AURORA | Local Democrats took to Grandview High School’s auditorium Saturday for the party’s county assembly saying, “As goes Arapahoe County, so goes the state of Colorado.”
“Nov. 4, I know it’s bearing down on us,” said Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, who will face off against Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., for the a U.S. Senate seat in November. “You know what Congressman Gardner said in his announcement speech? He said Colorado’s future is fading. Well friends, fading may be what Colorado looks like for the House of Representatives. But for the rest of us, the shine never comes off of our state.”
Udall denounced Gardner’s votes to shut down the federal government, to end Medicare, as well as his refusal to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
“I’d never lead the charge for the radical personhood amendment, or co-sponsor a bill to criminalize abortion, even in cases of rape or incest,” Udall said. “I’m going to run on my record … It looks to me, with the news yesterday, that Congressman Gardner’s going to run away from his record.”
Gardner recently said he was wrong to have supported personhood measures after learning they would deny women some types of contraception.
Udall was later followed by 6th Congressional District candidate Andrew Romanoff, who will face off against incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, for one of the country’s most competitive House seats in November.
Romanoff touted his own immigrant background, describing his grandparents who emigrated to the U.S. from Poland, and his father, who was the first to attend college in the family.
“My grandparent’s story is not unique,” he said. “It’s being repeated everyday all across Colorado, all across America. It is the American dream. The fundamental promise that if you work hard, and play by the rules, you can get ahead. And your children can do even better.”
Romanoff said his opponent also wanted to grow the middle-class and strengthen the economy. “You know what, I believe him. Where we disagree, and what this race is about, is how we get there,” he said.
Romanoff touted other differences in his own agenda that include supporting equal pay for equal work and comprehensive immigration reform. Coffman, who last year introduced a House resolution that would provide a pathway to citizenship for youth enlisted in the military, has in the past been an opponent of earlier immigration proposals.
“He was wrong to shut down the government, wrong to oppose an increase in the minimum wage, wrong to call social security a Ponzi scheme, wrong to call Tom Tancredo his hero, wrong to call the DREAM Act a nightmare, and wrong to call the president of the United States un-American,” Romanoff said of Coffman.
Romanoff faces some criticism on immigration, having served as the Colorado Speaker of the House in 2006, when the Legislature passed a series of bills aimed at undocumented immigrants that included denying non-emergency state benefits to adults who couldn’t prove residency.
Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., said electing Romanoff to the U.S. House seat would help Democrats gain a majority in the House. The House is currently made up of 201 Democrats, but needs 17 seats to gain a majority.
“The path to 218 goes right smack dab through Arapahoe County,” she said. “I need Andrew Romanoff to get to 218. Will you help me do that?”
Staff Writer Aaron Cole contributed to this report