Udall raises $1.3 million in 2nd quarter, awaits GOP challenger

Politics

Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat, faces reelection in 2014.

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DENVER — Colorado Sen. Mark Udall had perhaps his best month of press since taking office in June, when a government surveillance scandal he’s long hinted at came to light.

The Democrat, who faces reelection next fall, also finished up another strong fundraising quarter, bringing in $1.3 million in contributions between April 1 and June 30.

Udall’s campaign now has $3.4 million cash on hand, his campaign tells FOX31 Denver.

Now he just needs an opponent.

Of all the Senate Democrats facing reelection in 2014, he is the only one with no declared GOP opponent.

That’s expected to change soon.

With Congressman Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, and less conventional candidates having already said no to the race, attention is turning to some state lawmakers who may step forward and challenge Udall.

Among the names we’re hearing as possible U.S. Senate candidates: Sen. Randy Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs; Rep. Amy Stephens, R-Monument; and Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs.

Former Congressman Bob Beauprez has been thought to have some interest in the race as well, but the likelihood of him making a run in 2014 appears to be decreasing.

Keep an eye on Hill, who has just one year under his belt as a lawmaker but has impressed political observers at the Capitol with his speaking prowess; just in his early 30s with a young family, Hill is exactly the kind of fresh face the Colorado GOP is looking for.

His vote earlier this year in favor of the ASSET bill, which allows undocumented students to receive in-state tuition at Colorado colleges and universities, will enable him to appeal to Latino voters in a way other Republicans can’t.

That his name is even in the mix to challenge Udall this cycle underlines his potential — and just how short the Republican bench is in the state.

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