Republican Joe O’Dea decries partisanship in new TV ad in Colorado’s US Senate race | 2022 Election

Joe O’Dea, the Colorado Republican challenging US Sen. Michael Bennet, released a TV ad Wednesday that portrays the construction company owner as a political outsider who disdains partisanship.

Set to run through this weekend in the Denver market on a $165,000 buy, the 30-second spot is the first new, general election ad O’Dea has aired since winning the nomination six weeks ago.

“Let’s get America moving forward,” O’Dea says in the ad about footage of the champion horseman thundering across the screen on horseback. “I’m not a politician. I’ll work for Colorado.”

A former employer and a business associate describe O’Dea’s experience washing dishes at a local restaurant when he was in high school and working as a union carpenter on his way to becoming the multimillionaire CEO of Concrete Express, a Denver-based company that employs 300 people.

“Everyone in Washington votes the party line,” says a woman the O’Dea campaign confirmed is the candidate’s goddaughter. “Joe won’t. He doesn’t care about partisanship. He’ll represent Colorado.”

Adds O’Dea: “I’m not focused on political parties. I’ll do what’s right for our country.”

O’Dea’s campaign manager said the ad encapsulates the candidate’s appeal.

“Joe O’Dea is an American success story — a carpenter who worked his way up to became a CEO, a championship horseman who loves Colorado, a guy who’s walked the walk on bipartisanship by supporting Republicans and Democrats over the years,” said Zack Roday in a statement.

A political action committee tied to Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer spent more than $2 million in June on TV ads describing O’Dea’s history of campaign contributions to Democratic candidates, including Bennet. The Democratic group also spent nearly $2 million on ads that called state Rep. Ron Hanks, O’Dea’s primary opponent, “too conservative” for Colorado in an unsuccessful attempt to raise the underfunded candidate’s profile among GOP voters.

The Colorado Democratic Party scoffed at the new O’Dea ad’s message on Wednesday.

“Joe O’Dea is saying whatever he can to get elected, but ultimately he will be a rubber stamp for Mitch McConnell and the MAGA agenda,” the Democrats tweeted, noting that O’Dea opposes abortion rights in some circumstances and opposes additional gun safety laws, including the bipartisan measure signed into law last month. Additionally, O’Dea has said he will vote for former President Donald Trump if Trump is the GOP presidential nominee in 2024.

McConnell, the Senate GOP leader from Kentucky, gave O’Dea’s pray his blessing last month at a Washington fundraiser, saying that Senate Republicans are “all in” on the Colorado race.

Bennet, who is seeking a third full term, has been on the air since mid-July, spending roughly $1.2 million on a pair of ads.

His Republican challenger hasn’t gone without air cover since emerging from an expensive primary at the end of June.

O’Dea’s campaign spent about $100,000 last week to run an updated version of an earlier ad linking the Democratic incumbent to an unpopular President Joe Biden, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee spent $240,000 on an ad that highlighted Bennet’s record of voting with the Biden administration 98% of the time. American Policy Fund, a super PAC that spent roughly $1 million supporting O’Dea and opposing Hanks during the primary, is spending about $50,000 this week on TV ads to boost O’Dea, according to report from a company that tracks political ad spending.

General election mail ballots start going out to most Colorado voters in less than 10 weeks.


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