Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Stephany Rose Spaulding on Monday landed an endorsement from state Rep. Tony Exum Sr. of Colorado Springs.
"I am excited to support and caucus for Stephany Rose Spaulding in her candidacy for U.S. Senate," Exum said in a statement. "She has a heart and commitment for the most vulnerable communities. Her leadership is needed in Washington, D.C."
Spaulding is one of 10 Democrats running against Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, in a primary field that includes former Gov. John Hickenlooper and former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff.
She received just under 40% of the vote when she challenged U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, the incumbent 5th Congressional District Republican, in the last election.
Spaulding, a pastor and women's and ethnic studies professor at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, said in a Facebook post that she was honored to receive Exum's support.
"He is a mentor to many of us and has fought hard for our communities to be represented at the Colorado Capitol," she said. "I look forward to following in his foot steps at the federal level."
Exum is headlining a Feb. 9 "Rock the Caucus" fundraiser for Spaulding at English Dockside Seafood Grill.
A retired firefighter, Exum was first elected to the battleground House District 17 seat on the south side of Colorado Springs in 2012, when he defeated a GOP incumbent, but was unseated by Republican Kit Roupe in the 2014 election. Exum won the seat back in a 2016 rematch with Roupe and successfully defended it when she challenged him again in 2018.
Spaulding is pursuing the nomination through the caucus and assembly process, which kicks off with a Senate primary straw poll March 7 at precinct caucuses. Candidates will appear on the June 30 primary ballot if they win the support of at least 30% of delegates at the Democrats' state assembly on April 18.