Rep. Cory Gardner launches Senate run

Updated at: 03/02/2014 9:57 PM

(AP) DENVER - DENVER (AP) — Republican Rep. Cory Gardner is formally launching his Senate campaign by accusing Senator Mark Udall of being too close to Democrats in Washington.

Gardner is a rising star in Congress and considered his party's best bet to break its 10-year losing streak in top elections in Colorado. His last-minute entry into the campaign against Udall shook up Colorado politics and makes the race competitive.

Gardner made his announcement Saturday and slammed Udall for voting for President Barack Obama's health-care package, raising taxes and voting against Second Amendment Rights. He said Udall was carrying out Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's agenda.

The Udall campaign released a statement calling Gardner a, quote, "tea party Republican" and noting that he was ranked the 10th most conservative congressman in the country.

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