Republican Senate hopeful Joe O’Dea vows to ‘actively campaign’ against Trump in 2024

GOP Senate candidate vows to ‘actively campaign’ against Trump in 2024: Joe O’Dea hails Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley and Tim Scott as ‘great Republicans’ to replace the ex-president in next White House race

  • Construction executive Joe O’Dea, a Republican, is running to unseat Colorado Democratic Senator Michael Bennet in the November election
  • He’s maintained a wide distance from Trump for the entire election so far
  • Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell called O’Dea the ‘perfect candidate’ in July
  • O’Dea has been endorsed by establishment Republicans like George W. Bush, Nikki Haley and Senator Tim Scott among others 

A Republican vying for Senate in Colorado pledged on Sunday that he’ll ‘actively campaign’ against Donald Trump if the former president runs again in 2024.

Joe O’Dea, who is running to unseat Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, appeared on CNN‘s State of the Union with less than a month before the November 8 midterm elections.

The businessman has separated himself from the majority of GOP Congressional hopefuls with his moderate stances – giving hope to the Republican establishment that he could flip a state that President Joe Biden won by 14 points. 

He also hasn’t shied away from speaking out against Trump, including on Sunday, when he repeated 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 I’m going to actively campaign against Donald Trump and make sure that – we’ve got four or five really great Republicans right now.’

In an indication of the establishment GOP’s thinking, O’Dea instead suggested candidates like Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, former Trump administration United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott.

All three have been floated as potential 2024 contenders, though it’s not clear how many would try to primary Trump.

Colorado Senate candidate Joe O'Dea, a Republican construction executive, is running to unseat Democrat Senator Michael Bennet

Colorado Senate candidate Joe O’Dea, a Republican construction executive, is running to unseat Democrat Senator Michael Bennet

‘They can run and serve for eight years,’ O’Dea said after listing off the trio.

‘I’m gonna do my job as a US senator to make sure that they have good campaigns in the primary here, so we have a good selection of candidates for 2024.’

During the interview he also repeated his past criticism of Trump over last year’s riot at the US Capitol on January 6 – but did not answer a question on whether it should prevent him from being president again.

‘Look, I believe that the- January 6 was a black eye on the country. I’ve been very vocal that I thought [Trump] should have done more to keep the violence from heading towards the Capitol,’ O’Dea said.

‘Anybody that was violent at the Capitol or tore something apart, they should be held accountable. We’ve got processes in place that hold people accountable, and we need to move the country forward.’

He's largely shunned Trump, in a strategy that's been watched as a test run for Republicans in territory that solidly went to Joe Biden in 2020

He’s largely shunned Trump, in a strategy that’s been watched as a test run for Republicans in territory that solidly went to Joe Biden in 2020

Scott campaigned with O’Dea earlier this month, while Haley formally endorsed him in late September.

O’Dea is well-liked within the Republican establishment, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell telling donors in July that he was the ‘perfect candidate,’ according to Axios.

He’s also campaigning with former President George W. Bush, according to NBC News, who has shown support for other anti-Trump Republican candidates this cycle. 

Trump has not weighed in on the race.

The Colorado Republican has reportedly raised $3 million between July and September, including $1 million from his own money.

O'Dea floated a few other big GOP names for consideration, including Trump's former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, who has endorsed him

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was named as anothe possible contender

O’Dea floated a few other big GOP names for consideration, including Trump’s former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley (left) and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (right)

He said of Trump during a talk radio appearance in August, ‘I hope he doesn’t run. I don’t want to see him as president again.’

‘I think that seeing a Biden-Trump rematch again in 2024 would rip the country apart. I think a lot of people are ready to move our country forward. So, I wouldn’t support him running again,’ O’Dea added.

Most polls show him trailing Bennet in the increasingly blue state, though O’Dea is not far behind as the midterms loom less than a month away.

A left-leaning pollster called Public Policy Polling found O’Dea trailing Bennet by 11 points.

Meanwhile the Trafalgar Group’s late September survey saw Bennet just 6 points ahead.

The Republican Attorneys General Association’s poll with the Tarrance Group put the Democrat just a point over O’Dea.

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