A look at the Republican candidates hoping to challenge U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet in the 2022 election

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October 23, 2021

Here’s a look at U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and the eight Republicans hoping to challenge him in the 2022 election, listed in the order they launched their campaigns. Figures are current through Oct. 18.

Michael Bennet

In this file photo, then-Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., holds a town hall meeting in Keene, N.H., on Friday, …

Declared candidacy: Feb. 21, 2021

Website: michaelbennet.com

Residence: Denver

Age: 56

Total funds raised: $6.67 million

Cash on hand: $3.5 million

Twitter followers: 52,207 (campaign); 309,123 (Senate)

Background: Appointed to fill Senate seat in 2009 following U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar’s resignation to serve as interior secretary in the Obama Administration. Re-elected twice, in 2010 and 2016. Ran for president in 2020 but withdrew after poor performance in New Hampshire primary. Former Denver Public Schools superintendent and chief of staff to then-Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper.

Quote: “Like most Americans, I refuse to accept that our economy and our democracy are too broken to fix. For the sake of our children, we must build opportunity for every American and restore integrity to our government.”

Juli Henry

Republican Juli Henry, one of eight GOP challengers running in a primary for Colorado's U.S. Senate seat,  is pictured in a photo released by …

Declared candidacy: Jan. 14, 2021

Website: votejulihenryforcolorado.com

Residence: Colorado Springs

Age: 51

Total funds raised: under $5,000

Cash on hand: under $5,000

Twitter followers: 24

Background: Served 10 years in the Army active duty and reserves. Taught at International school in Germany. Founded and runs Leilah’s Family Closet in Colorado Springs and Homeowners Association Property Management. Founded Helping Hands Helping the Community, a nonprofit that works with homeless veterans.

Quote: “I never imagined myself having to go to such lengths to fight for my rights and the rights instilled in every American, but if it means providing more people the opportunity for prosperity, I am willing to stake my name and wellbeing to ensure such matters.”

Erik Aadland

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Erik Aadland speaks at the formal launch of his campaign to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet on …

Declared candidacy: June 4, 2021

Website: aadlandforcolorado.com

Residence: Pine

Age: 41

Total funds raised: $185,555 (including $112,000 from candidate)

Cash on hand: $82,352

Twitter followers: 99

Background: Served 10 years in the Army and won two Bronze Stars after graduating from West Point, including combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Worked for energy companies, including a stun as project manager for Noble Energy Inc. Changed registration from unaffiliated to Republican this spring after taking a candidate training course with America First Republicans, a local organization.

Quote: “Right now, our country is in the process of being destroyed by people in positions of power based on policies and agendas that are incongruent with the values upon which this country was founded. I will stand before you as a shield from government overreach. Enough is enough.”

Peter Yu

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Peter Yu, one of eight candidates running in a primary for the Colorado seat held by U.S. sen. Michael Bennet.

Declared candidacy: July 16, 2021

Website: yuforsenate.com

Residence: Windsor

Age: 49

Total funds raised: $131,810 ((including $50,000 from candidate)

Cash on hand: $113,708

Instagram followers: 118

Background: Son of Chinese immigrants. Attended Colorado State University on a football scholarship, graduated from Fort Lewis College with a business degree. Worked as national sales and marketing director and as a consultant for companies including Wyndham Worldwide and HSBC Bank. Ran unsuccessfully in Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District in 2018.

Quote: “Our current Senators are governing like the only people who matter are from Denver and Boulder. We need a senator who has the best interests of the whole state at heart — those ranchers on the eastern plains; our clean energy producers in Mesa County; our ski/snowboard industries that were hit hard by COVID restrictions. Being a Colorado native, and being raised outside of the Denver metro area, I know I am that representative.”

Eli Bremer

Colorado Springs Republican Eli Bremer, an Air Force veteran and 2008 Olympic competitor in the modern pentathlon, is pictured in a video rele…

Declared candidacy: Aug. 10, 2021

Website: eliforsenate.com

Residence: Colorado Springs

Age: 43

Total funds raised: $253,837

Cash on hand: $209,365

Twitter followers: 1,451

Background: Served 14 years in the Air Force active duty and in the reserves after graduating from the Air Force Academy. Competed in 2008 Summer Olympics in Modern Pentathlon, finishing 22nd in the event. Founded and manages Olympic sponsorship program and has been an on-air announcer for NBC’s coverage of the Olympics for four games. Chaired El Paso County Republican Party. Helped lead charge to reform U.S. Olympic Committee in wake of scandals involving sexual abuse of athletes.

