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An Obama-Era Ambassador Hopes to Make History in U.S. Senate

Out Ambassador Seeks Colorado Senate Seat

If Daniel Baer unseats Cory Gardner, he'd make history. 

Former ambassador Daniel Baer announced this week that he plans to run for the U.S. Senate. And if elected, Baer would be the first out man elected to the chamber.

The Democrat, most recently Colorado's Director of Higher Education, told Denver's NBC affiliate he intends to file for federal office. Baer is one of several Democrats looking to unseat Republican Cory Gardner.

"I think we should fire Cory Gardner, and I look forward to making that case," he said.

The news station asked Baer about his potentially history-making run. He said his sexual orientation is important, but he didn't want it to be the defining aspect of his campaign.

"I probably bring some empathy to the table, that we each have our own stories, and my story is one that has caused me to be sensitive to those that have been left out or left behind," he said. "I think that affects who I am, and I think that should matter more than the fact that I happen to be gay to Democratic primary voters.

"I think what most voters probably want to know is that I probably have the same concerns that they do."

Baer served as ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe under President Obama. During that time, he made international news by wedding husband Brian Walsh at a ceremony in Vienna, where same-sex marriage was not yet legal.

Baer in his interview said Walsh encouraged him to get involved in Colorado politics after the Obama presidency ended.

"After the Trump election, my husband turned to me and said, 'Look, the values that we care about in the world are most under threat at home, and we should move home and be on the side of good things happening,'" Baer said.

The Senate already hosts two out women, Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.

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