Greg Lopez, the former head of the Small Business Administration in Colorado, will run for the Republican Senate nomination in the state, The Denver Post reports.
So far, El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn is the only other Republican in the race.
Republicans suffered a blow last month when their top recruit, Rep. Mike Coffman, said he would run for reelection to the House rather than mount a challenge to incumbent Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Overnight Energy & Environment — Starting from 'scratch' on climate, spending bill Eight senators ask Biden to reverse course on Trump-era solar tariffs MORE (D-Colo.).
Republicans in the state have appeared in disarray in recent weeks amid allegations from state party Chairman Steve House that Cynthia Coffman blackmailed him in an attempt to get him to resign.
Still, Bennet remains a top target of Republicans heading into 2016, and they believe Colorado remains one of their best potential pick-up opportunities.
With Mike Coffman out, political watchers in the state are expecting a crowded GOP primary.
State Senate President Bill Cadman, state Sen. Owen Hill, businessman Robert Blaha and George Brauchler, the district attorney prosecuting the Aurora theater shooting case, are among the many believed to be eyeing a Senate run.
Lopez told the Post he has cross-party appeal as a Spanish-speaking former member of the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
“I don’t reflect the misconception of what the Republican candidate looks like,” he said.
Bennet is likely to begin the general election with a huge fundraising advantage over the eventual GOP nominee. He raised over $2 million in the first quarter of 2015, ending March with nearly $3 million in the bank.