Democrats running against Hickenlooper say DSCC endorsement is making it tough to hire staff, attract women to run

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DENVER — There are some in Colorado politics who want to jump to the fall of 2020 where Democrat John Hickenlooper is running against incumbent Republican Senator Cory Gardner.

We aren’t there yet, however.

In fact, 11 Democrats are running against Hickenlooper for the nomination.

Every single one of them this week expressed frustration with Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee endorsement of Hickenlooper.  

“John Hickenlooper is far and away the strongest candidate to beat Cory Gardner, and we’re proud to support him in his run for Senate,” said Lauren Passalacqua, DSCC spokesperson, in an email to FOX31 and Channel 2.

Now, candidates running against Hickenlooper for the nomination say they are having trouble hiring staff and securing contracts.

Andrew Romanoff said powerful DC firms have been told there would be consequences if they sign onto support any candidate other than Hickenlooper.

“I expected to be fighting Mitch McConnell and Cory Gardner, not the democratic death star too,” Romanoff told Fox 31 political reporter Joe St. George.

“The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee made it pretty clear to consultants and staff if they signed on with me it would cost them in Washington – they stood to lose business,” Romanoff said.

In a statement,  Passalacqua said:  “We do not have a policy of preventing firms from working with candidates. In our role as a campaign committee focused on winning Senate seats, we have ongoing conversations with strategists and advisers about battleground races.”

Other candidates have also expressed frustration.

Six female senate candidates challenging Hickenlooper wrote a letter to DSCC earlier this week asking them to rescind their endorsement.

“We are writing today to urge the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to reconsider its early endorsement of former Governor John Hickenlooper. All of us, like many women in Colorado and across the country, have seen well-qualified women passed over for male candidates in the workplace time and again.”

“I think it is a time women should be acknowledged that we are electable,” Angela Williams, a Democratic challenger to Hickenlooper, said.

“I think it is a reason why women think twice about running for office,” Williams said.

The candidates do not place blame on Hickenlooper — they merely believe he is the beneficiary of being “Washington’s Choice.”

“It is a very talented field – trust me I get that – and we all bring different experiences,” Hickenlooper said last week.

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