News broke this afternoon of a rumor that Rep. Cory Gardner of Colorado's 4th Congressional District would not seek reelection for his House seat and would instead enter the U.S. Senate race to challenge Mark Udall in November. We won't bury the lede on this, this isn't just a rumor. It's a fact. Additionally, Ken Buck will exit the Senate race, endorse Gardner, and then run for the 4th Congressional District himself.
This is good news all around for a state party that has been woefully incapable of finding a path to victory in big federal races for the last decade.
As a matter of objective analysis, Cory Gardner is a proven fundraiser and has strong connections to the Eastern Plains region of Colorado, which his House seat represents, and which provides him with a built in voter bloc. Gardner also fits where Colorado is right now on the political spectrum.
In a state that is in the process of swinging back towards the right, largely led by the very same rural Coloradans he represented in CD4 , Gardner could be the best candidate to go up against an incumbent who has a record of voting with his party and an unpopular President 99% of the time.
When asked by RedState about the race switch, Ken Buck said, "I think Cory has the best chance to beat Senator Udall. But I still want to go to Washington D.C. and address the issues I have talked about in my campaign. That's why I decided to run for the House."
As for RedState, at this point we are not ready to endorse in the Senate race given Buck's departure. A Gardner candidacy has its positives and would be a marked upgrade on Mark Udall, but as Senator he most likely would not be the sort of firebrand conservative fighter that Cruz or Lee are.
Gears are already turning in Buck's favor within the conservative organizations that play in House races. Sources have confirmed that groups such as Madison Project and Club for Growth are already preparing the back Buck in a run Additionally, all the funds that Ken Buck raised in his Senate campaign is now transferable to his eventual congressional campaign.
Colorado's 4th Congressional District is R+11 according to the latest Cook PVI, one of the safest seats in the country for Republicans. Ken Buck's brand of politics fits the district well. And should he win the seat, which he no doubt would, he would be well positioned to take on Bennett in a 2016 Senatorial rematch.
Colorado has been, and continues to be, a crucial state as it relates to national politics. Go support Ken Buck for the House and take a look at Cory Gardner and the rest of the candidates for the Senate. The importance of these races leading in to the 2016 Presidential cycle should not be overlooked. Wins now will set the stage for greater wins in 2016, not just for Colorado, but the whole nation.