GOP Senate candidate vows to ‘energetic campaign’ against Trump in 2024: Joe O’Dea hails Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley and Tim Scott as ‘great Republicans’ to replace ex-president in upcoming White House race
- Construction executive Joe O’Dea, a Republican, is running to unseat Democratic Colorado Sen. Michael Bennett in the November election.
- He has kept quite a distance from Trump throughout the election so far
- Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell called O’Dea the “perfect candidate” in July
- O’Dea has been endorsed by Republicans such as George W. Bush, Nikki Haley, Senator Tim Scott, and others
A Republican running for the Colorado Senate vowed Sunday that he would actively campaign against Donald Trump if the former president runs for re-election in 2024.
Joe O’Dea, who is running to unseat Democratic Sen. Michael Bennett, appeared on CNN’s State of the Union less than a month before the November 8 midterm elections.
The businessman has separated himself from the majority of Republican congressional candidates with his moderate positions – giving hope to the Republican establishment that he can turn around a state won by President Joe Biden by 14 points.
He has also not hesitated to speak out against Trump, including on Sunday, when he reiterated his call for a new de facto leader of the Republican Party.
“I don’t think Donald Trump should run again,” O’Dea said.
I’m going to actively campaign against Donald Trump and make sure we have four or five really great Republicans right now.
In a nod to the GOP’s thinking, O’Dea instead proposed candidates like Republican Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis, former Trump administration ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott.
All three have been floated as possible contenders in 2024, though it’s not clear how many will try Trump.
Colorado Senate candidate Joe O’Dea, a Republican construction executive, is running to impeach Democratic Sen. Michael Bennett
“They can run and serve for eight years,” O’Dea said after listing the trio.
I’m going to do my job as a U.S. Senator to make sure they have good campaigns in the primaries here, so we have a good pool of candidates for 2024.”
During the interview, he also reiterated his earlier criticism of Trump over last year’s riots at the US Capitol on Jan. 6 — but did not respond to a question about whether it should prevent him from becoming president again.
“Look, I think January 6th was a black eye on the country. I’ve been so vocal that I thought (Trump) should have done more to prevent violence from heading toward the Capitol,” O’Dea said.
Anyone who has been violent in the Capitol or ripped something off should be held accountable. We have procedures in place that hold people accountable, and we need to move the country forward.
He has largely avoided Trump, in a strategy seen as a test for Republicans in a district that went hard for Joe Biden in 2020.
Scott campaigned with O’Dea earlier this month, while Haley officially endorsed him in late September.
O’Dea is beloved in the Republican establishment, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell telling donors in July that he was the “ideal candidate,” according to Axios.
He’s also campaigning with former President George W. Bush, according to NBC News, who has shown his support for other anti-Trump Republican candidates this cycle.
Trump did not weight in the race.
The Colorado Republican reportedly raised $3 million between July and September, including $1 million of his own money.
O’Dea brought up some other big Republican names for consideration, including former Trump ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley (left) and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (right)
He said of Trump during his August radio appearance, “I hope he doesn’t run. I don’t want to see him president again.
I think seeing a rematch between Biden and Trump again in 2024 would tear the country apart. I think many people are ready to move our country forward. Therefore, I will not support him to run again,” O’Dea added.
Most polls show him trailing Bennett in the growing blue state, though Audi is not far behind as the midterms loom less than a month away.
A left-leaning poll called Public Policy Polling found O’Dea trailing Bennett by 11 points.
Meanwhile, a Trafalgar Group poll in late September showed Bennett with a lead of just 6 points.
The Republican Attorneys’ Association poll put the Tarrance Democrat just one point ahead of O’Dea.