A nonpartisan group devoted to foreign policy threw its support Thursday behind Democrat Dan Baer in Colorado's 2020 U.S. Senate race, calling the former diplomat the strongest candidate to take on Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner.
Foreign Policy for America Action Network hailed Baer as the only candidate in the field who has served as an ambassador "and fought for American values around the world."
A former U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and former executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, Baer is one of a dozen Democrats running for the chance to challenge Gardner, who is seeking a second term.
"Today, as President Trump threatens to send American troops into a senseless new war in Iran, we need Dan’s leadership in the U.S. Senate," said Andrew Albertson, the political action committee's treasurer, in a statement.
He added: "Dan is a proven leader with deep experience in public service — the right experience to break the gridlock in Washington and deliver for Colorado."
The PAC is associated with Foreign Policy for America, which promotes what it calls "principled American engagement in the world."
Baer said in a statement that Coloradans he meets on the campaign trail consider Trump's foreign policy "incredibly concerning and scary."
"Coloradans are frustrated and disappointed in Sen. Cory Gardner for putting Trump’s irrational and foolhardy foreign policy priorities ahead of our safety," he said.
A member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Gardner has led efforts to impose sanctions on North Korea from his seat chairing the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific and International Cybersecurity Policy.
Baer is only the second candidate Foreign Policy for America Action Network has endorsed this cycle, following its support earlier this week for the re-election bid of Jeanne Shaheen, a New Hampshire Democrat and the only woman on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Last year, the foreign policy-focused PAC endorsed several Democratic challengers who won seats in Congress, including U.S. Reps. Joe Neguse and Jason Crow in Colorado.