CO Republican Senate Candidate Is Happy To Not Have a Trump Endorsement

Joseph Sohm/

People have bragged about numerous things in state and federal elections that are incredibly perplexing. From their volunteer work at soup kitchens to their work to promote their stance on a polarizing topics like abortion, illegal immigration, or the second amendment. For Colorado Senate candidate Joe O’Dea, that special thing is not being endorsed by Donald Trump.

While most political candidates are more than happy to receive the Trump seal of approval, thus all but ensuring the MAGA train will vote for them, O’Dea nearly seems to revel in not having Trump standing behind him. “I’m the only Senate candidate in the Republican Party that hasn’t been endorsed by Donald Trump. He’s probably not going to send me a Christmas card.”

There are a few other Republican candidates who have yet to receive the Trump nod, there aren’t many remaining, and by avoiding it O’Dey is looking to remind people that the Republican party existed before Donald Trump, and it will continue to exist long after him. The idea that he was the last of the great Republicans is something O’Dey wants to avoid at all costs.

The midterm elections of 2022 will be some of the strangest elections to happen in American history no matter who wins. As the first elections are being held without COVID hanging over voters’ heads, Americans are now being gauged about where exactly their political aspirations and personal values are. As the battle for both the Senate and the House rage on, every vote counts in this midterm election.

Colorado is not a state that the Republicans have been homed in on to make sure voters are coming out for. Incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennet has had an edge on O’Dey since he declared his candidacy, and still holds that edge. Colorado has seen a surge in leftist polls since Biden was able to resurrect his approval rating and the overturn of Roe v. Wade. Colorado likes their rights to personal choices no matter what, and they are big on the belief that the Federal government is obligated to ensure the people have the right to choose.

The primary found O’Dey facing off with Ron Hanks. Hanks had already accepted an endorsement from Trump and openly admitted to being present at the Capitol Building during the January 6th insurrection. This defeat wasn’t by a small margin either, so his thorough defeat of Hanks gives some credence to his decision not to pursue the Trump endorsement.

Being fair to Trump, Hanks losing wasn’t his fault exactly. Colorado is a unique state, and except for skiing and cannabis, many wouldn’t think too much about the state these days. They don’t make a lot of noise politically, and even inside the state, their state representatives tend to keep their voting ideals and their plans for their districts a bit close to the vest. Being the silent state has allowed them to grow their population slowly and gave their infrastructure a chance to keep pace with the rest of the US.

This growth also means that O’Dey has a real shot at taking over the Senate seat. While many consider it to be a purple state, that’s not entirely true. Democratic presidential candidates have won the state in every election since 2008, Democrats have occupied the governor’s mansion since the 2006 election and the state is currently represented by two Democratic senators.

So for O’Dey to unseat one of them is a sign that the demographics and the voting ideals of the people in the state have shifted. Given the changes the nation has also undergone, it makes complete sense. Given the state’s expertise on cannabis legalization, electing a Republican to the Senate might just be the boost the country needs to also change legalization at a national level. Especially if it comes without Trump’s polarizing endorsement.