State Sen. Angela Williams on Monday became the latest Democrat to join a crowded primary to take on Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner.
The northeast Denver lawmaker becomes the 11th declared candidate and the first sitting elected official declaring a bid to unseat Gardner, considered among the most vulnerable GOP senators up for election next year.
”Throughout my career in public service and in the private sector, I’ve been driven by the values of hard work, honesty and standing up for others. Those are the values I want to take to the United States Senate,” Williams said in a statement.
“Cory Gardner and Donald Trump have sought to divide Coloradans and Americans for far too long. Their days of standing up for special interests at the expense of working families in Colorado are over. I’m eager to go to Washington to bridge the divide and tackle the toughest challenges facing our state and our nation,” Williams said.
After serving three terms in the Colorado House, Williams was elected in 2016 to the Senate District 33 seat previously held by Democrat Mike Johnston, the fundraising front-runner in the U.S. Senate primary.
Williams, chairwoman of the Senate Business Labor & Technology Committee, has a reputation for being business-friendly and for working to reform criminal justice, such as her 2013 law that compensates the wrongly convicted $70,000 for each year spent in prison.
Her allies have been teasing her entry into the Senate race for months, and she told Politico in May that she had met with Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer to discuss a run against Gardner.
In addition to Johnston, Other candidates running in the primary are former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, former ambassador Dan Baer, former U.S. attorney for Colorado John Walsh, former state House Majority Leader Alice Madden and former congressional candidate Stephany Rose Spaulding.
First-time candidates in the race are scientist Trish Zornio, community organizer Lorena Garcia, climate activist Diana Bray and economist Ellen Burnes.