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Gary Hart to endorse Bennet for president

Gary Hart to endorse Bennet for president
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White House hopeful Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetDemocrats sense momentum for expanding child tax credit OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats tee up vote on climate-focused energy bill next week | EPA reappoints controversial leader to air quality advisory committee | Coronavirus creates delay in Pentagon research for alternative to 'forever chemicals' Senate Democrats demand White House fire controversial head of public lands agency MORE (D-Colo.) announced Friday that he picked up the endorsement of former presidential candidate and Colorado Sen. Gary Hart (D). 

Bennet’s campaign said the endorsement will officially be announced Saturday at the New Hampshire Democratic Party Convention.

Hart, who ran an insurgent bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984, unexpectedly won the state’s primary that year, but eventually lost to former Vice President Walter Mondale. 

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“A number of years ago, the voters of New Hampshire provided an opportunity for a young Colorado senator to build a strong national candidacy,” Hart said in a statement to The Associated Press. “They have the chance now to do it again. Michael Bennet has the intelligence, experience, and judgment to put our nation back on track at home and abroad.” 

Hart, now 82 years old, startled the media and political observers in 1984 with his out-of-nowhere presidential bid that began picking up steam ahead of the primary races. 

Hart entered the 1988 cycle as the Democratic front-runner, building off the momentum he’d built four years earlier, until an extramarital affair abruptly ended his campaign.

Bennet, who had hoped to cast himself as an alternative centrist candidate to former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter Trump narrows Biden's lead in Pennsylvania: poll Florida breaks first-day early voting record with 350K ballots cast MORE, has stagnated near the bottom of most national and statewide primary polls. 

“A lesson from Hart is not to count people out and not to presume how New Hampshire will judge candidates,” Bennet spokeswoman Shannon Beckham told the AP. “They like underdogs, and reward candidates with new ideas who are focused on the next generation.”