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Republican Joe O'Dea Defeats Far-Right Candidate in Colorado Senate Primary Despite Dem Meddling

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Colorado businessman Joe O'Dea has defeated state representative Ron Hanks in Colorado's Republican U.S. Senate primary, the Associated Press projects.

Colorado Democrats spent $4 million to meddle in the primary election. They ran ads attempting to bolster Hanks, whom they viewed as a candidate who would be easier to defeat in the general election in November.

The ads lauded Hanks, who marched to the Capitol on January 6, as a true conservative. They questioned whether O'Dea, who supports abortion in some cases, is a real Republican.

A super PAC called Democratic Colorado spent $2 million earlier this month on ads drawing attention to O'Dea's donations to Bennet and Senator John Hickenlooper (D., Colo.).

O'Dea, meanwhile, ran on issues including inflation, support for law enforcement and reducing the national debt. He affirmed the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election, acknowledging during a debate this month that "Biden's our president" though "he's lousy." Hanks, however, had questioned Biden's win.

O'Dea, who is the founder of a successful construction company, will face off against incumbent Senator Michael Bennett, who is running for a third term, in the general election in November. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as "likely Democratic."

A spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee told Axios that the primary has left both O'Dea and Hanks "saddled with an agenda that is totally out of step with the voters that decide the general election in Colorado," adding "we are prepared to defeat whichever candidate limps out."

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