Romanoff Election 2020 forum

Colorado Democrat Andrew Romanoff speaks at a forum for U.S. Senate candidates sponsored by local Indivisible groups on June 9, 2019, at a Denver park.

Calling him a "bold, progressive leader," the local chapter of an organization spun off from the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign is throwing its support behind Andrew Romanoff in Colorado's Democratic U.S. Senate primary.

In its endorsement, announced Wednesday, Our Revolution Metro Denver said it found Romanoff's progressive bona fides "unmatched among Colorado candidate for U.S. Senate," citing his advocacy for "addressing the climate crisis, rebuilding our broken healthcare system, and getting big money out of politics at every level."

The group also pointed to Romanoff's "unique blending of a progressive vision for our country with his extensive legislative experience," noting the former speaker of the Colorado House won national recognition as a top public official.

"Andrew is a bold, progressive leader with a visionary platform and the experience necessary to have a big legislative impact in Washington," said Gary Kahn, one of the group's leaders, in a statement. "We believe he is the candidate most able to beat Cory Gardner in the general election."

Romanoff is one of three Democrats on the ballot in a primary that also includes former two-term Gov. John Hickenlooper and Michelle Ferrigno Warren, an immigrant rights advocate and first-time candidate.

A fourth candidate, nonprofit executive Lorena Garcia, is pursuing a spot in the June 30 primary in court, arguing the coronavirus pandemic prevented her from collecting the required number of petition signatures.

Gardner, seeking his second term, is one of only two Republican senators running this year in a state won by Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Romanoff told Colorado Politics that current events bolster his progressive platform, including his support for the Green New Deal and Medicare for All.

"This pandemic makes clear what Our Revolution knew all along: 'normal' isn’t good enough. We need health care for all and an economy that works for everyone," he said in a text message.

Sanders, who suspended his presidential campaign and endorsed Joe Biden earlier this month, won Colorado's Super Tuesday primary in March with 37% of the vote, following up on his 19 percentage point margin over Clinton in the state's 2016 precinct caucuses.

The national Our Revolution organization has a mixed record when it comes to endorsements. Last cycle in Colorado, it backed former state Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton, in the Democratic primary for attorney general, but he lost in a close race to Phil Weiser, who went on to win election.

Nationally, the data analysts at FiveThirtyEight found that only about one-third of the candidates endorsed by Our Revolution won their primaries, though the site determined the group helped pull Democratic candidates to the left in many races.

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