AFL-CIO Colorado rallies outside the business of US Senate candidate Joe O’Dea

DENVER (KDVR) – A group of unions are criticizing a Republican candidate in the US Senate less than a week before the last day to vote in the primary. Supporters say it’s last-minute politics.

All of the drama centers on Michael Bennet’s US Senate seat, but the fight is between Republicans, though Democratic groups have helped draw attention to the race. The latest in the saga surrounding the two Republican candidates took place in front of one of their businesses.

The nominees are state representative Ron Hanks and Denver businessman Joe O’Dea. You’ve probably seen ads that Democratic groups run on each of them – the ads calling Hanks too conservative and claiming O’Dea isn’t who he says he is.

Colorado AFL-CIO opposes O’Dea

Unions held an event outside O’Dea’s operations in Denver on Wednesday, saying he is not a champion for his workers.

“Colorado workers need to know the truth about Joe O’Dea’s business history. We’re here today to make sure there’s a light on it and it’s held accountable, ”said Dennis Dougherty, executive director of the AFL-CIO of Colorado.

They were joined by Democratic state senator Julie Gonzales.

“I am standing here today in solidarity with the workers in my Senate district, the workers of the state of Colorado and the Colorado unions to be clear: Joe O’Dea will not be a voice for the workers and it is offensive for him to publish. ads claiming to be a champion for workers when in fact his own record proves just the opposite, ”Gonzales said.

The groups have raised an age and discrimination lawsuit filed by a former human resources worker at O’Dea’s concrete company that has since been settled. Event workers don’t work for O’Dea.

“Nobody here has worked for Concrete Express. We’re here because we have a candidate who says he’s going to stand up for the Colorado workers and everything we’ve seen lets us believe otherwise, ”Dougherty said.

Why didn’t the union group target Hanks’ work record?

Another state legislator came up with a different goal. Representative and entrepreneur Colin Larson came out to express his support for O’Dea, despite the fact that he worked on the Capitol with O’Dea’s opponent.

“What they did to Joe is really despicable, and I mean, I’m incredibly disappointed to see my colleague Senator Gonzales here. Politics is getting so bad and visceral. It is entirely fair to question a candidate and his beliefs in a public forum, but the fact that they have come here and harassed his employees brings about an explosive character who acts like a petulant child, ”Larson said.

FOX31 didn’t see any employees being harassed, but it was hard not to notice the fat inflatable cat holding a worker by the neck in one hand and a lot of money in the other.

“It’s certainly amazing to see how much money they’re willing to spend trying to get an insurgent like Ron Hanks elected, but again, I don’t think it’s going to work,” Larson said.

Ron Hanks, the other Republican candidate for the United States Senate, represents Fremont on the Colorado Capitol. He claims he participated in a rally outside the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, but he neither rebelled nor went to the Capitol.

Union leaders were asked why they didn’t mention Hanks’ record against union-backed measures at the Capitol.

“You don’t see Ron Hanks walking around trying to be something he isn’t. He possesses the fact that he is anti-union. It possesses the fact that it is anti-worker, “Dougherty said.” We have a candidate that I disagree with, and everyone else disagrees, up here saying that he will go out and fight for the workers. This is not the case. the largest worker advocacy organization in the state, we disagree with that, ”Dougherty said.

Candidates only have six more days to go back and forth before voters get those ballots, but of course the battles between candidates aren’t over yet.

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