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Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper won the state's Democratic primary for U.S. Senate on Tuesday evening, per AP.

Of note: Hickenlooper wasn't the only eye-catching win Tuesday night. Lauren Boebert (R) defeated the Trump-endorsed incumbent Rep. Scott Tipton (R) in the Republican primary for Colorado's third congressional district.

Why Hickenlooper's win matters: He will now face off against Sen. Cory Gardner — largely considered one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the November general elections. But the former governor has faced recent backlash over past comments and ethics complaints.

  • Hickenlooper apologized this month for his 2014 comments comparing public officials to slaves being whipped on an "ancient slave ship."
  • An ethics committee determined that Hickenlooper violated state law by accepting gifted rides in a private jet and a Maserati limousine, per the Washington Post. He was fined $3,000, and held in contempt after failing to appear for the first day of hearings on the matter.

Between the lines: Hickenlooper was the latest establishment Democrat to face a possible upset from a more progressive challenger — in this case, former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff.

  • 16-term Rep. Eliot Engel (D) was notably defeated last week in the New York primaries by Jamaal Bowman, a progressive former middle school principle.
  • Amy McGrath, a 2018 sweetheart of the Democratic Party, nearly lost to progressive Charles Booker in the Kentucky Democratic Senate primary amid ongoing pressure from Black Lives Matter activists.
  • In Colorado, Romanoff was in favor of Medicare-for-All and the Green New Deal — both policy positions that Hickenlooper has veered to the right of.

Go deeper

Massachusetts Rep. Richard Neal fends off primary challenge

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Richard Neal, chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, on Tuesday evening defeated his primary challenger Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse in the Democratic primary for Massachusetts' 1st Congressional District, the AP reports.

Why it matters: It's a victory for the establishment wing of the Democratic Party, which took a hit with the primary defeat of House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel (N.Y.) earlier this year. Neal had been targeted for his ties to corporate lobbyists and resistance to progressive policies like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal.

Updated 45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Here come Earmarks 2.0

DeLauro at a hearing in May 2020. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Appropriations Committee is preparing to restore a limited version of earmarks, which give lawmakers power to direct spending to their districts to pay for special projects.

Why it matters: A series of scandals involving members in both parties prompted a moratorium on earmarks in 2011. But Democrats argue it's worth the risk to bring them back because earmarks would increase their leverage to pass critical legislation with a narrow majority, especially infrastructure and spending bills.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

UN says Paris carbon-cutting plans fall far short

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Nations' formal emissions-cutting pledges are collectively way too weak to put the world on track to meet the Paris climate deal's temperature-limiting target, a United Nations tally shows.

Driving the news: This morning the UN released an analysis of the most recent nationally determined contributions (NDCs) — that is, countries' medium-term emissions targets submitted under the 2015 pact.

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