Colorado

Sep 16, 2009 2:54 PM by Associated Press

Romanoff officially joins crowded Senate race

Former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff has formally announced he will challenge U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet in the Democratic primary.

Romanoff kicked off his campaign in Pueblo Wednesday.

He told a crowd of about 80 that a U.S. senator should be elected, not chosen. It was a dig at Bennet, who had never held elected office before Gov. Bill Ritter appointed him to replace Ken Salazar, who became interior secretary.

Some Democrats have fretted that Romanoff's campaign will weaken Bennet, who already faces six potential GOP challengers.

Romanoff says the primary will energize the party, not hurt its chances next year. Romanoff was in the Colorado House for eight years, four as speaker.

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