District,
"Rep. Neguse has been a champion for this organization and for reproductive rights for many years,” Middleton said. “We were thrilled to see him elected to Congress in 2018, and it is critical that he return to keep fighting for abortion access and reproductive health care. Coloradans need Joe Neguse’s strong voice and staunch advocacy working on our behalf in Washington."
Although the three Democrats are facing only nominal opposition this year, Middleton said in each case that the organization plans to encourage its members to do everything they can to support their campaigns.
• MoveOn Political Action announced on July 16 that the Colorado members of the grassroots progressive group voted to endorse Hickenlooper in Colorado's U.S. Senate race.
More than 84% of the Colorado MoveOn members who cast a vote opted to get behind the former two-term governor, citing the Democrat's policy agenda and focus on issues including gun safety, expanding access to health care for all Americans and reforming the criminal justice system, the group said in a release, going that more than 150,000 of the group's members live in the state.
"As the state's former governor, Mr. Hickenlooper knows the state and the needs of its citizens very well," said Cañon City resident identified as Debra B. in the release. "He is experienced on the national political stage and acts decisively on issues in a bipartisan manner. He will be a formidable candidate to Cory Gardner who has proven time and again that he is little more than a bobble-head for Trump."
Marsha B., a resident of Palmer Lake, put it this way: "He has proven leadership experience, sound and appropriate positions on important issues like keeping Obamacare, women's freedom of choice, immigration reform and response to our current pandemic. He will support new ideas for better governing."
• A slew of labor unions have endorsed U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, the Aurora Democrat seeking a second term representing the 6th Congressional District, his campaign said.
Representing thousands of working Coloradans who live in the suburban district, the unions supporting Crow include AFL-CIO Colorado, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Communications Workers of America, the Colorado Education Association, Colorado Professional Firefighters, Colorado Building Trades Council, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 68, Pipefitters Local 208, Teamsters Local 455 and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7.
“I ran for Congress because I want to fight for working Coloradans," said Crow, who is facing a challenge from former Colorado Republican Party Chairman Steve House. "These unions have led the way advocating for families across CO-6 and I’m honored to have their support.”'
Added Crow: "Organized labor is the foundation of the American middle class and is a vital counterweight to corporate special interests and their efforts to rig the economy against working Americans. In recent years we have seen a number of attacks on unions — from restrictive right-to-work laws to the elimination of fair share fees. I am proud to stand with our union sisters and brothers against these efforts and I look forward to continuing to work with them in the months and years ahead.”
• Planned Parenthood Action Fund is supporting Hickenlooper, one of three Democratic U.S. Senate candidates endorsed this month by the venerable reproductive rights advocacy organization.
"For years, the Trump administration and its allies in the Senate have been hellbent on gutting the Affordable Care Act, confirming federal judges with records hostile to abortion rights, and making it harder for Americans to access the basic health care they need. The Trump administration has diligently worked to gut our public health infrastructure, which resulted in an ineffective pandemic response — they've even used COVID-19 response legislation to try to expand harmful and discriminatory abortion restrictions," the organization said in a release.
"We urgently need champions in Congress who will protect the health and rights of everyone, and who will show strong leadership in the face of a crisis."
The group's president, Alexis McGill Johnson, said in a statement: “Everything is on the line in 2020: our rights, our freedoms, and our very democracy. As we continue to face a surging pandemic, this election is about our survival and our future. That’s why Planned Parenthood Action Fund is endorsing candidates up and down the ballot who will fight for Planned Parenthood patients — and all people — in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House."
In addition to Hickenlooper, Planned Parenthood Action Fund endeared Democratic nominees Jon Ossoff, who is challenging U.S. Sen. David Perdue in Georgia, and Theresa Greenfield, running against U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst in Iowa.
"By electing these candidates and moving closer to a pro-reproductive health majority in the Senate, Americans are ensuring a brighter future for themselves and their families," McGill Johnson said.