Allies of former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperRomanoff touts endorsements ahead of primary against Hickenlooper Biden beat Bernie but the battle between progressives and pragmatists still rages Hickenlooper announces .7M raised in pre-primary reporting period MORE (D) are dropping millions of dollars into a late television advertising blitz ahead of what once looked like an easy primary contest, as local party leaders fret about his chances in an election that could prove crucial in determining control of the Senate.
The outside groups are spending big to counter a three-pronged attack by Hickenlooper’s leading rivals over ethics charges for which Hickenlooper paid a fine.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerThe Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Rep. Mark Takano says Congress must extend worker benefits expiring in July; WHO reports record spike in global cases Republicans brush off Bolton’s bombshells Hickenlooper announces .7M raised in pre-primary reporting period MORE (R-Colo.) and former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff (D), who faces Hickenlooper in next week’s primary, are all airing ads critical of the two-term former governor.
Advertising data reviewed by The Hill shows the Republicans have spent a combined $2 million against Hickenlooper in the three weeks leading up to Tuesday’s primary. Romanoff’s campaign has added another $525,000 in the past two weeks.
“He lied. He broke the law. And it gets worse,” the NRSC’s ad says, after replaying local news coverage of Hickenlooper’s ethics charges.
“Cory Gardner, Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump says he supports another round of stimulus checks NAACP Legal Defense Fund urges Senate to reject GOP police reform bill OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Internal watchdog probing Park Police actions toward Lafayette Square protesters | Democrats detail their .5T green infrastructure plan | Green groups challenge Trump water rules rollback MORE and now Andrew Romanoff are spending nearly $2 million attacking John,” Melissa Miller, Hickenlooper’s communications director, said in an email. “Our campaign is making sure voters have the facts about John’s record to expand health care to half a million Coloradans, protect a woman’s right to choose, pass gun safety reforms, and implement gold standard methane regulations to combat climate change.”
Gardner’s campaign declined to comment. Romanoff’s campaign also did not respond to a request for comment.
Hickenlooper’s allies are conscious of the national wave of progressive energy building in primaries across the country, in places as diverse as Yonkers, N.Y., western Massachusetts and a U.S. Senate primary in Kentucky.
“Nationally, people are watching the progressive movement really rise,” said Doug Friednash, who served as Hickenlooper’s chief of staff in the governor’s office. “Romanoff’s a threat, for sure. But I think…