According to FEC contribution filings, Denver businessman and Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Joe O’Dea donated to U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) during his 2010 campaign. O’Dea is trying to unseat Bennet this November and has been critical of the incumbent Democrat.
O’Dea’s contributions to Bennet have been previously reported by Ernest Luning of Colorado Politics and Jesse Aaron Paul of the Colorado Sun.
O’Dea also donated to U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) in 2009, giving $500 to both Perlmutter’s campaign and Bennet’s campaign. Since then, O’Dea has supported Republicans at the federal level with donations to the Republican National Committee in 2018 and 2021 and former U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) in 2019 and 2020.
According to reports from Colorado’s Secretary of State TRACER database, O’Dea donated to multiple Colorado politicians who identify as part of the Democratic Party at the state level. This includes donations to U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) — who unseated Gardner in 2020 — during Hickenlooper’s campaign for Governor of Colorado.
Earlier this month, O’Dea called Bennet “soft” during an interview with the conservative Ruthless Podcast.
“We’re going to be running one campaign against soft Senator Michael Bennet, and we’re going to give him a retirement plan here in November,” O’Dea said on the show.
In March, O’Dea criticized Bennet’s leadership in an interview with Jimmy Sengenberger on his 710 KNUS radio show. O’Dea called attention to how Bennet was appointed in 2009 to the U.S. Senate.
“[Bennet’s] accidental, you know,” O’Dea said. “He got appointed.”
Bennet won in 2010 and 2016.
O’Dea is one of two Republicans on the June 28 primary ballot for U.S. Senate.
O’Dea did not respond to a request for comment. This story will be updated with a comment if one is provided.