February 26, 2014 Updated: February 27, 2014 at 7:33 am
Sen. Owen Hill, a Republican state lawmaker from Colorado Springs, said U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner asked him to drop out of the Senate race.
Gardner hasn’t officially announced that he will run for Senate, but a high-level source in his campaign said this week that the congressman will make his announcement in the coming days.
Hill said Gardner came to him weeks ago and pressured him to drop out of the race.
''It's party leadership trying to decide who gets to run," Hill said.
State Rep. Amy Stephens and Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck are considering whether they should withdraw to make room for Gardner. Stephens and Buck could not immediately be reached for comment.
If Buck and Stephens drop out, it would leave Hill as the next strongest candidate in the race behind Gardner.
"This is the exact same corruption and back-room deals that have caused the Republican party to lose elections year after year," Hill said.