Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) is kicking off his campaign for a third full term with a TV spot aimed at voters disenchanted with corporate influence on Washington.
Bennet’s re-election campaign will start airing its first TV ad of the cycle Thursday morning in the Denver and Colorado Springs media markets. It’s a $600,000 media buy.
A copy of the ad, obtained by Bloomberg Government, features Bennet touting his support for a ban on stock trading by members of Congress, his rejection of donations from corporate political action committees, and his work to bar members from becoming lobbyists.
Bennet is facing Joe O’Dea, a construction company executive who won the Republican nomination last month. Although Colorado has trended Democratic in recent years, the party faces strong headwinds nationally this November with President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings and voter concerns about the economy.
In an interview Wednesday on Capitol Hill, Bennet said the ad served as “an acknowledgment that there’s a lot of self-serving behavior here.”
“There are a lot of legitimate frustrations that people in Colorado and across the country have with the way this place works or doesn’t work,” Bennet said. “I share those frustrations.”
Candidates for federal office have increasingly embraced congressional proposals to bar members of Congress from trading individual stocks, though legislation has yet to be passed by either chamber. Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), who is also up for re-election, ran his own TV ad earlier this month about his work on a similar effort (S.3494).
Bennet owns individual stock in just one US company, Lumen Technologies, while most of his net worth comes in the form of mutual and hedge funds, retirement savings, and commercial real estate, according to his latest personal financial disclosure. A campaign spokesperson said the stock is in a trust controlled by a Denver asset manager.
Biden carried Colorado by 13 percentage points in 2020 and Republicans haven’t won statewide office since 2014. Nevertheless, Republicans seeking to flip control of the Senate are eyeing the state as a possible pickup opportunity.
Bennet’s campaign reported more than $8 million in cash on hand as of June 30. By comparison, O’Dea reported $841,000 in his campaign account. O’Dea also loaned his campaign $1 million.
With assistance from Greg Giroux
To contact the reporter on this story: Zach C. Cohen in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org