Quote: “Having twice worn the uniform of our nation – in the military and in the Olympics – I am concerned that the country I have represented is being sold out by self-interested politicians. … We deserve a senator who wants to be a voice for Colorado rather than climbing the political ladder.”

Gino Campana

Former Fort Collins City Councilman Gino Campana is pictured in this undated photo provided by his campaign. On Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, Camp…

Declared candidacy: Oct. 1, 2021

Website: ginoforsenate.com

Residence: Fort Collins

Age: 51

Total funds raised: TK

Cash on hand: TK

Twitter followers: 165

Background: Owns Bellisimo Inc., a builder of large multifamily projects and residential developments. With his family, owns The Farmhouse, a rustic farm-to-table restaurant, and Jessup Farm Barrel House, a local brewery. Served one term on the Fort Collins City Council. Appointed in late 2020 by then-President Donald Trump to chair the Public Buildings Reform Board, an independent board that reviews federal real estate holdings, though he wasn't confirmed by the Senate.

Quote: “My family and I have lived the American Dream. I won’t sit on the sidelines and watch Senator Michael Bennet turn the American Dream into a Socialist Nightmare.”

Ron Hanks

State Rep. Ron Hanks, R-Cañon City, prepares to shoot a piece of office equipment labelled "Dominion Voting Equipment" in the introductory vid…

Declared candidacy: Oct. 1, 2021

Website: hanksforcolorado.com

Residence: Cañon City

Age: 55

Total funds raised: TK

Cash on hand: TK

Twitter followers: no Twitter account

Background: Elected in 2020 to represent House District 60 in central Colorado. Served 32 years in the Air Force on active duty and in the reserves. Ran unsuccessfully in 2010 for a U.S. House seat in Northern California.

Quote: "I am a Pro-Trump warrior and a conservative state legislator who has fought for election integrity, defended the unborn, protected the Second Amendment, and I’ve battled the liberals on taxes and mandates. Now, I’m running for United States Senate because Michael Bennet and our government no longer serves the people. It is an entity built for control over the masses by the power elite."

Joe O'Dea

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe O'Dea is pictured in a campaign video released Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, announcing his run for the Colorad…

Declared candidacy: Oct. 8, 2021

Website: joeodea.com

Residence: Greenwood Village

Age: 59

Total funds raised: TK

Cash on hand: TK

Twitter followers: 28

Background: Owns Concrete Express Inc. and is a co-owner with his wife of Ironworks and Mile High Station event centers in central Denver.

Quote: “I’m a businessman – I’m a tough negotiator – but I also care about the community and people who are struggling. I want an America that works together. I want an America that gives everyone a fair shot at success. And that’s what I’ll work for as a US senator.”

Deborah Flora

Deborah Flora, a candidate running in the 2022 GOP primary for Colorado's U.S. Senate seat, is pictured in a photo released by her campaign.

Declared candidacy: Oct. 14, 2021

Website: deborahflora.com

Residence: Parker

Age: 56

Total funds raised: TK

Cash on hand: TK

Twitter followers: 318

Background: Former Miss Colorado and second runner-up in the Miss America pageant. Worked as an actress in Hollywood films and with the National American Shakespeare Company, founded Lamplight Entertainment and whet•stone Media Group. Former host of the Deborah Flora Show on Salem Radio Denver. Founder and president of Parents United America.

Quote: “Despite those that want to divide us, I believe the majority of Coloradans truly want the same thing: to pursue our dreams, run our business, and provide for our families. We want a great education for our children and to be able to raise them in safety and security.”

Republicans Gino Campana, Ron Hanks, Joe O’Dea and Deborah Flora filed candidacy paperwork after the third fundraising quarter ended on Sept. 30 so won’t be required to report fundraising totals until after the following quarter ends on Dec. 31. Juli Henry has yet to reach the threshold of raising or spending $5,000, which would trigger a requirement for her to file a campaign finance report.