Female Democratic Senate candidates in Colorado ask DSCC to rescind Hickenlooper endorsement

Female Democratic Senate candidates in Colorado ask DSCC to rescind Hickenlooper endorsement
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Six of the seven women running in Colorado's Democratic Senate primary are asking the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) to rescind its endorsement of former Gov. John HickenlooperJohn Hickenlooper Senate outlook slides for GOP The Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue The Hill's Morning Report - Republicans shift, urge people to wear masks MORE (D). 

Their letter to the DSCC, obtained by a Denver ABC affiliate, was sent Monday, on U.S. Women's Equality Day, and lamented that qualified women are often "passed over" in favor of male candidates. 

“We are writing today to urge the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to reconsider its early endorsement of former Governor John Hickenlooper," wrote Alice Madden, Diana Bray, Stephany Rose Spaulding, Lorena Garcia, Michelle Ferrigno Warren and state Sen. Angela Williams.

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"All of us, like many women in Colorado and across the country, have seen well-qualified women passed over for male candidates in the workplace time and again," they added in the letter to the DSCC, Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerRussian bounties revive Trump-GOP foreign policy divide Public awareness campaigns will protect the public during COVID-19 Republicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoSenators press IRS chief on stimulus check pitfalls Klobuchar withdraws from Biden VP contention OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior faces legal scrutiny for keeping controversial acting leaders in office | White House faces suit on order lifting endangered species protections | Lawmakers seek investigation of Park Police after clearing of protesters MORE (D-Nev.), the chairwoman of the DSCC.  

They also raised questions about Hickenlooper's comments regarding progressive Democrats. 

"Governor Hickenlooper is utterly disrespectful and tone deaf to the contributions of activists and communities that make Colorado a leader on progressive values," they wrote. 

DSCC spokesperson Lauren Passalacqua told The Hill in a statement Tuesday that the DSCC would support Hickenlooper, saying he was the party's best chance to defeat Republican incumbent Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court orders Dakota Access Pipeline to shut down | Energy companies cancel Atlantic Coast Pipeline | House rejects Trump cuts, proposes boost for environmental agencies Senate outlook slides for GOP Trump nominee faces Senate hurdles to securing public lands post MORE (Colo.).

"John Hickenlooper is far and away the strongest candidate to beat Cory Gardner, and we’re proud to support him in his run for Senate,” Passalacqua said.  

Hickenlooper's campaign told The Hill in a statement on Tuesday that the candidate will work hard to earn votes despite strong challengers.
 
"This is a talented field of candidates, who will all have the opportunity to make their case and voters will make this decision," said campaign spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery.  "John will be working hard to earn the vote of every Coloradan.”

Hickenlooper announced last week that he enter Colorado's crowded Democratic Senate primary after he dropped out of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

The DSCC tweeted support for him following his announcement.

"With all the options in the crowded Colorado primary, it’s shocking Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerRussian bounties revive Trump-GOP foreign policy divide Public awareness campaigns will protect the public during COVID-19 Republicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names MORE and Washington Democrats decided to ignore the female candidates in this race and back Hickenlooper – someone who has exhibited blatant disrespect toward women," National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesperson Joanna Rodriguez said in a statement on Tuesday. "Hickenlooper will have to continue to answer for his tone-deaf comments about women, and by endorsing him, the DSCC will too."

--This report was updated on Aug. 28 at 11:21 a.m.