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GOP Senate candidate says he would ‘actively’ campaign against Trump in 2024

Colorado Republican Senate nominee Joe O’Dea on Sunday said he would “actively campaign against” former President Trump if Trump mounted another bid for the White House.

O’Dea has previously indicated he does not want Trump to run in 2024, and during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” with co-anchor Dana Bash, the GOP nominee said he would look to support other rumored Republican candidates.

“I don’t think Donald Trump should run again,” O’Dea said on Sunday. 

“I’m going to actively campaign against Donald Trump and make sure that we’ve got four or five really great Republicans right now,” he continued, referencing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.).

DeSantis, Haley and Scott are all seen as potential 2024 GOP contenders, although polling indicates Trump will likely cruise to the nomination if he runs.

“They can run and serve for eight years,” O’Dea said of the non-Trump candidates. “I’m going to do my job as a U.S. senator to make sure that they have good campaigns in the primary here so we have a good selection of candidates for 2024.”

O’Dea has branded himself as a moderate in his challenge to incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), at times breaking with Trump, a stark difference from the many battleground GOP Senate candidates who gained their nominations after being endorsed by the former president.

“I believe that Jan. 6 was a black eye on the country,” O’Dea told Bash. “I’ve been very vocal that I thought he [Trump] should have done more to keep the violence from heading towards the Capitol. Anybody that was violent at the Capitol or tore something apart, they should be held accountable.”

Polling shows O’Dea is facing an uphill battle in his campaign. 

A Marist survey released Tuesday found that Bennet had a 7-point lead among registered Colorado voters, and virtually all other polls have shown Bennet with at least a slight lead.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the contest as “lean Democrat.”

Tags Dana Bash Ron DeSantis Tim Scott

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