Where the Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate stand on key Colorado issues ahead of primary

Rivals John Hickenlooper and Andrew Romanoff are offering distinct choices for voters ahead of the June 30 election





What federal restrictions do you support on firearms and why?

Background: The topic of gun regulations is prominent in Colorado, dating back to the Columbine High School shooting and more recently the attack on the Aurora theater. The state instituted universal background checks and lawmakers recently approved “red flag” legislation to try to keep guns out of the hands of those with mental health issues.


Supports stricter firearms control

A: At the federal level, Hickenlooper backs some of the reforms he signed into law in Colorado, including background checks for all gun sales and ammunition magazine limits. He also would support efforts to close the “Charleston loophole” regarding firearm sales that take place after the timeline for a background check expires.
Hickenlooper also agrees with implementing extreme risk order protection laws to use court orders to take firearms from those deemed a threat and an assault weapon ban that builds off expired legislation from 2004.




Supports stricter firearms control

A: Losing a family member to gun violence makes this a personal issue for Romanoff. He supports stricter firearms controls, including requiring background checks and waiting periods on all gun sales; strengthening the enforcement of existing gun laws, including the ban on straw purchases and bump stocks; and funding local, evidence-based strategies to prevent gun violence.



Background: Colorado likes to think of itself as the “state of craft beer.” It’s also home to two large brewers, MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch, and about 400 small independent breweries. The Beer Institute, a trade association for the global beer companies, forecasts the direct economic impact at $5.3 billion and suggests the industry contributes to a broader $13.6 billion in commerce. The Boulder-based Brewers Association estimates craft brewers alone contribute $3.3 billion to the state’s economy.


Amber ales and seasonals

A: Hickenlooper, who helped launch the Wynkoop brewpub, the first in Colorado, once joked his favorite beer was the one named after him, “Hickenlooper lager.” But he says his tastes change by season with amber ales among his favorites in the spring. More specifically, he said he also likes Post Brewing Company’s Howdy, a pilsner, and Finkel and Garf’s Dry-Hopped Amber.




Whatever Hickenlooper makes next

A: He doesn’t drink beer (or alcohol). But he offered this: “I am looking forward to Hickenlooper returning to that line of work (if he loses in the primary) and I'm sure he’ll come up with something I'd like to taste.”



Background: Colorado is home to many beautiful places, and each person seems to have a favorite go-to spot.


Depends on the time of the year

A: Hickenlooper often cites Telluride as his favorite place in Colorado with Aspen a close second. But asked this question more recently, he said the Eastern Plains and Morgan County are the best in the spring because of all the recently planted crops.




Mesa Verde

A: Mesa Verde in southwestern Colorado is Romanoff’s favorite spot. It was one of the first places he ever visited in that part of Colorado and it holds meaning for him. “It’s a very spiritual and beautiful spot,” he said.



The Candidates

Click a candidate to see where they stand.


John Hickenlooper

John Hickenlooper

Former Colorado governor and Denver mayor   

Andrew Romanoff

Andrew Romanoff

Former state House speaker and director Mental Health Colorado