ENDORSEMENT: Replace Trump’s loyal Gardner with Colorado’s trusted Romanoff

Andrew Romanoff (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

Colorado, and the nation, have never had a greater need for honest, courageous and insightful leadership as it does right now. Sen. Cory Gardner has failed Colorado on every one of those touchstones.

Andrew Romanoff won’t fail Colorado.

This week, a fleet of mail-in ballots will land in mailboxes across the state. It creates a unique responsibility for millions of voters, and for Sentinel Colorado. A new state law allows unaffiliated voters to join Democrats in choosing between John Hickenlooper and Romanoff to oppose Gardner, a Republican, in the November election.

Gardner has repeatedly not only failed to uphold long-held Colorado values, he’s worked to undermine them, all with a smile on his face. Gardner hoodwinked a slim margin of Colorado voters in 2014 into believing he was a political moderate. Six years of voting against Obamacare, women’s reproductive rights, managing climate change, fair immigration reform and holding the Trump administration accountable has revealed who he is. Gardner represents his interests, not Colorado’s.

Nationally known as the most vulnerable Republican senator in the 2020 election cycle, the winner of the June 30 senate primary will almost certainly be Colorado’s next senator. That’s why it’s important for everyone in Colorado eligible to vote now, and for The Sentinel to help readers choose.

Voters have a difficult choice to make, Hickenlooper, formerly Denver’s mayor and two-term Colorado governor, has a proven record for offering common ground and helping opposing forces find it. Hickenlooper offers voters solid Colorado values that support the rights of women, workers, gays, and everyone who’s dedicated their lives and every dime they have to make a buck in business for themselves.

Romanoff, however, offers more. Much more. He’s turned a lifelong passion for helping the overlooked, forgotten or outright trampled find their feet.

At a time when an increasingly nefarious Trump sect seeks to undermine the rights and lives of millions of immigrants, minorities and exhausted middle-class Americans, Romanoff offers blazing energy to take on Senate forces and a White House working against a growing list of Americans.

Romanoff has a track record of standing up for Colorado ideals, and getting the deals done. As state House speaker, Romanoff ushered in important changes to immigration law, tax law, victim rights and vast economic investment. His admirers have long been Republicans and Democrats.

Romanoff offers voters an energized mix of vision and pragmatism. He understands that no matter how many ways we look at America’s health-care puzzle, the right answer is only a path to universal health care. He has a keen understanding of the strengths and weaknesses created by Obamacare and how it has become an unbearable economic burden on families and businesses alike. He understands that the Senate must make accessible, affordable health care the priority, not corporate profits nor guaranteed insurance jobs. Romanoff backs a progressive and dedicated expansion of Medicare, first allowing people in their early 60s or even 50s to apply, and then, everyone.

Unlike Gardner and Hickenlooper, Romanoff has offered a clear path through the imminent human disasters created by climate change. Moving America to non-carbon energies is a matter of survival, not just economic instability and inconvenience. Romanoff understands the urgency of the crisis, which too many in Washington disregard or work to outright undermine. Moving the nation to exploit non-carbon energies can be one of the greatest economic boons in American history.

It is within our grasp to reduce carbon emissions and create vast economic growth — if we elect Romanoff and others like him this fall.

Where Gardner has worked to undermine women’s rights to make their own reproductive choices, Romanoff has long worked to ensure those standards. Where Gardner has slunk away from holding Trump accountable for abusing children of immigrants, incessant lying and dividing the nation, Romanoff has consistently called out Trump and those who turn a blind eye to his corruption and malfeasance.

Hickenlooper’s most frequent argument is that he has the best chance to defeat Gardner in November by currying decades of Colorado voters’ goodwill. Gardner has already defeated himself, and Republicans have failed to replace him with a viable candidate. This election is about saving lives, jobs, integrity and even the planet.

Talk won’t solve America’s problems. Action will. Dependably decisive, Romanoff offers voters a senator who cares deeply about being honest, especially when it’s most difficult, about being accountable and available to constituents when it counts most — which is always.