The Tea Party Express reiterated its endorsement of state Sen. Owen Hill in the wake of a major shake-up in the race for Senate in Colorado.
In a surprising move, Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., opted Wednesday to run against Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck subsequently dropped out of the Senate race to run for Gardner’s 4th District instead. Likewise, state Rep. Amy Stephens reportedly dropped out of the Senate race as well.
But not Hill.
The Tea Party Express backed Buck’s bid for Senate in 2010, but endorsed Hill this cycle. In fact, the Tea Party Express blasted Buck in a Wednesday evening solicitation for donations:
In a move that reeks of a smoke filled back room D.C. deal, Republican primary front-runner Ken Buck announced that he has dropped out of the race and Congressman Cory Gardner will take his spot in the race. In return for the favor, Ken Buck is going to run for Gardner’s Congressional seat. The deal also included a trade of endorsements of each other.
It is evident that the D.C. Republican establishment is worried about the insurgent campaign of conservative Owen Hill and think that their hand-picked candidate will have better luck in defeating the Tea Party. Congressman Gardner has quickly become popular with the Washington, D.C. Republican establishment crowd and even joined the ranks of the Republican leadership last year.
The primary is June 24. The race is rated Democrat Favored by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.