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Hansen returns to run Gardner’s Senate campaign

Chris Hansen (right), who served as Rep. Cory Gardner's Chief of Staff through last June, is back to run his former boss's U.S. Senate campaign.

Chris Hansen (right), who served as Rep. Cory Gardner's Chief of Staff through last June, is back to run his former boss's U.S. Senate campaign.

DENVER — Chris Hansen, who left his job as chief of staff to Congressman Cory Gardner last June, is back with his former boss and set to run his 2014 U.S. Senate campaign.

When Hansen left his post to manage Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito’s campaign for a Senate seat in West Virginia last summer, our story on his departure began like this: “Chris Hansen wants a bigger challenge.”

The same lede sentence still applies now that Capito’s race looks a lot less competitive — polls show her up double-digits on her Democratic opponent — than the race for U.S. Sen. Mark Udall’s seat, suddenly a top-tier contest now that Gardner has jumped in.

“I’m excited to be back helping Cory bring Colorado values and leadership to the United States Senate,” Hansen said. “I know that Cory and his wife Jaime’s decision to enter the race was not reached lightly, but his willingness to take a risk and do what he believes is in the best interest of all Coloradans are what make him the perfect choice to be Colorado’s next Senator.”

Hansen, 31, is a San Diego native who signed on with Gardner in 2010 and manged his first successful campaign for Congress when he ousted one-term Democrat Betsy Markey in Colorado’s conservative Fourth C.D.

In 2012, he took a temporary leave of absence from his job as Gardner’s chief of staff to oversee a difficult but ultimately successful reelection effort by Congressman Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, whose 6th C.D. seat had been re-drawn the previous year.

“Serving Cory in any capacity needed has always been an honor, and I am grateful to have been given an opportunity to help Coloradans make a real change in our country’s future.”