DENVER – A relatively dull U.S. Senate race in Colorado ended Tuesday night as predicted, with Democrat Michael Bennet holding onto his seat against Republican challenger Darryl Glenn.
Bennet defeated Glenn, 49 percent to 45.8 percent.
What was anticipated early on to be one of the Republican Party’s best chances to oust a Democrat, faded into lackluster fundraising and attention for Glenn, as national Republicans largely passed over Colorado this year.
Glenn claimed a surge at the end of the campaign, posting competitive fundraising numbers and touting endorsements from high-profile Republicans, including Ted Cruz.
But most of the damage had been done.
“We need to admit something to ourselves,” Bennet said during his victory speech to an audience inside a ballroom in a downtown Denver hotel, which had one eye on him and the other on presidential returns.
“People all over Colorado understand that something is fundamentally wrong with our national politics and how we’re governing our country. They are right, and it has to change.”
Glenn declined to concede the election as of 9:30 p.m. He won the race for Montezuma County, with 7,407 votes, or 59.5 percent, according to unofficial results. Bennet took 4,249 local votes, or 34.1 percent.
Glenn, the El Paso County commissioner, was repeatedly forced to answer for national politics over the course of the race, including for Republican Donald Trump.
Glenn waffled in his support for Trump, even as the presidential nominee was asked to answer for overtly sexually offensive comments about women.
Glenn also struggled to explain his support for Trump’s plan to block travel into the United States by Muslims.
Glenn also supported a controversial plan to transfer management of federal public lands to the authority of the states, an issue that may have hurt him in rural Colorado.
On Glenn’s side, his camp hit Bennet for supporting the Affordable Care Act, which caused spiking insurance rates. They also relentlessly tied Bennet to supporting the controversial Iran nuclear deal. “With only 52 percent of Colorado votes counted, and with the margin less than 5 percent, we believe it’s way too early to discount all of the voters whose ballots haven’t yet been counted,” a Glenn spokesman said.