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Colorado Primary Candidates Vie For Outsider Status

As Colorado gets set to vote tomorrow, the New York Times notes how both Senate primaries, once considered cakewalks for their presumptive party favorite — Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and former lieutenant governor Jane Norton (R-Colo.) — have now become the latest proving ground of anti-establishment, anti-Washington fervor.

Both challengers, former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff (D-Colo.) and Republican Ken Buck, a veteran prosecutor, have embraced the image of the outsider, employing it for all its got in bitter races with few concrete policy differences. But looks, as they say, can be deceiving:

Born in New York and educated at Princeton, [Buck] served as the lawyer for Dick Cheney, then a congressman, during the Iran-Contra hearings and worked three years for the Justice Department. He served 14 years in the United States attorney’s office in Colorado before being elected district attorney of Weld County, north of Denver, in 2004.

“I am not saying I don’t have a lot of connections,” Mr. Buck said in an interview at his Denver campaign office. “I am saying I am not the candidate of Washington, D.C.”

Same goes for the Democratic side:

In a twist, Mr. Bennet, though technically the incumbent, is the only one of the four candidates who has never won election to public office. His appointment by Gov. Bill Ritter to fill the seat vacated by Ken Salazar when Mr. Salazar became interior secretary was a surprise, but he has come to be highly regarded by his Democratic Senate colleagues.

“I spent my entire life outside of politics and never ran for office before,” he said in an interview on Sunday. “I bring a perspective that is different from what a lot of people in Washington bring to the job and what Andrew would bring.”

Meanwhile, over in the Colorado gubernatorial primary, Republican candidate Scott McInnis has reportedly reached a settlement with the Hasan Family Foundation over the $300,000 the group paid him to write a series of articles on water, parts of which McInnis plagiarized from others’ work:

The two sides won’t say what that agreement calls for, but McInnis campaign spokesman Sean Duffy did say it requires the former congressman to repay the entire amount, as the foundation initially requested.

“Scott has reached a settlement with the Hasan Foundation,” Duffy said. “All matters between the foundation and Scott McInnis have been fully resolved to the satisfaction of both parties. That is all the agreement allows in terms of comment on this matter.”

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