With Angela Williams’ departure from the Senate race this week, there are now 11 Democrats who have left the race. At this point, more candidates have withdrawn from the 2020 Democratic primary for Colorado’s U.S. Senate seat than are still in the race.
Some political newcomers and others with little experience in electoral politics dropped their bids after their campaigns failed to take off or for personal reasons, but others were among the primary’s front-runners before former Gov. John Hickenlooper jumped in near the end of August. In the order they ended their candidacies:
• Derrick Blanton, of Denver, who supports Bernie Sanders and calls himself a “punk rock politician,” ended his campaign in April 2018.
• Dustin Leitzel, a Denver pharmacist, quietly drew his campaign to a close sometime this spring.
• Danielle Kombo, a one-time legislative candidate from Douglas County, ended her campaign in April and endorsed Stephany Rose Spaulding.
• Keith Pottratz, a Grand Junction veteran’s advocate, withdrew in May, citing “family issues,” and endorsed Lorena Garcia.
• Ellen Burnes, an economist who teaches finance at Colorado State University and once chaired the Boulder County Democratic Party, quit the primary in July after running for three months.
• Mike Johnston, a former state senator from Denver who finished third in last year’s gubernatorial primary, in early September became the first candidate to withdraw after John Hickenlooper entered the primary. The fundraising leader in the race — he raised $3.6 million in the eight months he was a candidate — said he didn’t want to run the kind of negative campaign it would take to defeat a politician of Hickenlooper’s stature.
• John Walsh, a former U.S. attorney for Colorado and another top fundraiser in the primary, pulled out a few days after Johnston and endorsed Hickenlooper.
• Dan Baer, the U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe under President Obama and the former head of Colorado’s Department of Higher Education, ended his campaign a day after Walsh withdrew and also endorsed Hickenlooper.
• Denise Burgess, a construction company owner who once chaired the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, joined the race in September but dropped out three days later after the Colorado Sun asked her about tax liens filed against her company.
• Alice Madden, a former state House majority leader and Department of Energy official in the Obama administration, pulled the plug on her campaign in early October, saying she couldn’t envision a “realistic path to victory” after Hickenlooper joined the field.
• Angela Williams, a state senator from northeast Denver, founded the Colorado Black Democratic Legislative Caucus and was elected three times to the Colorado House. She dropped out of the race Wednesday and said she intends to file her paperwork to run for re-election to the General Assembly.
The seven Democratic candidates still in the running are Lorena Garcia, Trish Zornio, Andrew Romanoff, Stephany Rose Spaulding, Diana Bray, Michelle Ferrigno Warren and Hickenlooper.