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DENVER — On the national level, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders defended democratic socialism with a major address in Washington, D.C. Wednesday.

“They may hate democratic socialism because it benefits working people but they absolutely love corporate socialism,” Sanders said.

But how is the democratic socialism movement impacting Colorado? In a word, it is advancing.

“I consider myself a democratic socialist,” said Candi CdeBaca, a newly elected member of Denver’s City Council.

CdeBaca’s election was a major upset – defeating an incumbent and favorite of the establishment. CdeBaca is the first democratic socialist to win a coveted Denver City Council seat.

CdeBaca says the democratic socialist movement is advancing as more people understand it is not communism.

“Communism is when the government owns everything, socialism is when people have control of the distribution of ownership,” CdeBaca said. “People have more power.”

But not everyone agrees.

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper was booed at the California Democrats’ state convention when he said “socialism is not the answer.”

On Wednesday, he tweeted out Colorado’s accomplishments without socialism.

It is not just Hickenlooper speaking out. Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner is preparing to campaign heavily against socialism in 2020.

“Socialism is an issue already in the 2020 campaign because Bernie Sanders has made it that way,” Gardner said. “This is a very dangerous conversation. We have seen what socialism does around the globe.”

Gardner is one of many Republicans using anti-socialism language as the 2020 election nears.

“For the normalization of socialism to have occurred at the level that it has — I think it is quite shocking,” Gardner added.