Jason Crow, who is seeking to replace Colorado’s Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman in the 6th Congressional District, received impressive endorsements from top Democrats Thursday.

Former U.S. senator and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar – one of the state’s highest profile and most respected Colorado Democrats – threw his support behind Crow. State Sen. Irene Aguilar of Denver, who represents a more progressive side of the party, also announced her endorsement for Crow Thursday.

“I am extremely honored to have the endorsements of Secretary Ken Salazar and State Senator Irene Aguilar,” Crow said in a statement. “Secretary Salazar has been a trailblazer, fighting for Colorado his entire career. He has worked hard for years on immigration reform, expansion of public lands and renewable energy, and civil rights and his commitment to Colorado and bipartisanship is inspiring. I am humbled to have his support.”

Aguilar was the main backer of ColoradoCare, the failed ballot initiative last year that would have established a state single-payer healthcare system. Crow noted Aguilar’s work on health care.

Amendment 69, the ballot initiative that would have made Colorado the first state to provide universal healthcare, failed by nearly a 4 to 1 margin in November.

“Senator Aguilar has been a long-time friend and progressive leader for Colorado,” he said. “Her dedication to bringing health care to every Coloradan and her commitment to progressive values shows true leadership. From day one, this campaign has been about focusing on what unites us, not what divides us, and I am incredibly humbled to have these two leaders in my corner.”

Crow is competing in a primary against attorney David Aarestad and former Obama administration energy policy adviser Levi Tillemann.

“Jason has served our nation with distinction in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Salazar said. “He is a stellar community leader and father, and loves Colorado. He has proven his ability to unify the community through positive leadership and build coalitions to get things done – from his work with other veteran leaders in the fight for the VA Hospital in Aurora, to helping build organizations to address the growing substance abuse crisis in our community. In Congress, Jason will find solutions that help the people of the 6th Congressional District and end the gridlock in Washington. I enthusiastically endorse him.”

Aguilar said in a statement. “I first came to know Jason as a community leader and was extremely excited to learn of his candidacy. I have always admired Jason’s military career but what I have come to appreciate most is his good heart and the kindness he was able to maintain through his three combat tours. Jason is a strong progressive with courage of conviction and a dedication to public service. He cares deeply for his family and community and I know that the 6th District and Colorado will benefit greatly with him as a representative.”

Crow previously received endorsements from former U.S. Sen. Mark Udall and former Gov. Bill Ritter.

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