Baumgardner becomes first Republican to challenge Udall

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State Sen. Randy Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs.

DENVER — After months of stories about all the Republicans saying no to challenging Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, one Republican lawmaker has finally said yes.

State Sen. Randy Baumgardner, a rancher from Hot Sulphur Springs, will officially launch his campaign for Udall’s seat this Friday in Grand County, the Denver Post’s Lynn Bartels reported Sunday.

Baumgardner, known as the “Capitol Cowboy” at the Capitol, has been hinting that he planned to enter the race.

FOX31 Denver has had Baumgardner on its list of likely GOP Senate candidates for months; others considering a run, including state Rep. Amy Stephens of Monument and Sen. Owen Hill of Colorado Springs, are likely to announce their intentions in the coming weeks.

Additionally, Ken Buck, who lost a 2010 Senate race — the country’s most expensive and most competitive that year — to Sen. Michael Bennet, is now also leaning toward a run at Udall.

Buck, who overcame cancer earlier this year, had been planning to run for Attorney General; but with that primary field already crowded with two prominent Republican office-holders in the race, Buck is leaning toward another shot at the Senate, according to several Republican sources.