Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Colo.) is leaving the door open to possibly challenging Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) in 2016.
“Congressman Tipton was honored to have been elected to serve a third term and is focused on fighting for the issues that matter most to Colorado's 3rd Congressional District,” a political adviser to Tipton told The Hill. “But Congressman Tipton isn't ruling out any options down the road that would enable him to have the greatest impact possible for the people of the State of Colorado.”
“He beat a respected Democrat in a Democratic county with a big chunk of Hispanic voters,” Wadhams said. “If he wanted to run for Senate, he would be a very credible candidate.”
Tipton defeated three-term incumbent Rep. John Salazar (D-Colo.) to win his first term in 2010, and has cruised to victories in subsequent elections.
Still, the 3rd District encompasses some rural portions on the Western Slope of the state, and Wadhams noted it might be a challenge for Tipton raise his profile in the Colorado’s metro areas.
Tipton isn’t the only Republican representative from Colorado with an eye on a potential Senate run. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) told The Hill earlier this month that he hadn’t ruled it out.
Coffman is usually the first name political operatives in the state mention in the pack of potential GOP candidates with a chance to unseat Bennet. He’s a fundraising powerhouse and has impressed Republicans in the state by winning several competitive House races.
In 2014, he defeated former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, a top Democratic recruit, by 9 percentage points. Coffman has also won statewide elections for secretary of State and treasurer.
Colorado Republicans say that Coffman already has to raise large sums of money to defend his House seat every two years, so it would be easy for him to raise a little more in a bid for the Senate.
They also say that if he can carry his home district in a Senate race the election would be his. Coffman’s district sits in the southern portion of liberal Denver and includes some nearby suburbs.