Crisanta Duran

Crisanta Duran, former Colorado speaker of the house, in a Jan. 4, 2019, photo.

The first Latina speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives and the state's largest labor union on Tuesday endorsed Andrew Romanoff in this month's Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Cory Gardner.

Crisanta Duran, the Denver Democrat who wielded the speaker's gavel from 2017 until early last year, joined hundreds of current and former elected officials supporting Romanoff, the state House speaker from 2005-2009.

In addition, the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7, which boasts 23,000 members, formally endorsed Romanoff, who is running against former Gov. John Hickenlooper from the left in the June 30 primary, as "the dedicated progressive leader Colorado needs."

“We need leaders who understand the urgency of this moment — and will fight racial injustice, economic inequality, and environmental collapse. Andrew will," said Duran, who took a job as New York state director of Democrats for Education Reform this spring after dropping her primary challenge against U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette last fall.

Kim Cordova, president of UCFW local, said the union has worked with Romanoff for two decades since he was first elected to the legislature.

"His character and values are aligned with those of Colorado’s working people, and he has proven that during this global pandemic as a vocal advocate for our frontline essential heroes," she said in a statement.

“Beyond his commitment to Colorado workers, he has been a staunch ally to communities of color, and has fought racism and discrimination for over 30 years."

The Romanoff campaign also announced endorsements from a slew of officials, including CU Regent Linda Shoemaker, Loveland Mayor Jacki Marsh, Broomfield Councilor Heidi Henkel, former Pueblo County Commissioner John Klomp, former Lakewood City Council Member Shakti Anderson, Boulder Valley school board member Lisa Sweeney-Miran and former school board members Arturo Jimenez of Denver and Phyllis Sanchez of Pueblo.

Romanoff and Hickenlooper meet for their final primary debate at 6 p.m. tonight. The first hour will air live on Denver7, and Colorado Public Radio will carry the entire 90 minute debate.

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