Left wing Denver Post endorses GOP Senate candidate

The liberal Denver Post surprised national and local observers by endorsing Republican Cory Gardner over incumbent Senator Mark Udall. In a Friday editorial, the Post called Gardner "a rising star" in the GOP and "someone to be reckoned with" in Washington.

Congress is hardly functioning these days. It can't pass legislation that is controversial and it often can't even pass legislation on which there is broad agreement. Its reputation is abysmal, and even its members rarely dispute the popular indictment.

It needs fresh leadership, energy and ideas, and Cory Gardner can help provide them in the U.S. Senate.

In every position the Yuma Republican has held over the years — from the state legislature to U.S. House of Representatives — he has quickly become someone to be reckoned with and whose words carry weight. An analysis  on ABC News’ website, for example, singled out Gardner a year ago — before he declared for the Senate — as one of the party’s “rising stars” who represented “a new generation of talent” and who had become a “go-to” member of leadership.

And this was about someone who wasn't elected to Congress until 2010. Nor is Gardner a political time-server interested only in professional security. He is giving up a safe seat in the House to challenge a one-term Senate incumbent, Democrat Mark Udall, in what is typically an uphill effort.

It's time for a change

Fortunately for Gardner, the polls are showing the contest a tossup. Voters may be sensing the time has come for change.

Udall is a fine man with good intentions, and on some issues our views are closer to his than to Gardner's. But he is not perceived as a leader in Washington and, with rare exceptions such as wind energy and intelligence gathering, he is not at the center of the issues that count — as his Democratic colleague, Sen. Michael Bennet, always seems to be.

Rather than run on his record, Udall's campaign has devoted a shocking amount of energy and money trying to convince voters that Gardner seeks to outlaw birth control despite the congressman's call for over-the-counter sales of contraceptives. Udall is trying to frighten voters rather than inspire them with a hopeful vision. His obnoxious one-issue campaign is an insult to those he seeks to convince.

Gardner was not expected to seriously challenge Udall this year. But a combination of an excellent campaign waged by the Republican - defanging the "war on women" issue by advocating over the counter birth control sales -and Udall's ridiuclous effort to paint Gardner as a radical, has made the race a toss up.

How much weight will this endorsement carry with the voters? In a close race, every little bit helps. And the fact that a media source that usually endorses Democrats has come out for a Republican guarantees that most voters will hear about it and weigh their vote accordingly.

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