DENVER (NewsNation Now) — Republican Senator Cory Gardner and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper are locked in a tight Senate race.
Both candidates debated Friday night in Denver. They addressed a top-of-mind issue for voters in the Centennial state and across the country: effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am excited to continue the work that we need to do for the people of Colorado including additional relief in the Paycheck Protection Program, additional dollars for unemployment benefits,” Gardner said. “I am so proud to support those efforts and I will fight for more.”
Coloradans have received more than $4.5 billion dollars in stimulus money, according to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation that tracks fiscal sustainability.
Hickenlooper says that’s not enough.
“I think the fact that it has been six months and Washington cannot get its act together is shameful,” Hickenlooper said. “We are dealing with people who have lost so much, families on the edge of bankruptcy, literally having trouble putting food on the table.”
President Donald Trump is center stage in many Senate elections, and Colorado’s is no exception. Gardner has endorsed the president after not doing so in 2016.
Hickenlooper has criticized the president and Gardner’s alignment with him at every turn.
“I talked to someone on Monday who is in danger of making the rent and the president has said he’s not going to address it until after the election — that’s four weeks,” Hickenlooper said.
The former governor hopes his message will resonate in the state where Democrats hold the governorship and both chambers of the legislature. Democrat Michael Bennet hold’s Colorado’s other Senate seat.
“The new majority starts in Colorado in the seat and we’re a swing state,” Bennet said. “We’re still a purple state.”
Colorado will remain a focus for both parties over the next 23 days until the election.