Less than a month after Democrats swept Colorado’s statewide elected offices, their first challenger to Sen. Cory Gardner has officially announced her intention to run in 2020.
Lorena Garcia, 36, of Denver plans to seek the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.
“Throughout my career I have had direct experience working in the field with people who are impacted by federal policies,” Garcia told The Denver Post. “I’ve sat with them while they cried when things didn’t pass or didn’t work out right. … I believe we can do much better as a country, starting with Colorado.”
Garcia has never held elected office before. She’s spent her professional career working for different charities and is currently the executive director of the Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition. The nonprofit, which her father founded, helps Latino students by educating their parents, teachers and other caregivers.
While Garcia is the first Democrat to get into the race against Gardner, a Yuma Republican, she’s not going to be the last.
Several well-known Colorado Democrats are being discussed as possible candidates in 2020. The short list includes Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran, former state Sen. and gubernatorial candidate Mike Johnston, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter and Gov. John Hickenlooper. A biomedical scientist named Patricia Zornio is also reportedly exploring a run.
Garcia said she expects the field to be crowded, in large part because Gardner is one of a handful of Senate Republicans who will likely be targeted in 2020 by national Democratic groups. The race is already expected to be expensive.
“People have said things like I’m an unknown, or people don’t know who I am,” Garcia said. “I need all the time that I have for people to get to know me and to go around the state.”
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