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DSCC Reiterates Support for Bennet as Romanoff Files in Colorado

Appointed Sen. Michael Bennet’s (D-Colo.) campaign was silent Thursday on the move by former Colorado state Speaker Andrew Romanoff (D) to file a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission, but the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee released a statement reiterating its support for Bennet in the Centennial State primary.

“Senator Bennet has hit the ground running and in a very short time has already proven to be a fierce advocate for Coloradans,— DSCC spokesman Eric Schultz said. “We look forward to supporting him.—

But with Romanoff expected to make a formal campaign announcement next week, it’s clear that Bennet, the former head of the Denver public school system, will face the first true test of his political career in August 2010, three months earlier than his supporters on Capitol Hill had hoped.

Romanoff — who left office in January because of term limits — is still well-known in Colorado, and he made his interest in the Senate seat clear when then-Sen. Ken Salazar (D) was tapped as Interior secretary by President Barack Obama,

Before he was passed over by Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D) in favor of the largely unknown Bennet in early January, Romanoff — who was also mentioned as a possible candidate for the 2006 governor’s race — was seen by many Colorado Democrats as the man who would have had the party machine at his disposal.

Now Bennet is running as the establishment candidate, and it will be interesting to see if Romanoff can embrace the role of the underdog as he challenges Bennet from the left.

“The support I’ve received around the state has been enormously encouraging,— Romanoff said in a statement announcing his filing with the FEC. “I look forward to the work ahead.—

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