October 13, 2022
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, left, and his Republican challenger, Joe O'Dea. ( Photo credit: Bennet.Senate.Gov and Joeodea.Com )

Incumbent Senator Michael Bennet and challenger Joe O’Dea share their defining issues

By Sarah Flower

The race for U.S. Senator is heating up in advance of midterm elections. Colorado Incumbent Senator Michael Bennet and challenger Joe O’Dea spoke separately to the Durango Herald’s editorial team this week with KSUT News invited to attend. Each positioned themselves as moderate candidates. Topics ranged from climate change to inflation, to mental health and affordable housing.

One area that has received considerable attention throughout the campaign is the topic of reproductive rights. Different from the GOP’s historic support of banning abortion, Republican challenger O’Dea says in most instances, he’s for a woman’s right to choose.

“Since I got into this election, I have been pro-choice. I have stated that for the first five months, that choice should be between a woman and her doctor. After that, four exceptions - rape, incest, life of the mother and medical necessity, that decision also should be between a woman and her doctor.” O’Dea said.

With 60% of Coloradan’s supporting a woman’s right to choose, Bennet said O’Dea’s position on reproductive rights is for political gain. “I think he probably discovered halfway through this race that it might be politically inconvenient for him to be in his pro-life position.”

O’Dea hopes to leverage himself over Bennet as a political newcomer. O’Dea said Bennet, who is seeking his third term, consistently votes too closely along party lines. “We need representation that will take on tough issues that will do the hard thing. And we're not getting it."

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