Bennet won a third Senate term in Colorado
Sen. Michael Bennet, Democrat of Colorado, was elected to a third full term on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press, fending off a surprisingly strong challenge from Joe O’Dea, a Republican political newcomer.
Mr. Bennet, 57, who was first appointed to the open seat in 2009, emphasized his work to expand the child tax credit, address immigration and secure federal aid for state priorities such as the Colorado River and open space preservation.
With 54 percent of the vote reported, Mr. Bennett had 56 percent and Mr. O’Dea 41.6 percent, according to the AP.
Mr. Bennet was targeted during the campaign by Mr. O’Dea, the owner of a Denver construction company that specializes in large public works projects, as a reliable voice for President Biden’s agenda. In their two Senate debates, Mr O’Dea called Mr Bennet ineffective and biased, prompting Mr Bennet to accuse his opponent of lying.
In a cycle in which Republicans fielded many right-leaning candidates who also aligned themselves with former President Donald J. Trump, Mr. O’Dea positioned himself as a more centrist Republican. He has broken with Mr. Trump and expressed support for gay rights and a certain approach to abortion, seeking to win over independents, who make up the state’s largest voting bloc. He won the Republican primary despite efforts by Democratic groups to boost more conservative candidates in an effort to smooth the way for Mr. Bennet.
But Mr. O’Dea has been vastly outplayed by Mr. Bennet on television. National Republican groups have never committed the large financial resources necessary to secure a Senate victory in an increasingly Democratic Western state. Mr. O’Dea’s and Mr. Trump’s views on abortion have also cost him support among more conservative Republicans.
By winning a third term, Mr Bennett could see his influence grow as a senior member of the Finance and Agriculture Committee. He entered the 2020 presidential primary, but quickly dropped out when he made little headway.
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