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Politics and Government

Dan Baer becomes third Democrat to exit U.S. Senate race after John Hickenlooper’s entrance

Baer said Hickenlooper's entrance into the race changed his odds of winning

Democratic candidate for Senate and former Obama administration diplomat Dan Baer speaks at Indivisible Denver's candidate forum at Barnum Park in Denver on June 9, 2019. (Eric Lubbers, The Colorado Sun)
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Dan Baer, an Obama-era diplomat, on Thursday became the third Democrat to exit Colorado’s U.S. Senate primary after John Hickenlooper’s entrance into the race.

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Baer first announced his decision in an interview with 9News.

“When you enter a campaign you know that nothing is promised and there comes a point at which you have to decide whether or not the reasons that you entered continue to be good reasons to go forward given the odds,” he said. “I think Gov. Hickenlooper’s entry into the race changes the odds.”

Baer also said he is backing Hickenlooper’s candidacy.

Earlier this week former U.S. Attorney John Walsh exited the race. Last week, former state Sen. Mike Johnston abandoned his U.S. Senate campaign as well.

Both Walsh and Johnston cited Hickenlooper as the reason they were ending their campaigns.

With the exit of Baer, Johnston and Walsh, there now are nine Democrats running for a chance to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner next year.

MORE: Here’s who’s running to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner in 2020 — and who’s thinking about it

“I hope to continue to serve Colorado and our country on the road ahead,” Baer said in a video to supporters.

If he had been elected, Baer would have been the first openly gay man to serve in the U.S. Senate. His campaign set a record for the highest amount raised in a first quarter by any LGBTQ congressional candidate.

When Hickenlooper was governor, Baer served as head of Colorado’s Department of Higher Education.

Before taking that post, Baer was in the Democratic primary for Colorado’s 7th Congressional District seat in 2018 until U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter decided to seek another term.

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