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LIVE UPDATES: Follow the results of the Democratic primary for US Senate in Colorado

LIVE UPDATES: Follow the results of the Democratic primary for US Senate in Colorado

FILE - In this Aug. 10, 2019, file photo, then Democratic presidential candidate former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper speaks at the Presidential Gun Sense Forum, in Des Moines, Iowa. Hickenlooper was supposed to be Democrats' worry-free solution to the Colorado Senate race, but he's stumbled badly in the weeks leading up to the party's June 30 primary. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

The stakes:

Former Governor John Hickenlooper is competing against Andrew Romanoff, the former speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, for the Democratic nomination for US Senate to face GOP Sen. Cory Gardner.

Gardner, who was first elected in the Republican wave midterm year of 2014, is now one of the most vulnerable incumbent GOP Senators. Since then, Colorado has rapidly shifted from a swing state to a much more reliably Democratic state at the federal level.

This is why Hickenlooper (or any other Democrat) is so strongly favored to beat Gardner. The crossover vote he needs to get reelected just does not exist anymore. https://t.co/QlOAGbOMsZ

— Drew Savicki (@SenhorRaposa) June 29, 2020

Hickenlooper, a former two-term mayor of Denver from 2004 to 2010, served two terms as the state’s governor, first elected in 2010 and then re-elected in 2014.

Several people who worked with Hickenlooper told Insider in 2019 that he struck a balance as a pragmatic governor by advancing progressive policy priorities while cutting government spending in some areas and working with Republicans on legislation.

Hickenlooper ran an ultimately unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, and announced his campaign for US Senate shortly after dropping out of the presidential contest in August 2019.

Romanoff served in the Colorado House from 2000 to 2008 and was the House Speaker from 2005 to 2008. He ran US Senate as a progressive primary challenger to Sen. Michael Bennet in 2010, and ran as a Democratic candidate for US House in the 6th district in 2014, losing to former Rep. Mike Coffman.

Hickenlooper is highly favored to win the primary, but has faced some setbacks in recent weeks as the state’s Independent Ethics Commission found him in contempt for defying a subpoena to appear before the panel. After he did appear to testify, the Commission fined him for violating state ethics laws by accepting private flights and limousine trips as governor.

Still, the most recent polling shows him ahead of Romanoff by double-digits for the primary nomination. A SurveyUSA poll commissioned by Colorado Politics and 9News conducted from June 19-24 found Hickenlooper leading Romanoff by a large 30 point margin, with 58% of those polls saying they would vote for Hickenlooper, 28% indicating they would vote for Romanoff, and 15% undecided.

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