Sen. Cory Gardner gets another 2020 challenge: Community organizer Lorena Garcia

She’s among three little-known candidates who’ve filed paperwork vying for the Republican’s seat, which is seen as vulnerable after the 2018 blue wave in Colorado.

Lorena Garcia, candidate for U.S. Senate. Photo courtesy of Garcia's campaign.

Lorena Garcia, candidate for U.S. Senate. Photo courtesy of Garcia's campaign.

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

Are you ready for the 2020 Election? Because it’s already starting to creep up in Colorado.

On Tuesday, Executive Director at Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition Lorena Garcia announced her bid to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner. Garcia, a Democrat, is one of the first candidates to formally announce they’re running against Gardner. National observers see his seat as a vulnerable one following the overwhelming blue victory in Colorado during this year’s midterm.

She’s one of three candidates to formally file paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission. Derrick James Blanton and Dustin Leitzel are also listed as U.S. Senate candidate for Colorado in the FEC website.

Garcia will focus on economic equity, including improving access to healthcare and education, according to the release. Women’s rights, funding for public transportations and civil rights protections for women’s reproduction rights will also be a focus of her campaign.

Garcia has worked for nonprofits assisting Latino communities including Namlo International, which works to support local communities in Nicaragua and Nepal. She previously served as Executive Director of the Colorado Organization For Latina Opportunity.

“It’s time for a new voice in the U.S. Senate,” Garcia said in a release. “We are at a crossroads in our history where we can no longer accept the status quo and must take action to fix our broken government systems. I’m running because we need innovative leaders who will work on behalf of the interests of every Coloradan, not for political self-interest.”

Who else might run?

Outgoing House Speaker Crisanta Duran has been somewhat coy about her next steps, while former gubernatorial candidate Mike Johnston has expressed interest in running. Political observers have also noted the potential for the state’s highest-ranking Democrat to run if the whole presidential run doesn’t pan out.

And researcher Patricia Zornio is currently exploring a potential run for a U.S. Senate but hasn’t formally declared yet.

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Election 2020