CongressElection 2018Hot Sheet

Diana DeGette lands endorsement from former primary rival David Sedbrook

Author: Ernest Luning - April 13, 2018 - Updated: April 13, 2018

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U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette addresses the Denver Democrats' annual dinner in October 2015. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette addresses the Denver Democrats’ annual dinner in October 2015. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)

After running against her since last summer, Denver Democrat David Sedbrook this week endorsed U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette in the primary she’s facing against challenger Saira Rao.

Sedbrook, who withdrew from the race in March after getting shut out at the Denver Democrats’ county assembly, said he decided to back the 11-term incumbent because of her commitment to progressive causes and experience as a leader in the 1st Congressional District.

“Representative DeGette’s progressive record in Congress and willingness to listen to the concerns of the progressive community shows that the congresswoman is committed to her continued growth as a leader in our district,” Sedbrook said in a statement.

DeGette’s campaign said Sedbrook would be among those nominating her at the district convention Friday afternoon in Denver, where DeGette and Rao will be competing for positions on the June 26 primary ballot.

While it takes the support of 30 percent of delegates to make the ballot, Rao has already qualified for the primary by submitting enough petition signatures so just needs 10 percent at the assembly to continue to the primary. Whichever candidate wins the assembly vote, however, gets top-line on the ballot — and bragging rights.

Since she was first elected to Congress in the heavily Democratic district in 1996, DeGette has only been challenged in primaries a couple of times. Two years ago, Bernie Sanders supporter Charles Norris made the primary but lost to DeGette by more than 70 points.

Sedbrook said after speaking several times with DeGette, he determined they agree on numerous issues that she will continue making priorities. In a release, Sedbrook discussed several of them:

• Campaign finance reform — Diana has made it clear that she wants to fix the Citizens United decision, taking the dark money out of campaigning. And, she is a proponent of public financing for campaigns, which would encourage more people of all backgrounds to be able to run for office.

• I have campaigned on my desire to check the power of Wall Street. Her experience as a member on the Committee of Energy and Commerce and a ranking member on the Committee on Oversight and Investigations are important factors when it comes to making sure that the powerful Wall Street players won’t have the power to destroy Main Street again.

• Diana has been an important voice in fighting the opioid crisis and she assured me that she will continue to confront the pharmaceutical industry. As co-chair of the Diabetes Caucus, she’s leading an investigation into insulin prices.

• As the current chief deputy whip, she is in a position to help Democrats take back Congress and is poised to be a key player once they do.

DeGette welcomed Sedbrook’s support.

“I am honored to earn David’s endorsement in this race,” she said in a statement. “David is a leader for progressive causes and inside the Democratic Party. I know he will continue to stay engaged in the community and successfully fight for progressive ideals. And I look forward to continuing to stand up for the people of the 1st District and get things done in Washington.”

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. Since 2009, he has been the senior political reporter and occasional editor for The Colorado Statesman.