Obama-era diplomat launches Colorado Senate bid, would be first openly gay male senator

Dan Baer, who served as a diplomat during the Obama administration, said this week that he will enter the Democratic race to challenge Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) next year, according to Denver television station 9News.

Baer served as U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe from 2013 to 2017. He most recently worked as executive director of Colorado’s Department of Higher Education.

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“I think what most probably voters want to know is that I probably have the same concerns that they do,” Baer, who would be the first openly gay man to serve in the Senate if elected, told 9News. “I mean, I look at what’s going on in our politics today and I want to say: ‘Can somebody please send the manager over? This doesn’t look like the country or the state that I know and that I want to live in.'”

Several other Democrats have already jumped into the race to challenge Gardner, considered one of the most vulnerable Senate Republicans in 2020 and one of only two GOP incumbents up for reelection in the Senate whose state voted for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonForget the spin: Five unrefuted Mueller Report revelations Former senators launching effort to help Dems win rural votes Biden's announcement was a general election message, says political analyst MORE in 2016.

John Walsh, former U.S. attorney for the District of Colorado, announced his candidacy on Tuesday, according to the Denver Post.

“Today, one of the biggest challenges we face is our president,” Walsh said in an announcement video. “Our state deserves better than what we’re getting from Donald Trump and Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerCongress can open financial institutions to legal cannabis industry with SAFE Banking Act Dem super PAC campaign urges Republicans to back impeachment On The Money: Cain withdraws from Fed consideration | Says he didn't want 'pay cut' | Trump sues to block subpoena for financial records | Dems plot next move in Trump tax-return battle MORE.”

The Denver Post editorial board last month retracted its 2014 endorsement of Gardner after he voted against a resolution rebuking President TrumpDonald John TrumpForget the spin: Five unrefuted Mueller Report revelations Lara Trump: Merkel admitting migrants 'one of the worst things that ever happened to Germany' Financial satisfaction hits record high: survey MORE’s declaration of a national emergency on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The field of Democrats looking to unseat Gardner includes former state Sen. Mike Johnston and former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff. Former Gov. John HickenlooperJohn Wright HickenlooperBiden doesn't match the Democrats' base Where 2020 Democratic candidates stand on impeachment Bernie Sanders claims his Sister Souljah moment MORE was considered another likely contender before he opted to launch a White House bid.