Tea Party Express endorses Hill for Colo. Senate race

Colorado state Sen. Owen Hill (R) nabbed the endorsement of the Tea Party Express in his bid for Colorado Senate on Monday.

The group also launched its first ad of the cycle for Hill, a bio spot that touts him as a leader in the military, charity and the legislature.

“Now the picture is clear: Owen Hill is a conservative, proven winner for Colorado,” a narrator says in the ad.

The group held three events across Colorado on Monday to endorse the candidate, who’s facing five other Republicans in the primary. Their endorsement is a signal Hill might be picking up some steam with the conservative wing of the party in the primary.

It’s at least a blow to Ken Buck, the district attorney who orchestrated an upset in the 2010 GOP primary and went on to botch the general election and lose what Republicans considered a winnable race against Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.). That year, Tea Party Express endorsed Buck.

Still, none of the candidates have attracted much attention from the national party apparatus, despite Republican hopes — and recent polling that indicates — Sen. Mark UdallMark UdallColorado GOP Senate race to unseat Dem incumbent is wide open Energy issues roil race for Senate Unable to ban Internet gambling, lawmakers try for moratorium MORE (D-Colo.) is vulnerable heading into reelection.

None of the Republicans in the primary came remotely close to the $1.1 million Udall raised in the fourth quarter of last year, and Hill actually raised less than two of his Republican primary challengers. Still, the endorsement could help him gain some traction in the primary.