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Bennet triumphs over Romanoff for Colorado Democratic Senate nomination

Incumbent Senator Michael Bennet overcame a closely fought challenge from former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff to wrest the Democratic nomination for Colorado senator and will face Ken Buck, Weld County District Attorney in the November election. Buck beat out former Lt. Governor Jane Norton. On the Democratic side, Senator Bennet was endorsed by President Obama while Jane Norton, the mainstream GOP candidate, met defeat at the hands of the' tea totaller' Buck, favored by that party's radical arm. Andrew Romanoff had been favored with Bill Clinton's endorsement and tried to run a campaign as a Washington outsider ready to roll up his sleeves and clean up national politics. But apparently, Democrats in Colorado like what they've seen from Bennet so far.

Political soothsayers looking for clues to the upcoming general election from this swing state may find a political landscape that is becoming less ambiguous. Bennet, Denver's former school superintendent and before that, a businessman working with billionaire Phillip Anschutz, is a relative newcomer to politics. He has been given high praise for his effectiveness in the Senate. Andrew Romanoff had been a very popular and effective state house speaker. Bennet was criticized by Romanoff for saddling the Denver Public School system with a Wall Street-inspired debt burden before he left for the Senate as Gov. Bill Ritter's nominee to replace Ken Salazar, who became President Obama's Interior Secretary. Additionally, there were claims that, while working with Anschutz, Bennet engineered the looting of the Regal Cinemas theatre chain with Anschutz, prior to helping stabilize it financially.

On the Republican side, both candidates argued against the current Washington establishment and promised to work to repeal the recently passed Health Care legislation, grant further tax relief to Americans in the higher income brackets and essentially continue the policies of previous Republican administrations. Their race came down to personal blows. Nevertheless, a recent pole shows Buck with enough popularity to make it a contest against Bennet this November.

“I’ve been a supporter [of Bennet] since way back,” gushed Susan Clemens, a retired school teacher at Mile High Center, where the senator's campaign had gathered for election night. “This is a real man. With all his jobs, he’s been hired to reform and that’s what he’s done. But change for some people is hard to take.”

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