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O'Dea wins GOP primary for US Senate

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The AP called the race for Joe O'Dea, a moderate businessman, against extremist state Rep. Ron Hanks to take on Sen. Michael Bennet in the Colorado general election.

COLORADO, USA — The Colorado Republican primary for U.S. Senate on Tuesday pitted a first-term state lawmaker against a Denver business owner for the chance to take on Sen. Michael Bennet in November.

The Associated Press called the race for Joe O'Dea just after 7:30 p.m., who beat out state Rep. Ron Hanks.

"We could not have done this without the massive coalition we have built here in Colorado," O'Dea said in his victory speech.  

O'Dea took aim at Democrats including Bennet in his speech, claiming they spent millions of dollars trying to keep him from getting elected.

"Spent millions and millions of dollars trying to take me out, trying to make sure this moment here didn't happen for Colorado," he said. "Me. Joe O'Dea. A carpenter, just a contractor, you know? Has never run for any public office before."

O'Dea also credited Hanks for running a tough race and called for a round of applause for his opponent. "I'll work especially hard to win the support of Ron's voters," he said.

U.S. Senate seats come up for election every six years. Bennet, who has no challenger in the Democratic primary, has held one of Colorado's two seats since 2009, when he was appointed by then-Gov. Bill Ritter to fill the seat vacated by Ken Salazar.

The latest results are below:

Hanks is a first-term lawmaker representing Fremont, Chaffee, Park and Custer counties in the state House of Representatives. He retired after a 32-year career in the Air Force and was in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, but has said he was not in the Capitol.

O'Dea, who said he's running on issues such as inflation and combating rising crime, is more moderate than Hanks. O'Dea and his wife own a construction company in Denver and he has significantly outraised and outspent his GOP opponent.

Every Colorado voter can cast a ballot in the U.S. Senate race. As of June 1, Colorado had 3,792,803 active voters - 1,068,827 were registered Democratic, 956,904 were registered Republican, and 1,699,415 were registered unaffiliated.

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