Cory Gardner

Colorado has largely been spared from the political wrangling ahead of the 2016 presidential race. But as Republicans nationally are working to narrow the presidential field, the Republican Party in Colorado wants to widen its field of candidates to run against incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennet.

"The numbers tell us Senator Bennet is vulnerable," said Republican state party Chairman Steve House. "It would be great to hold onto the U.S. Senate. Republicans have to defend a number of seats more than the Democrats."

As 2016 campaigns heat up, Republicans are working to boost their momentum among Latino voters, and the numbers make it easy to see why.

hemp plants

A federal bill to legalize industrial hemp farming has the backing of a Colorado Congressman. 

The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015 was introduced in the U.S. Senate last week. 

The bill would remove industrial hemp from the marijuana definition in the Controlled Substance Act thus allowing farmers to grow it.

Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner is one of the bill’s co-sponsors.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



And for some reaction to the president's speech, we're joined now by Republican Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado. Good morning.


Administering the oath of office to the U.S. Senate sounds like a mundane job. That task falls to the vice president.

But the current occupant of that office, Joe Biden, turns it into an event that's so joyful, and so lacking the partisan rancor that typically dominates American politics, that it's almost hard to believe that you're watching a scene from Washington.

Every two years, a third of the U.S. Senate is elected — and there's a formal oath-taking on the Senate floor. But then, right afterward, each senator takes his or her turn in a ceremonial swearing in.

Colorado is one of the battleground states where Republicans made big gains this week. Republicans in the state believe they now have momentum going into the 2016 presidential election.

But the GOP has suffered some punishing losses there lately, owing in part to the state's changing demographics. That trend may still be a big factor in 2016.

The last time Republicans won a U.S. Senate seat here was when Wayne Allard was re-elected in 2002. Back then, Congressman and now Senator-elect Cory Gardner was a young staffer working behind the scenes for Allard.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit



Let's talk next with one of last night's election winners. Republican Cory Gardner won a Senate seat in Colorado, defeating Democratic Senator Mark Udall. Senator-elect Gardner, welcome to the program.

Sometime after the polls close Tuesday night, we'll find out if Republicans managed a spectacular feat.

The party that lost the last two presidential elections is seeking a comeback, adding control of the Senate to control of the House. Republicans aim to dominate Congress with a fresh presidential election looming in 2016. It would be, in one of the hackneyed phrases of journalism, "a remarkable transformation."

Cory Gardner
Laura Palmisano

Republican Congressman Cory Gardner stopped in Montrose for a voter meet-and-greet Monday.

Gardner is currently the U.S. Representative for Colorado's 4th Congressional District, which covers most of the eastern part of the state. He faces Democratic incumbent Mark Udall in a hotly contested race that could decide which party controls the Senate.

KVNF's Laura Palmisano spoke to Gardner at his campaign event and brings us this candidate interview. 



  • Interview with Congressman Cory Gardner
  • A look at Amendment 67
  • More jobs for Colorado


  • Representative Gardner visits Montrose
  • Denver DA won’t prosecute Sen. King
  • Paonia hires permanent Town Manager
  • State water plan continues to be a problem
Cory Gardner
Laura Palmisano

Republican Congressman Cory Gardner stopped in Montrose for a voter meet-and-greet Monday afternoon.

More than 50 people attended the event hosted by the Montrose Republican Party.

They asked Gardner about voting legislation, energy, Colorado’s personhood amendment, and Obama’s presidency.

He also discussed education and national security.

Gardner is currently the U.S. Representative for Colorado's 4th Congressional District, which covers most of the eastern part of the state. He acknowledges that this is a conservative district.

First there was ISIS. Now there's Ebola.

The Ebola health crisis is the latest global issue to become a fixture this campaign season, spilling into debates, campaign rhetoric — and even a few ads.

Political arguments about Ebola can roughly be divided into three groups.

Democrats argue that budget-cutting Republicans have deprived the government of the resources it needs to keep Americans safe from the threat of Ebola. That's the argument Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado made at a recent debate.

Democratic Senator Mark Udall and Republican Congressman Cory Gardner had a spirited debate Tuesday night hosted by The Denver Post. Both candidates are locked in a tight race and both stayed on message in the hour-long debate.

Udall attacked Gardner as extreme and out of touch, Gardner criticized Udall for being in lockstep with President Barack Obama.

Colorado's U.S. Senate race is a considered by many to be a tossup. Incumbent Senator Mark Udall and Republican Congressman Cory Gardner are trying to win over as many key voting blocs as they can before Election Day – and that includes women.

In the previous close Senate contest between appointed Democratic Senator Michael Bennet and Republican Ken Buck, women played a critical role. During the waning days of that 2010 race, Bennet focused his attention on the female vote – and narrowly won. With women making up 51.4 percent of all registered voters in Colorado this election, it's a scenario Democrats are hoping to repeat.

Multiple polls on Colorado's U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races were recently released and there are some different perspectives on where things stand with just seven weeks until the November election.

Most polls show the U.S Senate race as being too close to call. The Denver Post recently gave incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Udall a narrow edge over his Republican challenger Congressman Cory Gardner, but within the margin of error. A separate USA Today Poll gives Gardner a one point edge. The most recent Quinnipiac Poll was more of an outlier. It gave Gardner the lead, 48 – 40 over Udall.

A string of Republican candidates for Senate are supporting an issue usually associated with Democrats: easier access to contraception.

In southwest Denver, a wave of immigrants from Mexico and El Salvador has settled in the neighborhoods around the intersection of Federal Boulevard and Alameda Avenue.

Billboards are in Spanish. Chile stands, taquerias and Asian noodle houses line the streets.

In a small office plaza across from a carniceria, a group of Latino activists are staging a press conference to roll out their Immigration Voter Accountability Project.

Colorado voters will once again decide on an amendment that would give unborn babies the same constitutional and legal rights as a person. The measure is bringing out some familiar faces – it’s also impacting one of the closest U.S. Senate races in the country.



Democrats in the Senate have unveiled legislation to override the recent Supreme Court decision on contraceptives.


In that decision, the court sided with the owners of Hobby Lobby, a chain of craft stores, ruling that many businesses do not have to pay for health insurance to cover contraceptives if they object on religious grounds.

Mark Udall
Laura Palmisano

Voters in Montrose met with U.S. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) at a campaign event Tuesday. 


  • State Lawmakers Push for Marriage Equality

  • Capitol Conversation: Gardner’s bid to unseat Udall creates political waves

  • Delta Native remains as only republican candidate for House District 54

  • Aspen’s first retail marijuana shop set to open


  • State likely to require stricter marijuana laws for underage users

  • Republican congressman Cory Gardner is running for the Senate against Mark Udall

  • Number of deadly traffic accidents rises for the first time since 2008

  • Delta County School District budget woes